This post is overdue, because 40 started last year. Try not to hold it against me; my brain really only became 40 in the last few months, so bear with me.
I began Single Dads for a couple of reasons. One was to serve as a constant reminder what it was like to be a single dad with daughter, from the beginning, and the other was to have a first hand source of the thoughts, emotions, and trials of a single parent available for my daughter to read when she became old enough to view it. For quite a while now, it’s done exactly that. I believe, however, that this blog enters a new age, as tonight, I came to some realizations that I’m finally able to share is some intelligent way.
A long time ago I wrote a post called The Empty Room, about how I felt walking by my daughter’s empty room when she was away with her mother. Grace’s room isn’t empty any more. As I write, her room is filled with stuffed animals, music boxes given to her as gifts from me and her grandparents, Barbie dolls used and unused, woodland fairy and princess outfits, and the best children’s books (she loves Kitten’s First Full Moon – seems like I read it 3 times a week). These aren’t the signs of an empty room, but a room filled with memories and love.
So finally I have realized, it wasn’t the room that was empty, it was, in fact, a metaphor for my emptiness.
Now, here I am: a self-aware, semi-actualized single dad, who, between running his daughter to dance class and movies, still hasn’t figured out how to find and spend quality time with other people with whom I have parenting in common. Still having single friends without children who have to be tired of attempting to relate to my personal struggles, still woefully lacking in age appropriate play dates, still trying desperately to figure out what’s next for me. That all is getting ready to change.
Now I know. Now I know why that woman with the two young boys was so nice to me in line to see that kid’s movie. Now I know why the singular mother is always so nice on the playground when we go.
I understand why I miss going to single “social events” less and less, and why like the Disney Channels more and more.
I get it.
I think it might be time to start filling up my own room.