14 days ago I dropped my wife and daughters off at the airport. They’ll return in another 40. It’s a heck of a long time to be home alone, but not without its perks. Last year my girls were gone for two months too, and I missed them more. This time around I think it’s easier because I’m more used to the solitude. Of course I’d rather have everyone here, but this is a good opportunity for my daughters.
They are back in Japan, my wife’s home country staying with her family. They are both in school, first grade and preschool. My first grader Skylee is getting the rock star treatment, complete with a posse. They are in a more rural country town/city, and most of Skylee’s friends have never met someone from America. That doesn’t mean they don’t act like kids on my street. One girl who is particularly enamored with Skylee is becoming possessive, possibly borderline obsessive. When another girl wanted to approach Skylee, she was stopped. “Skylee can’t talk to you, she’s busy,” her friend said.
When my wife told me about this she said, “She thinks she’s Skylee’s manager.” I just hope the attention doesn’t go to Skylee’s head. These experiences will change her.
Four year old Sabrina is having her moments. She can be quite dramatic and stubborn. Last year she cried every day when she was dropped off at Japanese school. This year it’s the same thing, even though she is only going two hours a day. At one point she told my wife, “I should have stayed in America!”
I’m pretty sure that Sabrina would be having a better time here. I’ve been eating pizza and ice cream and watching television and movies on a regular basis. If either of my girls knew, they’d scream, “No fair!” It’s okay for me to become a couch potato. That’s what adults do, right?
Speaking of no fair, tomorrow I’ll play golf in the morning with two friends. This is the one time of year I can squeeze in nine or eighteen holes without feeling a little guilty from self indulgence. I even watched most of Tiger Woods’ US Open victory. I literally tried, somewhat successfully, to schedule a meeting with investors around the Monday playoff.
Then again being alone can pretty much suck too. On Saturday I’m driving out to a small river town beyond the wine country in Sonoma County’s coastal forests to do a property valuation. It would be a perfect opportunity to bring my wife and girls, drop them by the river, and go about my business for a while, then join them for swimming and river exploring. The weather out there will be well into the 80s–absolutely perfect river weather. I’m still going to take a swim and relax by the river for a while when I’m out there, but it won’t be the same alone. If I tell my daughters about this litter excursion you know what they are going to say, “No fair!”
That will be okay too, because I can’t wait to take them to the river when they get back.
Andy Falk is a father of two incredible daughters ages born in 2001 & 2003, Skylee
and Sabrina. Andy is very active in the lives of his daughters, from coaching soccer to supporting them during swimming season to just plain doing homework or hanging out. Andy also surfs regularly, bicycle commutes and is a successful Realtor in Marin County, CA. Andy earned his MBA from San Francisco State University with an Internet Marketing concentration, and holds a BA from the University of California at San Diego where he studied and surfed in the 80’s.