What Is A “Dad Sabbatical” And Why Does It Just Feel Wrong?
Any minute now, my wife Jill and my son Jack will be landing in Philadelphia, then driving about an hour to a place called Downington.
One of my wife’s sisters and her family lives there and is having a surprise birthday party weekend; unless this blog post spoils the surprise. Awkward…
I will pick them up again on Wednesday from the airport. Until then, it’s just me here.
It’s only been a few hours but it already feels like Chernobyl.
Normally if I’m sitting in my living room writing a blog post on a Saturday afternoon, hearing nothing but silence, it means that any second Jack will be waking up from his token 40 minute Saturday afternoon nap.
Well, it’s been more than 40 minutes now.
I thought I heard him cry a minute ago but it was just a poodle in the townhouse next to us.
This is my “dad sabbatical.” It’s pretty weird so far.
Granted, I am happy that my wife will get to enjoy these next several days with her sisters she rarely gets to see; no thanks to scientists who have yet failed to invent a practical teleportation device, despite us all living a dozen years past the year 2000.
(No flying cars or hover-boards yet, either. Back To Future Part II made it very clear what life is going to be like in the year 2015. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do!)
Her side of the family will get to meet Jack the Toddler; as opposed to Jack the Infant, who they met a year ago when we all met up in Sacramento where they are all originally from.
It worked out better for me to stay here in Nashville this time around.
(Especially if the rumor is true that we may both need to use a couple vacation days next month to make an appearance on a morning talk show on NBC. Oh well, I probably just now jinxed that for us. Now it won’t happen. Great.)
You would think I would appreciate this “time to purposely do nothing” more than I do. But I’m still in culture shock right now.
Sure, I miss them both tremendously. Right now I feel emotionally exactly what I’m supposed to.
But also, I feel guilty.
For nearly 2 years I have constantly been a dad. No pause button. And for 4 years, I’ve been a husband. No more than just a few nights apart due to the occasional business trip.
And now for half a week, I will have no real responsibilities as a husband or a dad. Yeah, it just feels wrong.
Okay, time to go see Batman. Because that’s what a 31 year-old dad on sabbatical evidently is supposed to do with his free time.