The kids and I were jacking around tonight, as usual. They don't have school tomorrow so it was a pretty laid-back night. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. Alex, aka Fearless, opened the door, stopped dead in his tracks, and then yelled "Daddy!!!!"
I about fell over. I went to the door, and sure enough, Mr. MIA was standing there. I pushed him out onto the porch, closed the door behind me, and proceeded with the riot act. He tried telling me that it hadn't been 4 months since he had been around, and I not-so-nicely reminded him that it was exactly 4 months, as of today.
He told me what has been going on in his life, and while it's a mess, it's still no excuse. I don't care if he doesn't have a phone - he has to drive within a mile of here to go to work and he could have stopped by. He could have borrowed a phone. He could have sent a message with someone. He could have done anything. ANYTHING. But yet, he chose not to.
I pointed out everything that he had missed. Alex's last day of preschool. Our trip to Texas. Our trip to Pennsylvania. Alex's first day of school.
The umpteen times that Alex has asked where he was or why he wasn't around or when daddy was going to come and get him again. All questions that I could only answer with "I don't know".
I told him that if he planned to be around, then there is going to be a set schedule - and that he is going to stick to it. It's not fair to Alex to have him disappear for months at a time and then waltz back in like nothing ever happened. He agreed. But of course, he can't commit to a schedule right now because he just started a new job and is going to school and blah blah blah.
But he'll try.
Finally I let him go back into the house and visit with Alex. Alex was beside himself with excitement and kept telling him "I missed you Daddy. Where were you?" He showed him some of his work that he brought home from school and was just jumping up and down.
He stayed and visited for half an hour or so, then promised that he would be here around 4:30 tomorrow to pick him up and take him for the weekend. But of course, he has no phone, so if he bails, I'll have no way of knowing.
I know I should be happy that he's back around, but how long is it going to be until he bails out again? How long is he going to keep up the charade this time? How long until he decides that he's just too busy to keep his promises?
How long until I have to deal with a little boy with a broken heart all over again?