Next weekend – it could be you!


We Were Fam-i-ly

Weekends to widows are what weddings are to singletons.

But rather than trying to pair you off with the perennially single ‘old friend’, in widowhood everyone looks at you sidelong, hardly daring to ask how you’re going to fill that huge 48 hour void until work-time comes around again and they can stop feeling awkward about the fact that they’ve got heaps of fun stuff planned with their family.

This weekend I was mainly alone with my daughter. Unfortunately my mother (my weekday partner) has a life of her own, and sent me a text from somewhere on the Northumbrian coast to say she wouldn’t be home until tea-time on Sunday.

“Cool!” I replied. “Enjoy!”

The void loomed. I tried to convince myself that it didn’t.

Hey, LOADS of parents are alone with their kids this weekend, it’s not just me! But the evidence suggested otherwise. Everywhere I went, kids with parents. Two of ’em, scurrying round after their progeny with ‘We Are Fam-i-ly’ as a backing track .

On Saturday, I tried to be a ‘good’ parent. I took us for a day out. We got accosted by nature do-gooders and I wound up with a membership to the Wildlife Trust.

Can I be honest here? The reason I did it was not for my love of squirrels, but because the kindly old man showed an interest in us and was nice to my daughter. He showed her a blackbird’s nest and woodpecker feathers. He was a grown, adult male and had engaged me in conversation.

“Family membership is it?” he asked, pen poised over the ‘family’ tick-box.

“No. Just me and her.”

I kept the poor bastard chatting for twenty five minutes, and we were possibly the most grateful new recruits the guy had ever had.

Then came the evening. My daughter and I ate our meal. We went to bed, together, at 11 pm. She high on Toy Story, me low on booze.

And then … Sunday. With Mother not back ’til teatime, how would the day take shape? Friends stopped by. They asked me (sidelong) how I was planning to fill the day.

“My sister has asked us to go to the park!” I replied, gleefully.

Don’t worry, I wanted to say. I know this is awkward for you. But someone else has taken up the slack this time.

But next weekend, look out – it could be you!

17 thoughts on “Next weekend – it could be you!

  1. Weekends tend to suck here, too. They are overrated, to say the least. If I were 18 or 21 again, a totally different story, of course. For now, depression is getting to be a full-time job and if I didn’t HAVE to wander out every few days for Sheldons red leaf lettuce or my cigarettes, I’d NEVER leave the house. Piss on it all.
    Hey…but that is a mighty sweet family picture you placed on this post, my friend. Hang in there…
    XX CJ XX

    • I’m sorry to hear that my friend. Interesting how most people look forward to the weekend, whereas it has become a void for me. Piss on it all is a good way of putting it. You hang in there too. I’m thinking of you. XXX

  2. Weekends are without doubt the worst days. Sundays …. Snooze fest. I invited myself out with my dad and his friend for dinner as I couldn’t face being in all day again. There’s only so many walks the dog will go on. Totally beautiful photo. Xx

    • Ah yes, the extra dinner guest! Isn’t it horrendous though when you’re sitting at a dinner table in a configuration of three – you on the opposite side, facing the couple? I have actually requested NOT to be the spare prick on the other side before, asking pathetically if I could sit as part of the twosome. Bollocks!

  3. I hate weekends too. Used to be our time as G worked away from time to time, so we always made an effort. Now, well I accept any and all invitations to get out the house. Have taken to working overtime on Saturdays, so that’s a few hours I can cross off until its time to open the wine! Gorgeous photo xxx

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