People say that the bond between a mother and her son is unshakeable. The same as a father with his little girl.
My son and I share a very strong connection. From the moment he was born, we were two peas in a pod. My husband works a very demanding schedule – police officer and business owner. He rarely has time off, which means a lot of time is spent just me and my son. We spend our weekends reading, playing games, watching TV, cooking and shopping. He comes to me when he’s hurt, scared, upset or just looking for a little affection. After school is time for homework, sports, dinner and showers.
My husband’s presence is definitely missed. When my son was younger, it wasn’t nearly as obvious. But now that he’s older, he craves that male bond. The times my husband is home, my son clings to him. They talk cars, music and sports. Every other word out of my son’s mouth is “daddy.” Of course, there’s a small part of me that giggles at this, since all mothers know there are days you hear the word “mommy” nearly 100 times or even more.
I understand my husband is working as hard as he is to help provide for our family. But, our family needs him here too—his presence is more valuable than the money. He knows this, but change is hard. He’s admitted to me that he doesn’t worry too much about not being home because he knows I’ve “got it covered.” He sees that our son idolizes me. He knows that he’s missed but that our son is content and safe when he’s with me. But what I tried to make clear to my husband was this—I can be everything to my son, the best mom humanly possible, but I can’t be his father. I can’t teach him how to be a man. That’s something he needs his daddy for.
Just the other day, my husband surprised us all—myself, my son, and probably himself. He scheduled someone to cover him at work and took the afternoon off. I was standing at the kitchen doing dishes when I heard the front door open. My heart stopped for a minute before I heard my husband’s voice. The next thing I heard was my son, yelling “daddy” and running from his room to greet him at the front door. My husband turned the corner into the kitchen and we met each other with a smile. I asked him what he was doing home and he said, “I’m here to spend some time with Bill (our son).” My heart felt full, tears filled my eyes and a grin I couldn’t suppress spread across my lips. My joy was overshadowed by my son as he jumped up and down, hugged my husband tight, and asked 1,000 questions about what they were doing to do and where they were going.
My husband told my son to grab his shoes and a coat. They bounded out the door. I watched them walk down the steps together, hand in hand, a father and his son. They were gone for hours. When they returned home, my son couldn’t wait to tell me all about it. How they went to lunch at the diner and he had pancakes and french fries: “It was like breakfast and lunch at the same time!” His excitement was contagious.
After my son ran into his room, I hugged my husband tightly and simply said, “Thank you.” He kissed me on the top of the head and said, “No, thank you.” I knew he understood now how much his son needed him. And now, every other weekend I get to watch my two boys walk out the door, hand-in-hand, and can’t wait to hear all about their adventures together.