Saturday, November 14, 2009
Something in the way she moves...
This morning I woke up early - not uncommon on these weekends, my daughter and I both fell asleep watching the Wizard of Oz, and my son had wandered off to watch Dirty Jobs - I woke up around 2:00 AM to find him half on the bed, half on the giant red bean bag chair with his glasses hanging precariously off of his head - I shut the television off, moved him into bed, and after a few very tall glasses of cold water, got back in bed - my daughter had rearranged so I ended up sleeping on the last fourteen inches of space (this may sound like alot - but it's not) -
Anyway, I woke up this morning to the two of them playing Beatles Rock Band - it is a nice sound to hear And Your Bird Can Sing at eight am - with the two of them giggling about their inability to move their fingers fast enough - they were eating Ritz crackers (and they knew that we would be at Starbucks before nine am - so the first thing I heard as soon as they saw me was - Let's go to Starbucks Butthorns!) My son, just a few minutes ago, was singing Something in the Way She Moves - and I was prompted to sit down and type on this thing - we are on our way to a busy day of Soccer and St. Augustine, but hearing an eleven year old voice that has not been beaten down by years of smoking or excessive abuse - that was a catalyst - there is something about watching him sing and enjoy and close his eyes and tilt his head slightly, and say "Something in the way she moves...." that is a great motivator - many people who read this thing don't have children - and me, admittedly, have not been the best Dad in the world in the past few years - but spending more time, taking a few minutes, and letting them be with me when they are with me - seems to be paying off - and the good feelings I get from their growth and smiles and tears and innocence is wonderful. I am spending more time with them than I have in a long time - and I like it - I always was a little reserved in the past - afraid that I was screwing them up, making them a little crazy, but the fact remains that they are happy, well rounded, and honest - and best of all - they are not afraid of what they are going to get - they know they are going to get a Dad who loves them, and who wants their time and the truth.
Getting to a place where you are comfortable with your own children is a difficult thing to learn - you see I was never really allowed or strong and independent enough to do things the way I saw fit - there was always a question of my ability to parent - I heard it every weekend, every day, and got the looks and the chiding - it was not the right way or the best way or the proper way - and after a while of that - it becomes hard to do anything - it is just easier to follow, and hold their hands when they want you to, and speak when spoken to. In between Cherry's constant concern, and Christy's constant harrassment about my parenting style (and the never ending conversations between the two of them) - I was not really sure which way to go. Now, I am pretty sure that I was doing the right thing by just being with them, and I was doing the wrong thing by listening and questioning whether I was good to them -
Seeing them now, and their confidence and smiles, speaks volumes to the parenting that they receive - I see them quite a bit - they are in my house at least ten days a month (significantly more than when I was married - when you hated going home, for any reason, it was easier to ignore) - and over the next couple of months, it is going to be about 50% of the time that I get to wake them up, get them ready for school, pick them up, help with homework, fold their clothes, cook their meals, and most of all, enjoy being their father. There is nothing in the world better than that -
It does not come with challenges - and I can see in both Gabe and Gray the tweens are starting to set in, and the peace symbols and funky haircuts and wierd hats are starting to come out, along with the tempermental mood swings - but they still want affirmation that they are okay, that things are going to be okay. I think I can provide that to them - when they are sad or sick or just feeling a little less than zero -
I never knew what it was to be a father until this past year - I never took the time to get out of my head, and into their world - a playful, open, and honest world of raising young strong people who know how to love, how to be a little less critical of things, how to openly explore and be safe. Much of their personalities comes from Christy - their steadfastness, their approval seeking nature, their temperance, but a good portion of their lust for life comes from me - and I want them to foster that seeker in them, and know that what they are looking for is generally right around the next corner, you just have to be brave enough to keep walking instead of resting and waiting for it to come to you.
Thursday nights are certainly made for ruining Friday mornings, but Friday afternoons at the bus stop or at the pickup line - those days are good days filled with good things...
Until next time...