At 9 o’clock this morning I took my seven year-old daughter to basketball practice. This is her first experience with the sport. All the parents sit along the gym’s perimeter and watch the kids go through their drills. Except me. My daughter doesn’t want me watching.
A Month of Promises (pages 83-84), sentence 11: We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
She’s not embarrassed of me, and she’s not so shy that she can’t participate, and when I sneak a peek later, she’s running up and down the floor dribbling and having fun. But now I have one hour of undefined time, and I’m not spending sixty minutes walking up and down an empty school hallway. And it pretty much goes without saying what I’d be doing in the past.
What it used to be like: being asked to go away was like a gift from the heavens. If my absence somehow helped the situation, I was more than happy to oblige. It was like receiving permission to escape, isolate, and drink.
What it used to be like after I stopped drinking, but before I knew anything: I’d be resentful at my daughter. I’d be angry at the unscheduled time. Self-pity. There was no adapting and adjusting. One hour of pacing and muttering and working myself up into a hot mess.
What it’s like now: Today, I gave her a hug, left and got coffee, listened to the radio and played a word game on my phone. I got gas and returned to the gym’s hallway around the halfway mark. My daughter went to get a drink and spied me through the door. She ran over to me and asked if I’d like to come in the gym and sit down. “You can watch,” she says, “just don’t stare or yell anything.” She made a basket!