Surprise Visit

My son will be visiting his father in Illinois for the Easter break. We know this, but we just don’t know the exact plans, as Fareed will likely do a fair amount of juggling and cancelling of things to make it happen. We’re never sure until about a week before what the exact plans will be. But we know that Elihu will see his father soon. Didn’t know just how soon til a couple of minutes ago…

I got an email from my almost-ex saying that he arrives at the train station tomorrow at 2 pm, can I please pick him up, then he departs from the Albany airport at around 6 am the next morning. Huh?? Why this crazy, last-minute, unexpected overnight visit that comes with no more than a 24 hour warning?? Well, mostly because Fareed is being Fareed. He is living fast, making up rules on the fly, changing plans and pissing people off along the way, and doing it all with the charm of a super slick salesman.

Ultimately, he is being a good dad. And honestly, I’m pretty happy for Elihu. He will friggin flip to see his father, unannounced, show up in time to attend his third grade concert “Of Mice and Mozart” in which he plays a mouse with a small speaking role – one he memorized the very first time he read it. Elihu sings his Mozart tunes constantly as he moves about the house, busying himself with airplane-related projects. (He’s taken a new and ultra-keen interest in all contraptions that fly; it’s as obsessive and all-encompassing as his love of birds.) So just imagine the moment when an unsuspecting kid gets off the bus to find his father waiting there – the father who lives a thousand miles away and isn’t due to be here for another week yet. Elihu will FLIP OUT. Really, I can’t wait. But first, I gotta process a little exasperation here.

You see, I do have a life. I have appointments, things to do, obligations and such.  Tomorrow I need to be at school at 3:30, as I have a meeting about the upcoming talent show. I’m running it this year along with two other friends who, like me, haven’t the foggiest what this whole project entails. So tomorrow we will be tutored by the women who ran it last year. But I cannot make the meeting on time if Fareed’s train is late – which it may well be. Plus I have to drive my mother to have cataract surgery – and drive her back.  And I’d planned on visiting my bankruptcy attorney somewhere in the mix too. I just don’t see how the hell I can do it all.

I called my mother to vent, but she wasn’t as fazed by it as I’d thought. It’s usually she who fans the flame and gets all worked up by Fareed’s craziness… But she was calm and collected and just suggested that maybe my brother Andrew could go get him. Or get her. Whatever. Not a big deal. ?? A little frustrated by my lack of a good audience, I said goodbye to Mom and then re-checked my email. Fareed had responded. Said he’d been talking to Elihu about these plans. But let’s remember, they’ve got a scheduled visit coming up next week – why should Elihu expect his dad to come out any sooner? Elihu probably thought his father was referencing the upcoming Easter visit. And, uh, ahem, how about telling me your plans ahead of time?  Maybe a quick email to the mother of the child being visited? Whatever. I guess I’ll have to take my mom’s uncharacteristically chill attitude. Fareed even says in his message that he doesn’t want me to miss anything. Hookay. Maybe I’m making too big a deal of this. As long as my mom can get to and from her cataract surgery comfortably, and as long as I get to my after school meeting, then I guess it’s all ok. But still, why couldn’t he have told me his plans just a couple days ago? Sheesh.

I’m not going to tell Elihu. I’m just going to savor that moment when I come to meet him after school and Fareed is magically there beside me. I think the poor kid’s head might explode. I can’t wait.

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