Thursday, September 6, 2007

Part-Time Dad (Redux)

Despite having had my daughter for three consecutive weekends, still her absence haunts me.

This evening, I was putting away laundry in my room at my friend's house. The basket I've been using, pressed into temporary service when my relationship with S imploded and my home went into storage, has long contained at its bottom a draw-stringed violet cotton bag -- one that is rarely seen or remembered because it is usually hidden beneath a small pile of my uniforms to be washed.

As I finished putting away my clothes, I looked to the basket to see if I'd missed anything. I hadn't. But there was that purple sack, and it had become upset, My Little Pony panties and impossibly small white ankle socks and tank tops with glittery "Daddy's Girl" logos and elastic-banded jeans leaking out.

They are my daughter's. They are her soiled clothes from nearly nine months ago -- unwashed and unkempt and likely unfitting, now. I'm certain there's a metaphor there, somewhere...

Nonetheless, it was sad. Is sad.

Each of these last three weekends, because I've neither house nor home to which to bring my daughter, I've exercised even more 'part' in the 'part-time' daddyness. I've had her entire days, but not overnight. All of her belongings -- her bedroom furniture, her clothes, her toys, her pictures and paintings and jewelry boxes and books and figurines and bloody well everything that makes a home a home is in storage.

But for a small, tidy yet unkempt bag of grass-stained memories.

I just talked to her an hour ago, as I do every night. Yet I miss her so.

Funny how I can be homesick even when I'm home.


Anonymous said...

you may be a part-time daddy physically but you are more than a full-time daddy emotionally and mentally and that's what really counts. You are one of the most loving, caring, supportive, attentive, sensitive fathers that I have ever met.

Just as you are proud to call her "your daughter", I bet your bottom dollar that she is just as proud to call you her "daddy"

startingtoday said...

Made me cry.

jess said...

My niece and nephew visited last weekend. As we were saying goodbye, I felt as close as I can feel to what you're feeling here. I once told my niece as she was leaving 'I already miss you' and she replied 'Aunt Jessica, I'm *right here*.' So I learned from her to be with her even when I can't see her, no matter how much that pulls at my heart and requires me to have faith in love's imagination.

Lisa said...

Ah, Justin, I'm sorry. I know how much you adore her and I can only imagine how hard it is for you.

Snoqualmie said...

Everything will be fine - I trust in your capacity to love.

You seem to have this knack for connecting with people.