Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

We need a break from life

SUNDAY, May 2 – At eight o’clock this morning I dropped Sander off at his friend’s house.  He’s going to spend a week in Switzerland with the rest of the family. Yesterday we had a bit of a crisis. ‘I don’t want to go, and I’m not going!’

He was dreading the trip. ‘I’ve seen enough of my friend already. And we’re going to a country where I don’t speak the language. What am I supposed to do there?  Stupid mountains. They don’t even have internet. All I need is a break from life.

He has a point there. That’s what we all need, but staying at home is not a good idea. And at this late date, he can’t back out. So, I summoned up the patience of a saint – for me, a true accomplishment – and managed to convince him. Or rather, I bribed him by letting him borrow my camera. If things get really difficult later in the week, I promised to jump in the car and drive to Switzerland.

And I meant it. If necessary, I’d drive the nine hours there and nine hours back in one go. Luckily, Sander’s mood soon changed. The sun came out and continued to shine right up to this morning. But then my eyes started to blur and the tears came. It’ll be the first time since October that he’s slept somewhere else. And for a whole week. Big deal for this Daddy.

I’m going to miss him and I hope he’ll miss me, but that guarantee lasts only until the moment your soon-to-be teenager closes the car door just after eight o’clock and disappears behind the horizon. And that’s as it should be.

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