Dear family, I have committed a cardinal sin.
Not long ago, I didn’t have rehearsal. I said I did, it was on the family schedule, and, when I left the house that morning, I fully thought that I’d be spending that night practicing. But, rehearsal was cancelled, and I did not come home.
I thought about coming home, as I was hungry, and there was food at home. But I had a few dollars in my wallet, and I knew a bar that served really great wings. Coming home meant a meal where there would be pleading for bites of food to be eaten. Coming home meant discussions about why fruit snacks, or candy, or ice cream are not acceptable substitutions for dinner. Coming home meant describing, again, how “being hungry” but “not hungry for dinner” are contradictory statements. Coming home meant explaining that we don’t stick our fingers in ketchup. Coming home would have meant trying to figure out how to eat while being climbed upon.
When I was done eating, I sat at a bar, drinking endless refills of iced tea, watching talking heads on ESPN blather on about something that didn’t matter. I didn’t even look at my phone – I just sat, zoning out. Coming home would have meant a bathtime where I *accidentally* ended up getting splashed, repeatedly, with water. Coming home would have meant explaining, again, that accidents happen – but it’s not an accident when you meant to do something & just didn’t like the outcome or consequence. Coming home would have meant accusations of poisoning by shampoo lather injection. Coming home would have meant loud. Coming home would have meant constant climbing.
Why? Why must you always be touching me? Climbing on me? Why?!
I couldn’t stand the thought of fighting you to get you to brush your teeth. I needed a night without arguing about your going to bed. I longed for a night away from giving the “if you’re hungry, you should have eaten at dinner time, and no, you’re not getting a hot dog after you’ve brushed your teeth” lecture.
I feel guilty that, instead of having spent money that could have been spent on a new toy, put toward a new video game, purchased groceries, or put aside for your education, I spent money on greasy food that kept my belly from rumbling and provided minimal nutritional value.
I feel guilty that the bartender ended up with a patron there for a few hours & was on the other end of a minuscule tab.
I feel guilty that I spent time doing absolutely nothing, when I know, full well, that the greatest currency we have is time and that, even when I am home, there is plenty of time where something has me focusing on something other than “us,” so this act further diluted the time I spend with you.
I feel guilty for how cranky I commonly am at night.
I feel guilty that I’m nearly certain that this won’t be the last time I pull this off.