When I went away for the weekend, I missed my wife and kids. Really, I did. A lot. It’s just…my phone and text records tell a bit of a different story. The extra embarrassing thing about the lack of communication with my family is that the reason I was gone was the Dad 2.0 Summit, a conference for dad bloggers. I was there because I WRITE ABOUT MY FAMILY!
It’s no accident that the word “Idiot” is in my blog name. I am kind of an idiot.
It’s boring to get into my travel misadventures, but, suffice to say, it was a clusterf*ck. I was supposed to get to San Diego by 11:00 pm Wednesday night, but after long delays in NJ and weather in San Diego WHO THE HELL HAS EVER HEARD OF SUCH A THING that diverted me to Los Angeles, I didn’t get in until 6:00 am Thursday morning. During this time Allie and I texted back and forth; what was happening with the flight, the crying face of my son at bedtime, the fact that I forgot my glasses and would have to wear contacts all weekend, random messages and declarations of love.
Then almost complete radio silence for all of Thursday. Friday I called and talked to Allie and the kids for a few minutes. After that…NUTHIN! Absolutely not a peep until my Uber ride to the airport on Sunday. WHAT. A. DICK.
Sunday I was so excited to be heading home, I sent a flurry of texts, including a few pics with silly drawings on them.
I eagerly waited for a response, checking my messages every few minutes. I waited for my my beautiful wife, who I love, adore and missed, to write back to me. My flight was delayed and I was bored, so I waited. Why the heck wasn’t she writing? Still waiting. Didn’t she love, adore and miss me? I sent a text with thinking-face emojis.🤔 🤔🤔🤔🤔
I told you, “Idiot.”
The conference was fantastic, by the way. I’d like to start doing more videos for my blog, so I went to a panel that included Meredith Masony (That’s Inappropriate), La Guardia Cross (La Guardia Cross), Kathryn Dickson (Kathryn Anywhere), Mike Granek (Top Daddies) and Jason Kravitz (Lords of the Playground). Damn they know what they hell they’re doing! The panel was insightful and I continued to hunt them down and pester them throughout the weekend to pick their brains (though I didn’t get to talk with La Guardia, whose videos are hilarious…next year). Much to the chagrin of some former Facebook followers, I started getting more political in my writing over the last year or two. There was a panel that discussed some of the pros and cons of posting about politics that was absolutely fascinating. Kristen Howerton (Rage Against the Minivan) shared her story of being doxxed and harassed by the alt-right, simply because she wrote about her children, two of whom are adopted and black (she is white). I also learned some tips and tricks and got into a number of interesting discussions at the intimate roundtable classes; found out who Charles “Peanut” Tillman is (yeah, I’m not a sports guy) and why he’s “comfortable being uncomfortable;” and, most importantly, I got to hang out and shoot the shit with people I’d known for years and others I was meeting for the first time.
Allie would have loved to have heard about it all, while it was happening or, really, at any point before seeing me Sunday night, when I was too exhausted to go into details and mostly just wanted hug my kids and cuddle with them in bed.
Why didn’t I write? Or send a few pics? It would have taken seconds and meant so much to my family. It would have meant I was thinking about them, that I missed them. I was, I did! I swear. I talked about my kids and my wife (okay, mostly I told people about how annoyed she’d been that I got my Mary Poppins parody stuck in her head for a week). And there were things I wanted to tell or show Allie and the kids, but then I’d get into a conversation with someone and didn’t want to be rude; or, because of the time difference, I didn’t want to write too late and wake Allie up with the ping of incoming message; or…some other totally lame excuse. I thought, “I’ll write later.” But I didn’t. Not until I’d already made Allie feel like I wasn’t thinking about her or the kids, didn’t miss them. And that is incredibly shitty.
Even though I was a bit of an inconsiderate a-hole, my family was excited to have me home. After Allie gave me a big kiss she gave me some much-deserved crap; she probably called me an idiot and then (mostly) forgave me. She’s good like that. Still, I felt horrible and wanted to make it up to her. I don’t usually buy my way out of trouble, but I needed to show her how much I care. I wanted to get her something special. I didn’t know what, but figured if I looked hard enough it would find me. And it did. For Valentine’s Day–a holiday we don’t typically celebrate, other than with one odd little tradition we have–I gave her a beautiful locket, so she can always have her children close to her heart. And, of course, show them off to anyone who asks.
I had an amazing time at Dad 2.0 and can’t wait to be back next year. If you see me there, say hi. If I suddenly grab my phone out of my pocket, I’m not being rude. I’m just letting my wife and kids know how much I love and miss them.
Because I am an idiot, but I’m not that big an idiot.