Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend Without Mom

My son has felt sad at various times during the past week as he missed his mom who is away for a couple of weeks. But overall he has been doing well.

This weekend, however, his melancholy seemed more prevalent.

It is not surprising that the weekend would be the hardest time for my son. He didn’t have school or therapy to distract him. And it is a time when he usually has some fun with Mom.

It wasn’t all gloom and doom. We did have many fun moments. But, he just wasn’t the same happy kid he normally is.

On Saturday, we went to a birthday party. Kai worked very studiously to make a nice card for the birthday boy.

The party was at one of those places with the giant inflatables. We have been to places like that many times and Kai has always enjoyed it. But this time, he was not nearly as excited as usual. He seemed bored and did not want to do anything. I tried to get him to play, but he just wasn’t very interested. Even on the big slide, he went down just a couple of times.

The only time he got excited was when he got to “box” a boy who had irritated him before when they accidentally bumped on the obstacle course. I had to caution Kai not to get too aggressive, but he took great pleasure in knocking the boy down. Fortunately, the other boy just thought it was fun.

After the party, we went to a favorite miniature golf course. We played all 18 holes, but he just did not seem as excited as he usually is.

This morning, he indicated that he had a stomach ache. I asked him if he wasn’t feeling well. He said he not feel good, but then added that he he did not feel good because he missed Mom. Then he said, “Maybe we should get a new mom.”

I tried to comfort him, letting him know that Mom missed him, loved him, and would be back next week. He replied that maybe we should find a new mom until then.

Later in the morning, we went for a walk at our local nature center.

He picked a dandelion flower head that had turned to seed. He said that you make a wish and it would come true if you blow all the seeds off. I was a bit surprised when he said that he had wished for new crayons. Though, later, he did it again and this time wished for Mom to come back early.

When we came back from our walk, we played a game of 8-ball billiards on the Wii. And while we were playing, he forgot about his sadness. Especially when I lost the game by hitting the 8-ball into the pocket before I was supposed to. I gave a big “Oh no!” reaction and got him to laugh and laugh.

In the afternoon, he went swimming with his mentors from school and they reported that he had a great time.

And then he and I had more fun.

But when I left him alone for a few minutes to begin preparations for dinner, he got dejected again. He came over to the kitchen and had the saddest look on his face as he told me that he really missed Mom.

I comforted him, and told him I understood. But this time I chose not to “silly” him out of his depression. Sometimes, I think it’s okay for a boy to feel sad about missing his mother. I think his psychotherapist would agree that it is better that he feels his emotion instead of hiding it.

Soon it was time for our daily Skype call with Mom.

Kai was quiet at first. He did not want to say much. It was very different from our first Skype call where he was so happy to talk with Mom.

But we stayed on the line a long time, and eventually he talked more. He started acting silly. He was more himself again.

I think it helped for him to see and talk to Mom.

And after the call we had a nice dinner. He laughed a lot. We had a nice evening.

My hunch is that the worst is over. During the week he will be busy, and by next weekend he will be looking forward to Mom’s imminent return.

Which is not to say that he won’t feel sad sometimes. I’m sure he will.

But the Skype calls help. And time passes. And then Mom will be home.


  1. Poor Kai. However, he will soon know the sweetness of a loved one's return!

    1. Yes, he will really appreciate it when Mom is back.

  2. awwwwww this was such a sweet post
    looks like you are holding the fort great though
    I think your point about processing the emotion is a very good one

    1. I think our natural instinct is to try to make the child feel better, but his therapist explained that Kai tends to suppress his feelings, and that it is valuable to help process his emotions.

  3. Sounds like you are both surviving even though mom is missed! And you should be proud of yourself for being able to be a single parents for a few weeks. Some dads could not do it!

    1. Betsy, I would not want to be a single parent all the time, but I feel very comfortable taking care of Kai. I can't fully make up for Mom, though.


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