That Sunday Evening Feeling

I am changing around my blog sites for professional reasons. I found this on a small personal blog from 2012. It’s interesting how similarly / different I feel now.
It starts to happen late on Sunday afternoons each time my children are over on their “access weekends” (such a cold expression) – I realise that I have drive off for an hour to take them back to their home, away from their temporary home. They are sad for a little time, but they know that they are, for the most part, happy with both of their places and their parents are better for being in separate lives.  That rationality, that reason, doesn’t make the leaving any easier or the time after any less gut wrenching.

It was a great deal harder when I didn’t live with my current peaceful and lovely life with my partner.  I felt like a man without a reason or purpose for a while, going back to my two bedroom man cave, wondering why I was continuing to work and see children once a fortnight.  Those weekends were a great deal more active than the current ones. I was determined to take them out to places that I never got an opportunity to do when we all lived together.  I was driven by an almost manic desire to do things, build a new form of relationship.

My “Preston Towers” years were a crazy, intense, rudderless time.

Those times have been replaced by a more easy, relaxed, lazy time. There is netball and the occasional journey somewhere interesting. However, most of the weekends are spent how the kids like to do it – plugging themselves into the iview on their ipads or half watching TV. Some of that is watching AFL with their newly obsessed dad.  Now Sydney has two teams, double the games. My son, who is on the autism spectrum, likes spending most of the weekend by himself. There was a time when he liked doing things and playing Wii with his sister and dad. Those times have slipped away as he becomes more assertive and stubborn about not wanting to go anywhere where there are a lot of people and things to disturb him.

We are all bound together, however, by church. Their mother is pretty hot about going to church, so we go – though none of us are particularly jumping out of our skins to be there. Hence, we lope in late, sit up the back and and bonded by a universal boredom. My son actually wants me to hold him at such times, and my daughter works hard at trying to make me laugh. She usually succeeds – though that laugh can be seen in my eyes, sometimes my body, my mouth, but rarely audibly. Though, after church, in the car, such times are remembered with distinct, audible sounds.

Bound by boredom – that has gone by the wayside as their mum started to drift away from church attendance – so we have as well.

We also insist on eating a big lunch together on Sunday – a lunch usually prepared by my partner, who actually enjoys cooking a lunch with a big variety of tastes – even if it sometimes takes an hour longer than initial predictions.  She has learnt, like me, that it is easier to cook a meal with a child and adult variation at such occasions.  (Indeed, when I cook on the Friday and most Saturday nights, it is strictly what I and they are used to – bland and with few surprises.) Sunday lunch is a nice time for us.

My daughter still does not like eating anything “different”.

But then the inevitable Sunday evening comes. And the sadness. Yes, it helps to come home to a friendly, welcoming hug.  Yes, you remember that everyone is happier every other day of the fortnight and that the kids are really better off with having two parents who care about them.  Nothing, however, entirely takes away the Sunday evening feeling.

And no, nothing does. That will all be a thing of the past when the kids are both 18 and they can do whatever they want to do with their lives.

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