Parenting Is the Loneliest Job in the World – Babble (blog)

Image source: Serge Bielanko

My kids and I are standing at the bus stop. It turns the corner a block away. It’s a comfortable dependence, in a world where very little ever seems to go as I expect. Everything is as it should be. Violet has her backpack on, her homework done, she’s talking to a rubber snake in her hand. Henry has his backpack on, his hair sort of combed, and he’s kicking dirty snow with his new shoes.

Nothing can go wrong. The day is starting out alright.

Then again …

Henry looks at me and his face is scrunchy. “Dad, I have to go to the bathroom,” he says.

I smile, and try to deter the detour. “Oh man, bus will be any sec. You’ll be okay. You can hold it till you get to school, right?” I say. But his face gives it away. And just like that, I’m a 45-year-old dude standing out on the street in his cheap pajama pants, with a decision to make.

“I…

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