If you don't know what the Upside Down is, stop reading immediately. Go take your pants off and bingewatch Stranger Things over on the Netflix machine and I'll talk to you in three days.
If you're still with me now, you might regret it.
Whenever I have tried to explain my family tree to other people and how I got from point A to point B and enjoyed a fist full of name changes by the time I entered Kindergarten, and how some people are one human but two different kinds of relatives to me, their brains short circuit.
|Wait...say that again? Slower this time.|
Over the past year or two I realized that my three boys are spaced out the same in age that I was with my older sisters. It's like they're the not-upside-down version of my past life. That is my B.A. life (Before Adoption). They're like the normal version of the dark, cloudy, sticky version of me and my sisters. And if anyone is keeping track, I'd be the ToddlerBandit one, which is creepy because he is the only one who was as obsessed with his belly button as me (#nozippyjammies) and also he was an accident.
Very long story short, there were three of us, and our parents couldn't keep their collective shit together, and yada yada yada, father with a pregnant girlfriend in another state, blah blah blah, "my new wife doesn't like you so go find a place to live", etc., etc., then I got adopted and my sisters did not. If you would like the detailed version, just let me know, but you should probably have a couple drinks first.
Having a father choose a woman over his children was something my Mr. understood, so I've never had to try to explain what a hole that leaves in a kid. Even an adult kid. His situation was a little different, and he grew up with all his sisters. We both enjoyed replacement dads for most of our lives that were just right for us.
Mine died when I was pregnant with ToddlerBandit. I hate that they never got to meet.
This whole couple years I held my breath, waiting. Waiting for a phone call or a knock on the door or a letter. I waited for someone to yank the rug out from under me, to find out about Mr. Fix having a pregnant girlfriend in another state.
For the record, my scheduling him for a vasectomy against his will had nothing to do with this.
And ToddlerBandit turned three and then he turned four and then...nothing. No other woman, no sudden departure, no abandoning his children.
And then just before this weekend, Mr. Fix drove off. Alone. East. One quick goodbye in the hall and he was out the door. And I didn't care.
I didn't care because he is headed to New Jersey to pick up a boat. A replacement for the SS Lee, Mr. Fix found a good deal on the Internets. And he left.
Father's Day weekend.
The reason I don't care is because we don't get hung up on Hallmark holidays. And because I know when he gets there he's turning around and coming home. He's doing it because he values family time, and some of our best family times are on the water.
And our kids are unfazed by it. I've told them a dozen times where he is, and two dozen times they've asked, "Where's dad? Did he go for a run? Is he asleep? Is he working today?"
And all the while I'm up his ass to check in every day. But it's not because I'm paranoid he's left us and that my kids will have to grow up without their dad (or, unthinkably, each other). It's for the normal reasons like that he might be dead in a ditch somewhere and I'd like to know which cops to call to report him missing. As of yesterday, I believe that was Illinois.
You know, normal worry-wart type things. Normal is nice.