The Circus

      The man cave is by far the happiest place on earth. It’s quiet and relaxing and a place free of stress. I got a call from my ex-wife while I was half asleep and in the depths of a 24 hour virus. Let’s set the tone here and readily admit that I am a bit of a push over when it comes to my ex-wife and daughter. My ex-wife knows that she can get me to agree to anything with a simple look. This woman has no idea how beautiful she is and even after three months of being separated I still see her and my knees turn to mush. When she informed me that the kids wouldn’t have school on Monday or Friday I readily said yes I would keep them. Anytime I get to see my kids is an awesome time. Does it matter that I’m not used to having them over long periods of time? Our weekends together are pure chaos and even the poor dog actually sleeps for two days after they leave.

     The kids get here and Justin and I have to mentally prepare because we know that the peace and serenity of the man cave is going to be drastically altered. It’s like someone has suddenly let a tornado loose in my house. The dog is running through the house with a shoe that my daughter has suddenly thrown and for some strange reason my youngest son is just strolling through the house naked and announces that he’s taking a shower. The rest of the evening whizzes by and it’s total chaos. There are toys scattered everywhere and the calm that Justin and I are accustomed to is all gone.

      Where does their energy come from? Is my ex-wife slipping red bull into their book bags? When they go to sleep my eyes are rolling back into my skull and poor Justin is just huddled in a corner shaking. My daughter has at some point grabbed him in a choke hold and begins whispering; “Go to sleep, shhh go to sleep.” Just when you think it’s over she has him again and this time she’s screaming; “Say I quit fart knocker! Say it.” The youngest boy is randomly running through the house screaming and yelling about video games. If you forget him for a fraction of a second he just starts screaming until you notice him.

      It’s scary because I don’t remember them being so energetic or maybe they were and I was just so accustomed to it that it was just weaved into the very fabric of our family life. To some the chaos that permeates the house when they visit would make most people cry but to me it gives the house much needed character and as I write this I can hear my kids laughing and enjoying being with me and I have to admit when they’re not here I miss the sounds of screaming and even the dog looks bored. I miss being with my kids full time but I also realize that if I were it would take a long time to adjust. I’m talking therapy and Xanax.

     I give my ex-wife a lot of credit for the splendid job she’s doing and I know that the only reason they’ve turned my house into a three ring circus is because they miss me and are trying to cram as much as they can into just two short days. It just isn’t long enough but I am grateful for the time that I have and love all the screaming, the barking and even the dirty dishes that these kids generate. As soon as they walk through the door it’s going to get crazy and ya know I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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