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“Alright, Grant, you be good, have fun this weekend. Love you, buddy.”
He gave Grant a kiss then exited the backseat. Waving as he watched the grey Ford Escape pull out of the driveway, he instantly felt a weird sense of freedom that wasn’t common in his day-to-day life.
Grant’s grandparents had come into town for their yearly, booking a hotel nearby to spend time with him. Normally, on the rare occasions he wasn’t spending a weekend with Grant, it was for pre-determined plans like a wedding or his upcoming golf trip. This absence of child, however, was unique in that he couldn’t remember the last time he had a childless weekend with no plans whatsoever.
He walked inside the house, sat on the couch, and clicked the power button on his phone. 4:30 p.m. Friday.
I’ve got a whole weekend. I can literally do anything I want. This is incredible.
Twenty minutes passed, and still, he found himself stuck to the couch.
I can do anything but have no clue what to do. Absolutely have to take advantage of this. Can’t spend the entire weekend just binge watching Band Of Brothers for the 150th time.
The pressure to make up for weekends of doing nothing started to gnaw at him. He fired up the group text and typed away.
“Grant just got picked up, won’t be back until Sunday morning. Meant to get at y’all about this earlier, but what’s we going to do this weekend? Leo, you’ve got a tee time, right? I don’t mind hiking up to Austin. Mark, you figure out if you’re coming down yet?”
His failure to remember to grab a tee time hit him like a ton of bricks when he’d realized that he’d failed to remember to book a tee time upon learning of his childless weekend, but was confident that Leo predictably have his weekly 9 a.m. at the local muni. His phone lit up.
Leo: Not this weekend dude, Sarah and I have that wedding in Houston, remember? We’re sitting in traffic headed that way right now.
He regrouped. “Yeah, that’s right I remember you saying that. Try not to spill wine on Sarah’s dress this weekend, I think that’d make it three weddings in a row if you did. So Mark, you headed down?”
Mark: Sorry daddy, no can do this weekend. I won’t be leaving the office until at least seven tonight, and tomorrow I’ve got that member-guest tourney that my buddy invited me to at that CC I’ve been looking at joining. Too good an opportunity to pass up.
Drew: Why don’t you just come up to DFW? We’ve got softball all weekend, but you could just come hang out and get shitfaced.
His weekend with the boys was crashing before his eyes, especially knowing that Tubbs was out of the country on vacation with his wife. It was time for a desperation play.
“I’m not driving to DFW. I wouldn’t make it there until late tonight and I’d have to be gone by the asscrack of dawn on Sunday. Frank, we hanging out this weekend?”
Frank: Idk man I’ll be at the office for most of tonight and almost all day tomorrow.
He shook his head then typed back, “Frank, umping softball doesn’t count as ‘at the office’ my guy. Just let me know when you’re free.”
Two hours later, as he drained his third IPA of the night, turned on his Fire TV and started Band Of Brothers.
The Saturday morning sunrise began to creep into his windows. His eyes flickered; he pressed them shut and stretched out wide while still laying down.
Damn, feels so weird to sleep in.
He leaned over to check his phone. 7:14 a.m.
Today was the day. No child, no plans. He was going to make shit happen, friends or no friends.
The biggest drawback of spending a majority of his free time with a four-year-old while also working from home was that he was lacking in any adult friends in his area. All his friends from high school had moved away (besides Frank). On Friday he’d typed then deleted multiple emails to one of the not-so-weird dads from Grant’s soccer team to see if he wanted to play golf on Saturday, but couldn’t bring himself to send it.
After making himself a luxury breakfast for one (eggs, bacon, biscuit with butter and a cold brew), he sat silently sipping his coffee, being pulled at internally by fifty different things.
I could make it a lawn day, make a Home Depot trip and get that shit looking pristine… but I could do that with Grant around. Maybe try to hop onto the course somewhere? Even at the muni, that’s going to be tough. Maybe just go to the range?
So many options. He turned on Saturday morning coverage of the PGA Championship and began to ponder.
His growling stomach woke him up. Lying down on his couch, he grabbed the remote and clicked the guide on his TV. 3:37 p.m. Most of the day so far had been spent flipping between baseball and the PGA, with little couch movement. So far it was hard to tell what the real highlight of the day was; witnessing a hole-in-one, or the massive sandwich he’d made himself for lunch.
I can’t believe I haven’t moved all day. That nap was glorious though.
Some FOMO started to creep in. Not the normal FOMO that riddled him constantly when he’d see his childless friends weekend exploits, but something different. He felt like he was really wasting an opportunity.
Often he lamented the lack of down time and options that came with parenthood; naturally, he wouldn’t trade Grant for anything in the world, but his care meant much less of the personal entertainment options available to his childless peers came his way.
Am I about to waste a whole day?
Then, an epiphany.
Wait a minute. When is the last time I slept in without a kid waking me up? Or just sat and drank my morning coffee in silence? When is the last time I laid on the couch all day and took an uninterrupted nap? Holy shit, today was glorious.
New optimism filled him. Today was really exactly what he needed. R&R? Absolutely amazing.
However, it was worth one more shot to get out and do something, and not stay shut-in for the entire time he was childless. Pulling out his phone, he scrolled his contacts until he found Megan. Besides some light texting after getting her number on a night out with Frank, he hadn’t really shot his shot.
He began typing. “Hey, I know this is late notice, but any chance you’d want to grab a drink tonight?” .
If you’re enjoying following “PostGrad Single Dad,” be sure to go listen to the latest episode of “The DadGum Podcast,” live on Grandex Labs.