Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Official Day of Letting Go

     I can remember when X was a only about a month old, I would carry him around with me everywhere I went, those days are pretty much over. It seems unfair that after 5 plus years of me being able to hang out with him all day, I now am unable to. I know that I still have weekends, vacations and summer, but it is not the same, similar, but not the same. I also know that I just need to take advantage of every moment that I do have with him, I know all these things, it still sucks.

The night before his first day of school I told Sarah some feelings I had that have been eating at me. Feelings like, Did I do enough, I could have done more, I didn't take advantage of every opportunity, I shouldn't have yelled/scolded him so much, was I too hard on him, I could go on forever. My biggest issue is that I work an afternoon shift, so I was able to play/hang-out with him for 4-8 hours a day, depending on what was going on that day. Now I am reduced to my days off, and weekends. I have had lots of time to think about this, for example on average I would spend 53hrs. a week with him, again depending on the situation it could go up as much as 80 plus (Vacations) or as little as 30 (Crazy summer weeks with lots of OT and no days off work, rare but it did happen). Now on average I will see him an average of 35 hours a week, I am not one bit pleased with that. especially when you consider it may be less.

His teacher will see him about 35 hours a week guaranteed, Sarah will see him about 44 hours a week; again her hours are dependent on the situation. I told Sarah all of this and jokingly said "That means no slumber parties at friends houses and no hanging out with anyone but us, he has to stay at home until he has graduated. Part of me wishes I could actually do that.

What I didn't realize is that with him officially starting school, it also marks the official day we have to start letting go, or releasing the grip we have on him. I know it is good for him so he can see we trust him, and so that he is able to become the person he is suppose to be, his "own Man" for lack of a better term. This time has made me realize even more, how every second counts. It has also made me understand why so many people are hurting in this world.

What I am referring to is the Missing Father Role. Too many men not in the lives of their children for various reasons, too many to list, and quite frankly 99% of them no good. I say 99% due to circumstances that cannot be prevented or helped, such as death, military service or unwanted separation to name a few. Most of the excuses I have at one time or another used myself, I don't want you to think I am pointing a finger. Please keep in mind that this Blog is filled with my personal thoughts and is not aimed to be a soapbox to rip into people. It is not my intention to preach to people, or tell people they are dysfunctional in one way or another, I am only thinking outside of my head.

But it makes more sense to me as to why children, teenagers, young adults, adults, and seniors are so hurt. The role of a father, and to be brutally honest the role of a parent, has been reduced and we as a society have allowed other people to take its place. It is no wonder why our society is the way it is, we are all hurt. I love my father, he is an incredible man, but he will be the first to tell you that there were times when we were growing up, that his role was drastically reduced. That is one thing he reminds me of a lot, I can hear him "Daniel, don't get stuck being a work-a-holic, I was and I can see you going down that path". I tease him a lot because he lets the kids get away with things we would have never been allowed to get away with.

As much as I hate to admit it, with age comes wisdom, and I think he has realized that not many things are worth getting worked up about. He is always telling me, "They're kids, let them be", 80% of the time he is right. I need to let my kids be kids and enjoy them for what they are, a gift and a reminder of what is really important.

If you have kids watch them, if you don't, watch someone else's, just don't be creepy about it or the Police may be called. The one common thing about children is their desire to be loved and accepted by the ones they look up to and love the most, their Mommy and Daddy. Too often I only give a few minutes to that request and continue doing what I was doing. I pray that I would stop and love on them, play with them and actually be there for them. The dishes, work, yard work, friends, alone time, can all be done later, they will still be there 30 years from now. Your kids will be gone, off to college, busy with life, or married before you know it, so enjoy every minute, because no amount of work, or best friend can give you the same kind of devoted love as a child.

I'm off to play with the Twins

1 comment:

  1. Seriously, letting go is so hard. At least we have friends to go through this with!