Saturday, October 25, 2014

Separation Anxiety

As teachers, we don't travel as much for work. When I did travel for work, I went away for long stretches but that was pre- kids. I no longer do. Packrat still does so; for conferences, courses and student trips.

So when he had to fly off to Japan this evening, we thought nothing about bringing JED to the airport to say bye. After all, they've been home with just me for close to three weeks without Papa and they were fine.

What we hadn't counted on was that Evan was now old enough to feel the loss of Papa leaving. I recently blogged about Papa being his best friend and while I knew that he was worried about Packrat leaving, it really hadn't occurred to us that he would take the leaving so badly.

First he followed Packrat like a puppy, while Packrat gave instructions to his students. He sought out Packrat to hold his hand or just be in physical contact with him. Then when he saw Packrat's luggage get checked in and he knew it was a matter of minutes before Packrat needed to go through security, his eyes began to redden. I said in an earlier post that Packrat had a good sense of what Evan needed so he disengaged himself from his students and comes round to Evan, swooping all 26 kg into his arms. He whispered a prayer with Evan so that Evan might be reassured that he would come back.

But that act of affection and intimacy set free the flood gates that Evan had been so valiantly holding back. And he sobbed as if his heart had just been broken. No amount of consolation and holding him calmed him down. He wanted his Papa.

My eventual solution to calm him down was to take him in search of supper. That however, worked for as long as it took him to finish his sausage roll. He kept talking about how he couldn't stop thinking about Papa and who was going to help him build his Transformers and talk to him about Star Wars.

I know how difficult and awful it feels when I travel sans JED and I'm pretty sure that if any of JED pulled that on me before I had to go anywhere, I would have willingly given up my plane ticket and gone home.

Hanging onto Papa and not allowing him to work. Perhaps thinking that by doing that, Papa will not leave.

The boys sticking to Papa like glue while Jordan is happy to clown around.

Hopefully the night's sleep puts things into perspective for Evan and that he will feel better in the morning. I suspect the Saturday treat of watching television will help loads. 

Whatever it is, I join him in wishing that the week will pass fast so that Packrat will be back again.


  1. Oh cool you and hub are both teachers! Poor E. Well maybe this time will be an excellent bonding experience with D?