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I love my family. I love being a husband, and a father. With all that being said…

Woo hoo! I’m free! Free! For the entire week!

(If there was a way to make that all glittery and sparkly without making me feel like a 12 year old girl, I would totally do that.)

Today, my wife and daughter embark on what has become an annual pilgrimage to my in-law’s cottage. It started when my wife was pregnant with my daughter in 2004, and every year since then she takes her up for a stretch (this is the first time it’s been as long as a week) near my mother-in-law’s birthday. My wife’s parents were both teachers, so they always had every summer completely free, and they used to spend most of it at the cottage. Since she met an unfortunate soul who is an engineer and therefore stuck with significantly less time off (that’s me, FYI), she has not been able to do that, but these mini-trips help.

But they don’t just help her, they help me too. I am, by nature, a solitary man. Before I met my wife I could spend an entire weekend without speaking to another human, never leaving my apartment. I am not lamenting my life as it is now, but I will say that the upcoming week offers a welcome change.

That’s not to say that I won’t miss them. Heck, I was teary last night cuddling my daughter before bed. I’ve given my wife a set of seven envelopes, each with a note for my daughter every morning that she’s away, where I tell her that I miss her and love her.

Sometimes as parents and spouses, it’s easy to get lost in those roles, to forget to take care of our own needs. For me, I have a need to spend time by myself. Generally speaking I neglect that need in order to meet my need to be the best (and therefore most emotionally and physically available) husband and father I can be. So, this week offers me the opportunity to take care of myself as well.

You can read more SciFi Dad at Tales From The Dad Side.

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