Whenever I return the Bug, after having him a few days, it can be emotionally disorienting. I mean, for days he's my focus, my whole life. Then suddenly .. nothing. It's like part of me is ripped away.
When the smoke clears, Diego the Sabertooth Tiger is standing in front of him, yelling for Manny to get up. But Manny hears only a distant echo. In his dazed state, everything looks pleasantly dreamy.
That's a decent representation of how I feel, sometimes. Shell-shocked. Numb. Like somebody tossed a flash-bang into my life.
It goes away. Always does. Usually after a few hours. So I know it's no big deal. But initially, it can be difficult to cope. There have been a few times when I've been driving, and forgotten where I was going, and had to turn around and head back home. (That sux.) Most of the time however, I just stare off into space.
Used to think there was something wrong with me .. until I heard other dads describe similar experiences.
Best to be alone during these times, cuz most people can't relate (understandably). Some even take the distance personally. A walk in nature is usually the best therapy.
It's not always this way. (Maybe every third or fourth week.) But I haven't been able to figure out the variables that accompany the disorienting times. They seem to follow no particular rhyme or reason. So I haven't been able to stop it.
Tho I suspect the more the separation bothers the Bug, the more it affects me. So I try to make the transition painless as possible.
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When it does occur tho, it can be downright debilitating .. no matter how many times it has happened before, and even tho I know it will pass. So I simply wait it out .. and usually try to avoid people during those times (when I'm feeling wrecked) to avoid offending anyone.
Today was particularly tough. Wish I knew why. Feel like an alien from another planet. Just noticed it's Friday the 13th. Maybe that has something to do with it.
The Bug's Bedtime Story » Treasure Island
Speaking of Friday the 13th and missing the Bug, his favorite DVD is currently » Muppet Treasure Island. I thought it would be corny, but it's actually done surprisingly well. Plenty of adult-level humor injected throughout. Catchy intro, too. So catchy in fact that it has been ported for use with more serious pirate films.
Few weeks ago, I started reading to him from the original book by Robert Louis Stevenson .. a chapter every night after he climbs in bed. (Tho he rarely makes it to the end of the chapter without falling asleep.)
Great story. Easy to see why it's a children's classic. About a boy (Jim Hawkins) who misses his dad. So that might be why the Bug is digging the Muppet DVD so much.
I thought the sparsity of illustrations might prevent him from enjoying it. But I was wrong. While reading, I put lots of inflection in my voice and tell the story with much emotion. Sometimes I translate (on the fly) phrases or words I know he won't understand. Or add my own clarifying sentences.
Sometimes I'll say, "I'm too scared to read any more. How 'bout you?" To which he insists, "No-no, dad. I'm not scared. Keep reading." =)
My mom read me that story when I was the Bug's age. (At bedtime. Something a boy never forgets.) She also read Black Beauty, cuz she knew I liked stories about horses. But it couldn't compare with Treasure Island for firing a boy's imagination.
Hard to stay awake, tho, when someone is reading to you. I would be 99% asleep and her stopping would wake me. "I'm still awake," I'd protest, not wanting the story to end. Hard to fight the feeling when you're only four or five .. especially after a hard day at the playground or the park.
Might fix some puttanesca tonight. Nuclear-grade comfort food.