I have always known I’d be doing the work of a parent. This is where I belong. I’m a good Dad. This is what I know before I hear it, and I believe that when you know something before you hear it, that is why you are in the world. Despite this knowing, parenthood isn’t what I thought it’d be. Not so far.
Here are my reflections:
- Parenting is burning black holes in our dark memories. Parenting is an opportunity to relight the candle and find our shadows on the wall.
- Parenting has led me to discover my biological father whom I met at 36. This deepened my understanding of fatherhood by offering me a different perspective of the Dad I’ve always had.
- I didn’t think I’d be a single parent. Being a single parent makes me reflect about my winding road with Love. If I wasn’t a parent, I’m not sure my heart would have reconciled its feast of losses.
- I never thought I’d be separated, and barely know my oldest son who lives in another state (although we’re making progress).
- I didn’t think I’d be living paycheck to paycheck, or feel as if I’m a flat tire away from disaster. I have learned how to make it work. Not just with a tight budget, but in every instance.
Yet, these realities set in motion my resolve to make amends with it all. The buck stops with me. That means a lifetime effort to bring awareness of, and scrape off the sticky spots on the tread of my soul. Especially when it gets messy. Because parenting, if anything, is carrying the weight and never stopping. Each step is a journey. Going all the way is a promise.
Nothing brings me more joy than parenting. I have faith in myself as a parent to Ben, Ella, Lucan and Ada.
The developers straightened out Rivers
to make room for houses. Sometimes the
rivers flood these developments. But
it’s not really flooding. It’s remembering.
It’s returning to its rightful place because
water has perfect memory. It will forever
try to get back to where it belongs.
Love is that way too. Love gets lost.
Love reappears. Love remembers where it was,
where it came from, its trials and tributes.
Love remembers the rocks in the river,
the angle of sun’s light and route back home.
Just like water.
Ada’s mom was pregnant with her when we broke up. It was a painful time period. I was angry. Nothing was certain. Even the rights I had taken for granted as a father with her siblings, Ella and Lucan, were put into question.
I wasn’t at her birth. I will always feel hurt about that. It took almost two years before we gradually made it to 50/50 parenting time.
Every visit was precious in those early days. I summoned all of my “be present, be patient” mojo hoping to accelerate our bond.
At bottle time, I’d caress her forehead, sing her the “Daddy Loves You” song and pull her close into my warmth. That became our thing.
She’s almost three now. Our relationship has caught up. We’re on par with the other two.
Today, she brought me her empty bottle, “Num nums Daddy.” She watched me fill it then took my hand to lead us to the rocker.
I caressed her head and sang her the song, our familiar love ritual now.
I’m proud and grateful for how things turned out for us. We love each other.
I’m also grateful that her mom and I have grown to share our joy for the children together. It makes the difference for all of us.
Being literate of our social responsibility, of social media, news media, all media, politics, advertising, race, gender, first and second amendment rights, the history of our country – even the weather – requires an unprecedented level of intellectual maturity that I often see usurped with an audacious moral high ground that sprawls into every crevice of our living, that even the bedtime stories I tell my children are no longer politically or socially acceptable.