Sunday, March 11, 2012
Daddy's Home. Life Can Go On.
I try not to be jealous that my son is not a "mama's boy." Never was, probably never will be.
Not that we're not close in our own way. Shoot, I let that child wipe his snotty nose on my shirt and skirt in elaborate swirls. It makes us both giggle. Now that it's allergy season, his nose is snotty all the time and my clothes are beginning to resemble a MoMA exhibit. Great-grandmothers are rolling over in their graves, waving handkerchiefs in skeletal hands.
But Daddy is his undisputed favorite. Part of this is logistics. I'm the one home with Beau all day. We easily get irritable with one another. Daddy, on the other hand, works long, hard hours exactly so I can be home with our son. His appearance at the end of the day is like a renewable visit from Santa Claus.
Part of it is the insular period of time Scott was a stay-at-home dad, caring for Beau from the time he was three to ten months old. Unlike some distinctly Asheville-type SAHDs who might be found ferrying their infants around to various enriching activities, Scott only left the house with the baby once in seven months. Seriously. (Excursions into the backyard for fresh air don't count.) "What did you DO all day while I was at work?" I am still curious to know. "I don't know," Scott always says with a shrug. "We ate. We slept. It was easy." It seems to me this time was crucial in forming Beau's personality. Like his daddy, he is a homebody to the nth degree. Hound dogs with the happy blues.
A lot of it is karma. Or maybe I mean closure. Anyway, without going into the twisted family dynamics, I'll reveal that my husband didn't meet his biological father until he was 17 and had a troubled (now resolved) relationship with the stepfather who adopted him when he was still a toddler; when this happened, Scott's first and middle names were changed along with his surname. If there was a paternal identity crisis that informed Scott's milieu, it is now soothed like honey in the intensely sweet bond he shares with his own little boy. I posted this particular photo, taken when Beau was about 15 mos. old, to show the strong physical resemblance: large round head, peachy skin, heart-shaped face, pretty pout. When Beau's awake, his shadowed brown eyes cause people to exclaim how much he looks like me. The eyes are ours to share. But when he's at total peace, as in this photo, he's pure papa.
Daddy had to go on the road for work this week. He was gone one night and two whole days and while this might not seem like a huge deal, here at home the heavens toppled right down. The child went to sleep rubbing his cheek against a photo of his father, before finally rejecting it: "That's not the REAL Daddy!" Days were filled with long, dramatic sighs. When Daddy's return finally drew nigh, Beau pulled a box up to the living-room window, to sit on and see down into the street, and kept up a faithful vigil.
"I'm looking for a man who's got not too much hair and a silver car," he bayed mournfully, to no one in particular. Finally, the father-child reunion was sweetly achieved.
As I write this on a drowsy, sunny Sunday morning, they're rocking out to the Stones in our basement man cave. Satisfaction!