Nerf Guns & Army Guys

7/5/20 Sunday

Just dropped Day off at his mom’s for the week. For now my time with him is over. Nerf gun battles, jenga blocks, lincoln logs, army guys, camping, fireworks, swinging in the new hammock – now just memories. Sunday handoffs are the hardest, it’s a time of transition, a time of change from being a single dad to just being….single.

after-the-rain.org / Empty hammock

Coming back to an empty house is hard. It’s tempting not to clean, not to do the laundry, not to eat. With no appetite I struggle to the kitchen and whip up a big slab of halibut, caesar salad and leftover mashed potatoes from yesterday. Feeling better, I can pause to think, and clumsily put together a post to reflect on the last week. My ideas crumble though, and am left with just a few thoughts of the present – It would be nice not to have to work this week. I have an overwhelming urge to climb a mountain, to sail, and to have a cup of coffee with a woman. My soul needs to connect with the world, to feel its love and pain wash through me like a wave.

This pressure won’t be contained forever. At some point I’ll need to break free, to stop fighting the current and flow with it, to resume growing into the man I was meant to be, with or without someone new in my life. Tonight I’ll do what I can, which will likely be stretching, breathing exercises, and reading before bed. I’ll do what I can to move through these hard days. I know I’m too sentimental. One thing I won’t do just yet is put away my son’s toys. I need that connection, even if it’s just to a memory, just a few more minutes..

after-the-rain.org / Nerf guns and army guys

Author: Rainey

after-the-rain.org What started out as chicken scratch notes on the back pages of my boat’s logbook has now grown into a blog. These words and images help me cope with a loved one struggling with mental illness, and they help guide me through divorce, and the process of moving on. Thanks for reading along as I learn about life the hard way, do the best I can for my son in my new role as a single dad, and find weird similarities between restoring an old blue water sailboat and putting the pieces of my own life back together. Come check out my story and feel free to say hi!

18 thoughts on “Nerf Guns & Army Guys”

  1. Hi Rainey, I read your post as I woke up and it made me cry! I know you can’t see it now because of the pain, the loneliness at times and the longing, but you are a fantastic person and a really attractive guy (hope a married woman is allowed to be this honest) with plenty of life, adventure and excitement ahead of you. As Dwight said, keep the faith, keep strong. If I was closer, I’d be honoured to have that cup of coffee with you. Here’s to better days! ☕️🤗

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  2. I understand…At first when we split up, the kids spent the weekends with their Dad and I had them for the whole week because of school and the bus situation. But at first those weekends were long for me, home in the house alone. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to go out really, although occasionally I’d meet up with friends at someone’s house. Fast forward to after the divorce and he moved away so they were with me which was good. I was even a short-lived empty nester with both sons away at college for a time too.

    It takes getting used to slowly. I understand about leaving the toys out. You’ll break free when you’re ready. In the meantime, healing takes time and your ‘growing into the man I’m meant to be’ is inspiring. Best idea ever because that’s how we heal.

    Cups of coffee are a great ice breaker…

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    1. The thought of asking someone out again gives me butterflies, in a good way. We’re gearing up to start the final part of the divorce, then maybe I can see if there’s anyone out there who likes coffee and doesn’t hate boats.. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

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      1. Take your time. I have butterflies too and it’s daunting, but exciting. Coffee is neutral so you can relax and just get to know each other. And make sure you’re healing so you don’t bring the baggage with you into the next relationship. I learned that so I’m passing it along to you. 🙂

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  3. That’s funny, I used to work at a middle school in Japan but had never heard of bo taoshi – I had to look it up! By the way I’ve never been one to discriminate regarding me being younger than someone, but if yer married, mmm well we’d have to settle on being friends I guess 😉

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    1. Now you have me curious. When were you in Japan, and where were you teaching? 日本語はできますか?
      Japanese middle school… I’m suddenly picturing the boys sagging their gakuran, and sukeban seifuku from the late 70’s. Mercifully, I missed both trends.

      Bo taoshi is the only school sport I know of where the ambulance is already there when the match starts.

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    2. Bo taoshi is the only school sport I know of where the ambulance is already there when the match starts.

      You’ve got me curious. When were you in Japan, and where were you teaching? Middle school… I’m picturing the boys sagging their gakuran, and late 70s sukeban seifuku. Mercifully, I missed both. 日本語はできますか。

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      1. Sorry your comment went into a spam folder so I didn’t see it right away, musta been the Japanese. I’m super rusty but I think that means nihongo dekimasu ka. If so the answer is sukoshi, very very sukoshi. I taught English in ‘96 and ‘97, in a little town by the mountains in Gifu-Ken.

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    3. My apologies… rewrote the comment figuring I just pushed the wrong button. Feel free to delete one. Probably the Japanese.

      Gifu… cool. Picturing thatched roofs, and winter at Shirakawa Onsen. The “Lost Decade”, interesting… You’re probably close to my husband’s age. That’s about the time I was working with “Jim” in Seattle.

      My dad was Japanese, and mom was from the US but lived in Japan for fifteen years. We relocated to the States in ’75. I had to recover the Japanese when I was older… told that it sounds a little like I’m from Osaka.
      (*⸰‿-)

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      1. I love talking about Japan, I really miss it. I lived in a tiny town called Godo cho in Anpachi gun if that means anything. Where do you live now? By the way when I used to speak a little Japanese, people would say it sounded like a girl speaking Osaka ben, whatever that means. Zen zen wakarahen!

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    4. I had to look up Godo-cho. I have old friends in Osaka and Okazaki, a couple of acquaintances in Nagakute, and I’ve ridden the bike loop around Biwa-ko. But aside from the Tokaido Shinkansen, that’s the closest I’ve been on the ground.

      Born in Tokyo and lived there until I was five. Grew up on the California coast south of San Francisco, so culturally I’m “American”. But I have a koseki registry, which makes for a nice passport situation. I kept a place in Katsushika-ku until just a couple of years back. Actually kinda’ missing it lately. Presently in northern Nevada. You can look under the “Snow” category and probably figure out where.

      Girly Osaka-ben… I get it. I’m a Kanto speaker, but I think American inflections tend to sound Kansai regional (emphasize the first mora). I have the same quasi-Osaka sound when I’m not… careful. You were probably also hearing Kansai expressions there, “ee-yan” vs “ii-ne” (like), and “honde” and “sonde vs “soshite” (and/really). Americans’ lazy ending moras can also sound a little “girly”… “Sou yo nee!” It’s always a little amusing to meet some badass US Marine who speaks the Japanese he learned from his Okinawan girlfriend.

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