At 8pm, Korean Airlines landed at JFK, bringing with them a passenger by the name of Ann Faranda, who happens to be my wife, business partner, and mother of our 4 children. We had to endure a week in her absence while she was in Seoul to bury her father and support her mother.
It was not easy on anyone, especially Ann and her mother. My in-laws were married 48 years; Ann is an only child. My biggest problem was playing Mr. Mom for a week and keeping the train rolling. As I wrote in Facebook:
The dumbing down of parental competence in Ann's absence: Start the day with 4 kids, end it with (the same) 4 kids.
Ann missed Luke's First Communion, which was a bummer. I did take lots of pictures though.
I had many people helping. Tiffany (Aunt Tiffy) Pratt was Mary Poppins much of the week. Aunt Melisa made copious amounts of decadent food for us.
I also was quite grateful to Max for being the eyes in the back of my head when Gregory, our fence climbing autistic 5 year old was playing in the back yard. At this point, watching the children (and corralling Gregory away from the fence) is 2nd nature to that dog. Even the baby sitter, who preferred that he be in the basement while she was here, loves him now.
But all that pales in the absence of Mom, and we all missed her. I kept everything together as best I could, but single fatherhood is not a sustainable model for this guy. I couldn't blog; I couldn't get out much; I was on the cell phone putting together a deal Thursday with Luke's cub scout den meeting to my left and 3 kids on a jungle gym to the right. It was nuts.
So, happily, we were all reunited yesterday evening, and the children were still awake when we arrived home around 9:30pm.
Ann spent about an hour buried in her children, and my domestic self stole out to replenish the kitchen, which I now know better than before.
Jet lagged or no, Ann got some sleep last night (14 hour time difference), and today was a new day. The kids awoke to Mom again. I didn't have to bolt up to prepare for school. I think with the confluence of Mommy's return and a weekend, it was as if someone pressed the Easy Button. I don't feel like the cavalry rode in (hell, I'm the damn cavalry) but I do feel like the marines finally dropped much needed ammunition and supplies after a week of improvisation (note to self: improvisation not a sustainable business model-blog about that soon). I am incredibly honored that my father in law bequeathed his Rolex to me.
We are at full strength again. I can go back to blogging. I can get out on a backlog of appointments to see properties now. I can go back to Big Picture things now that the admin is set in place. I can meet with Clients who need me. I am dog tired but I feel like I could play tug o' war with a horse. We'll rest this weekend, however, and resume normal craziness Monday. But it is true, in our business and in my family: There is no place like home.