in the no man’s zone between Daddyland and the world beyond

Tomorrow I leave Daddyland.  The border check will be when I buy my monthly subway pass, I suppose.  For now, I am in a kind of no-man’s land – two days of alone time, waiting around for any emergency calls from my son’s daycare.

They call it “in schooling” and I’ve been doing it for weeks now.  But finally the little guy had to go for longish days – dry runs, so to speak – leaving me alone at home in a disaster zone.  We are switching bedrooms, giving the kids the big one, and taking the tiny one, in yet another attempt to double down on the tiny apartment, after a summer of space in the Swedish forest (more on that later, probably).

But I’m not cleaning because two days of silence is to be treasured.  I had plans but instead I have just laid in bed, not depressed, but reveling in it.  The silence was stressful, actually, my head spinning in the sudden freedom of my thoughts, uninterrupted by a toddler holding a book or a preschooler wanting to play “dead fish” (that game is way cooler than it sounds, a NK original).

I’ll actually have more personal space when I leave Daddyland.  But somehow in the chaos of my 18 months here (between two kids over three years) I’ve come to a sort of spiritual peace, I’ve prioritized my life in a way that soothes me, not producing anxiety or doubt, I’m fascinated by the whole idea of redefining masculinity and fatherhood, and I started really writing again.

Not bad for time dominated by sand boxes, baby food, 4am wakeups and, through the long winter, slush.

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