Thursday, April 16, 2009

When The Phone Rings

So, parents of young kids, you know that finding time to "get some" with your loved one is pretty hard. Christ, there were times when our kids were very little that finding time to fool around was like orchestrating a landing on the freakin' Moon. Everything-- everything -- had to go right.

Most days, I played it like this. Saturday, mid-afternoon. "Okay, second child is down for a nap (early in sleep cycle, but not too early), first born child perched in front of Barney (early into video tape, but not too early) -- in the basement, where there will be adequate distance from the raucous love making about to occur on the second floor." Sound barriers, check. Better shoot for noise discipline, so I'm going to ratchet down from 'raucous' to 'gentle' or even just 'awake'.

"Next, find wife." Hope she showered since going to work Friday. Don't hold out hope and I'm desperate anyway.

"Apply moves." Given this phase of life, "moves" translates to a head nod towards upstairs. My wife usually obliges -- she likes me. Some days she even takes off her bright yellow rubber gloves that she was wears when she scrubs the kitchen.

"Perform act." No details available.

So this one particular Saturday, we had won the nooky lottery. Our oldest child had goddamn, honest-to-god midday, four hour play date. Our youngest is practically begging for a nap before our Play Date Mom Heroine has even turned the corner of our street. Yeah, she picked up. So second child is tucked in asleep before the front door swings shut and my wife, anticipating the 'moves' has already gone upstairs to primp. Primp! Holy shit, I'm gonna win. I'm a Red Sox fan and I know suffering. This is like my own personal "1918 - in your face Yankees, four game comeback, World Series win" moment, but with sex. I'm gonna win.

So we are at 'it' quick. It's not art, mind you. But it's good. Fun. We are worriers, so the phone is close by and there is an unspoken agreement. If the Play Date Mom Heroine calls to say our child is miserable, we will pick-up. Begrudgingly.

So we are 45 seconds into what promises to be 270 seconds of the best fun we had had together in months when the phone rings. You saw that coming, of course. My wife actually pauses before she lunges for the phone. She paused before she pounced on the phone, at least. She loves me.

"Hello," she answers. She sounds husky. Pause. Recognition. Pause. "Yeah, he's right here."

My wife hands me the phone. Why me? She can tell Play Date Mom Heroine we'll be right over to pick up crying/puking/skinned knee child, right?

"It's Jane W_ _ _ _ _ _ _," is all she says. Jane is my mom's best friend. What the hell is she calling for. I have a conscious thought that I'm not going to get laid after all. I was going to be Billy Bucknered by a middle-aged lady in Maine, for Christ's sake.

"Hey, Jane," I say into the phone. I feel surreal but I don't know why.

"Peter, it's your mom, honey. She's gone." Jane's voice cracked.

So did I.


  1. Powerful stuff, my man. You wouldn't happen to be Irish, in some way, would you?

    "To be Irish is to know that, in the end, the world will break your heart" - Patrick Moynihan

    Great post.

  2. Sheesh- I didn't see that coming.

    Sorry for your loss.

    Good blog, though; I'll be back


  3. Thanks for reading and sharing -
    Not kidding, true story.
    1/2 Irish, so only half a heart will break?
    I'm a total noob...

  4. Oh, the call. I'm so sorry.

    Without sounding callous - this is a wonderful post. "And so did I." is exactly how you feel when that happens.


Please don't take me too seriously.