Becky has taken the kids to see her grandparents in Texas. When she first told me about this trip of theirs I confess I got more excited about it than she probably wanted me to be. I couldn’t wait to be truly alone for the first time in years. No toys to step on. No whining. No questions. Just me and silence.
I thought I’d rent some movies Becky would never want to see and eat stuff we never buy, and do things I tell the kids not to do: Leave my wet towel on the floor, leave my clothes wherever I take them off, eat all the Little Debbies I want. I’d be the bachelor I once was, I thought.
But I haven’t done any of those things. No fast food. No Little Debbies. No movies. No towels on the floor. No fun.
What’s happened to me? I used to be good at this alone thing.
My first child was born just as I signed my record deal. The combination of fatherhood and working as a recording artist forced me to be perpetually engaged with other people…which I almost always like. There is no such thing as alone when you travel around making music, selling yourself to radio stations and book stores and audiences. And when I’m home? Well, only in the bathroom can a father of three be truly alone in his own house. Six years of constant company is a great thing for the most part. It’s just that it may have left me incapable of being only with me for more than a few minutes.
The silence is deafening. The freedom is paralyzing. Not sad. Not scary. Foreign. I don’t know how to do this anymore.
I miss my wife. I miss my kids. I miss noise.