It’s like a Tuesday every day
This past month has been a very difficult month. I’m glad that the Houghton County Fair is this weekend for a much-needed bit of fun after the rather sad and depressing beginning of this month. The first week of August was the moving of my middle child to her new home for the next five years, Ypsilanti. I was okay with her going to college but in the back of my mind knew that we’d have holidays, breaks, and summers to spend together. That all changed when she signed that magical and horrible thing called a lease. The girls have been raised to be fiscally responsible, (often the opposite of how I’ve lead my life), so to Briana signing a lease means she should live there, year-round, with only holidays and our trips to see her as family time. In case you didn’t know Ypsilanti is roughly an 11-hour drive even with the increased speed limits on US-2 and I-75 which means I can’t just pop on down to see her on a whim, (or for a football game, go Eagles). It also means when my child is having a rough time with life, school, money, or all three that I can’t be there to comfort her with a joke or a smile. This became apparent to my oldest, Hannah, after I lamented on Facebook about empty nests and trusting their judgement moving forward etcetera; that’s when the unexpected happened. I became the child getting support from my adult child.
My mom has pointed out that Hannah is very mature for her age, (she’s married, working, and going to college), so I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me that when she saw that dad wasn’t doing so well with one of his birds leaving not only the nest but the whole tree called the UP, that she would reach out to me. A simple “you okay” lead to me whining about her sister being in a big city with stores that scare me due to their dirt and grime and possible crime. I pointed out that I was very happy with her apartment complex, it’s gated and has amenities such as a pool and fitness center and even a view of a lake. I wasn’t thrilled at how much it cost and that was basically just for a room with kitchen and bathroom privileges. It was then that I stated that I guess I don’t know what my role is anymore, I planned on being hands on dad up to 18 but in all honesty, didn’t see it coming that I would want that to continue, forever, if needed; I was lost. That’s when my wise oldest child simply stated, “It’s like a Tuesday everyday”. I was confused on what the heck that meant. “Tuesday was one of mom’s days, (our custody was I had Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and four hours on Saturday), so you’re still her dad but it’s just a Tuesday everyday where we knew we could always call you or come over if needed and that mom said that it was set up this way because of how much you loved us and wanted to see us and that most dads don’t see their kids as much as you do.”
Thankfully we were texting so she didn’t see her dad crying but she was right. No matter the distance, the years, or our ages, I’ll always be a dad to the best three kids anyone could every ask for and I’ll just have to trust that I did my job. The nest is 2/3 empty now with only one to go; I’m guessing that void will be equally as tough but I now know that parenting doesn’t stop at 18 it’s forever and for that I’m grateful.