Start of my Journey

Today, on December 3, 2023, Austria wore a snowy blanket, setting the scene for an extraordinary day—the day I’d meet my beloved son after three weeks.

Last week, Arad had to stay home battling a cold, keeping him away for three long weeks. His absence added an extra layer of anticipation to our meeting. The weather forecast threw a curveball with a heavy snowstorm altering train schedules, prompting cancellations. Undeterred, I decided to brave the storm in my car, determined to bridge the snowy gap between Tulln and St. Valentin, where we could revel in a night of joy together.

Road map from St. valentin to Tulln
Road map from St. Valentin to Tulln

The journey, theoretically an hour and 20 minutes, turned into a challenging odyssey. The heavy snow had turned the highway into a perilous territory, marked by numerous traffic accidents. About 10 kilometers from Tulln, a makeshift rescue road emerged. Drivers, creating a path for firefighters and rescue vehicles, navigated through the snow-laden chaos. Elsewhere, snow removal machines diligently worked to clear the way. The journey, slowed by these obstacles, found me arriving in Tulln about 30 minutes behind schedule. A quick message to Arad and his mother, notifying them of my delay, was a small price to pay considering the safety on treacherous roads. Some unfortunate souls across Austria found themselves stranded on highways for hours, a testament to the severity of the snowstorm.

When I finally met Arad, his first question was why I arrived late. Explaining the challenging road conditions, I felt fortunate to have reached safely, escaping the fate of those involved in accidents along the way. Arad shared that, in my absence, he spent his time watching trains at the station. As we embarked on our journey, I inquired about his health, considering he had been unwell the week before. He filled me in on his school adventures, revealing that they had delved into the letter D in the alphabet while attending school only on Thursday and Friday, opting for rest at home during the remainder of the week.

He grabbed his favorite blanket and drifted into a peaceful sleep during the journey, the rhythmic hum of the tires against the snowy road serenading his dreams until we reached the city of Saint Valentine. The heavy snowfall persisted on our way back, painting the three-lane highway white and forcing cars into a synchronized dance at a cautious 70 or 80 kilometers per hour—a stark contrast to the usual Austrian autobahn speed limit of 130 kilometers.

A son’s infectious joy

Upon returning home and shedding our snow-covered layers, Arad burst into a bout of enthusiastic jumping. After a brief flurry of excitement, he settled on the sofa and, with sparkling eyes, requested his cherished cartoon. Hungry from our snowy escapade, he asked for a snack, and I quickly prepared some pasta, providing the perfect fuel for an evening of father-son bonding. Dinner was a cozy affair, accompanied by the animated tales on the screen.

Post-dinner, our playful spirits took center stage. We revisited the puzzles from the previous week, injecting our own creativity into the experience. The world map adorned the puzzle, featuring diverse regions and their corresponding animals. Our game involved me describing an animal’s color or habitat, and Arad, with an idealistic flair, skillfully guessed the creature. His victories were plentiful, a testament to his unwavering enthusiasm and penchant for doing things impeccably.

Arad Playing world Puzzle
Arad Playing world Puzzle

As the evening wound down, we settled into our nighttime routine. I read a bedtime story to Arad, the words weaving a gentle lullaby as we prepared for a night’s rest. Arad’s cozy air mattress awaited, a comforting haven for dreams to unfold. In the quiet of the night, the snow continued to fall outside, creating a serene backdrop to our shared moments of warmth and joy.

Arad, with his typical curiosity, inquired about the air mattress, wondering if anyone else ever slept on it. I reassured him, saying, “This mattress belongs only to you. Whenever you’re here, I inflate it, and it’s yours alone.” That night marked a rare occasion when I slept beside my child, finding solace in his presence. Arad has this remarkable ability to dispel any worries, allowing me to drift into a peaceful sleep. Having the most important person in my life by my side creates a profound sense of ease—an emotion, I believe, every parent can empathize with.

A Sunny Sunday

Sunday dawned with Arad’s boundless energy, and he roused me from my slumber. After a hearty breakfast, our playful antics resumed. Arad had a novel idea for the puzzle—taking pieces out and challenging each other to correctly place them in one guess. Points were awarded for every accurate placement, and, unsurprisingly, Arad triumphed. Our home, despite lacking an abundance of toys, transformed into a realm of joy through simple creativity. The joy of a good playmate, it seemed, surpassed the allure of the most expensive toys.

The partly cloudy sky and falling snow presented an opportunity for a new adventure. Stepping outside, we envisioned creating a miniature snowman and engaging in playful snow escapades. The chill in the air did little to dampen our spirits, and laughter echoed within the confines of my modest home. As I prepared dinner, Arad was engrossed in his favorite cartoon—a soundtrack to our shared moments.

creating a miniature snowman with Arad
Creating a miniature snowman with Arad

Toward Tulln!

As evening fell, we donned our winter gear to embark on the journey back to Tulln city. Aboard the family wagon on the train, Arad rejoined the company of other children, enjoying his favorite program together. The previous day’s heavy snowfall had taken its toll on the tracks, causing intermittent stops and a half-hour delay. Our train, journeying from St. Valentin to Tullnerfeld, necessitated a change at an intermediate station to reach Tulln. However, the unexpected delay posed a challenge, and we struggled to catch the connecting train on time.

Train Delays continues even for my return trip (From Tullnerfeld to St. Valentin)

The intricate dance of a family’s past

Life, as beautifully intricate as it can be, dances between moments of joy and those shadowed by sorrow. This last part of our day ventures into the more dramatic threads of my life’s tapestry.

The subsequent train was fashionably late, testing our patience with each passing minute. While we waited, I dutifully informed Arad’s mother about the potential delays caused by the snow-covered roads. However, her response, as anticipated, carried the weight of anger and frustration. Her messages conveyed blame, humiliation, and threats—an all-too-familiar script played out with a domineering tone and a lingering sense of vindication.

Yet, as the snow continued its silent descent outside, a somber undertone infiltrated our cozy haven. The echoes of a strained relationship with Arad’s mother lingered—a dance of control and punishment that had woven itself into the fabric of our shared history for a decade. Her need to assert dominance, to enforce her interpretations of life, stood as a poignant reminder of past bitterness. It was a role she had consistently played, a boss who believed in retribution for any perceived deviation from her wishes. My attempts to bring peace to her mind and our family had fallen short.

I’m haunted by memories of a year and a half ago when we sought the guidance of a renowned psychologist in Vienna. The sessions were initiated primarily to address her struggle with anger management—a decision she made herself, acknowledging the need for change. I took charge of scheduling and attended each session diligently, hoping for a breakthrough. In the aftermath of those therapeutic conversations, life seemed to take a positive turn, if only temporarily. Yet, as the sands of time trickled away, we found ourselves ensnared once again in the familiar patterns of our past.

I totally understand her struggle with anger, a product of a turbulent childhood as the fifth child in a sprawling family of nine in a distant village which was a formidable adversary. Raised in an environment where battles were fought with tenacity and force, the echoes of her upbringing reverberated in her daily life. My empathy for her journey mingled with the weariness of enduring the brunt of her anger. Before our paths diverged, I, driven by a yearning to salvage our family for the sake of our son, sought the counsel of another specialist. Couple therapy, a beacon of hope, was embarked upon. Despite my insistence, a plea fueled by the desire to forge a united front for the well-being of our child, she abruptly terminated the sessions, plunging us into the inevitability of separation. It was a painful chapter, one where the pursuit of reconciliation met an impasse.

Acknowledging our imperfections, I find solace in the recognition of the myriad moments, both joyous and tumultuous, we weathered during our marital journey. The tapestry of our life together, woven with threads of resilience, speaks to the complexity of human relationships. As the train approached Tulln station, the atmosphere shifted. I adorned Arad in his warm clothes, wrapping him in the muffler, scarf, and hat, cherished souvenirs from his grandmother in Iran. These items bore the weight of nostalgia, emblems of a childhood that transcended borders. A kiss and a promise marked our farewell, a short goodbye that carried the anticipation of reuniting in the next two weeks. The snow, a silent observer to our shared stories, continued to blanket the world outside, its hushed presence emphasizing the emotions and complexities within.

If you like this post, I would recommend to take a look the my memory about reunion and adventure a day of father son bonding.

Also, I would be happy if you read more about our other journeys while giving your heartwarming comments:

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