Day 23: Something that you miss.

Having things that we miss seems to be embedded deep within human nature. Though I did mention in my Day 10 post, “The Opportunity that Got Away” that I am not one to holding on to things, this is different. It is also, sadly, apropos, for many of the things going on right now. I would say that one of the things that miss the most is childhood.

Not all childhood. But, as should be expected of me by all of you by now, a finely narrowed part. I miss the carefree way we used to be as children. I am not talking about how we, as adults, now have bills, jobs, and responsibilities. That is lame. Being an adult is awesome. What I am talking about, what I am missing, is how the world felt.

I miss the ways that things once were.

Being able to stay out until the streetlights came on. Running barefoot in the grass at a park. Walking or biking wherever I needed to go, because all that I wanted to do was within that distance. Collecting up a book, a snack, and sitting in the arms of a tree. Loosing myself into the world contained within the pages. Snatching up a baseball glove and instantly having a pickup game. Walking in the woods with my brothers, finding bones and snakes, but mostly adventure. Things were different. They were better. There was a purity in the time that encapsulated all of society.

God, I sound old.

However, every day when I come home from work, there is a moment. The same moment that I spoke about in my Day 4 post, “Your Favorite Time of Day”. As my ears fill with the screaming laughter of my children, and I succumb to the endless hugs and kisses, I miss those days a little less. I see, often, that I am doing what I can to make THESE days better for my children than those days were for me. I know that this means something more. That someday, there is a chance that my children will look back on these days, and miss them. But I doubt that they will miss these days as much as I will miss having these days with them.

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always

Day 14: An Item That Gives You Confidence

Let’s go way back. I mean WAY back. My first Christmas. It was 1981 and I lived in Boise Idaho. Understandably, I had no conceivable idea what was going on. To be frank, I do not remember this day. However, there is one thing from this day that I still have. Rather, it belongs to someone who needs it more, but we will get to that in a moment.

Buffy.

For 35 years this beloved stuffed dog has been by my side. Almost every trip to the hospital (usually for stitches) she was my bedfellow. Every illness, from the sniffles to croup, she was my comfort. Even as I grew up, she was always there. In fact, much to my own amusement, she deployed with me, every time. Countless hours have been spent talking through problems, dealing with heartbreak, and being my silent journal. The secrets I have spoken to her, will never be told.

But, she is no longer mine. When my daughter went in for her first Cranio surgery, Buffy and I had a long talk. I told her that she had gotten me this far, and needed to trust I could carry myself from here. The night before we went to the hospital, I was sitting next to Zoey’s crib, tears running down my face. I knew that Buffy did such an awesome job keeping me alive, and being there for me, and that my daughter needed her more. I left Buffy in her crib that night. All of my love, tears, joy, fears, my heart is embodied by this raggedy stuffed dog.

Buffy was no longer mine.

 

The next morning, Zoey had Buffy in her arms. When she was taken back to surgery, Buffy was in her arms. While I was writing This Room, feeling empty and void of joy, Buffy was right next to my daughter, because I could not be. Since that day, the bond between Zoey and Buffy regales the one we shared. Every trip to the hospital, Buffy is there. When Zoey is recovering from surgery, or sick and hating the world, Buffy is there.

It is my hope that long after I am gone, and Zoey has become the amazing and beautiful woman she is destined to become, that when she misses me, Buffy will still be there.

 

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.

Our fathering footsteps.

Many of us know the poem “Footprints”, for those of you whom do not, feel free to read it.  I was reading over this poem today as part of the self-study that I am trying to do in order to ready myself to be a father. This poem was one that was recommended to me by another father with the premise that I was to read it and think of a child and their father as well as a person and God.  I know that the basis of my fear is stemming from my inability to KNOW that I am going to be a good father.  I have been told, time and time again, that this is a good thing.  There is a huge part of me that wants to unleash a primal scream about that, but I will address that later (perhaps in the next post).  When reading over “Footprints” I was reminded that, as a father, I am to be a reflection of God’s relationship with us in the relationship with my children.  The meat of the poem, or at least the part that I want to talk about states:

“This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints”.

The poem goes on to talk about how the reason that there is only one during the rough times is because we are being carried by God, whom is walking alongside of us during the good times. Can I really do that for my children? This, my friends, I believe is the core of this fear. Looking back at my rough times I can see that my father was there, lifting me through them. I started thinking about my childhood and my father. After all, the only example that many of us have with the job of being a parent is our parents. So, I took stock in my life, in my experience’s, in my up’s and my downs. I recognize the fact that when it comes to the males in our society (I say males here because as I have stated previously, it takes something to be a man) that I have a bit of an unfair advantage. My parents were the best parents that anyone could have asked for. I am not talking about the “Leave it to Beaver” style of a home here. I am talking about affection, interaction, being there at games, spending time, parenting, love, compassion, genuine interest, and the host of other things that fall into categories much like these. It is because of this that I have nothing but fond memories of my Dad. There are the multitudes of times that we (brothers included) and our father went out to play catch, or to work in the yard. The camping trips and summers out at our grandparents’ farm. The countless skinned knees and lost games, and I am sure that there were some games that were won as well. The report cards and the “last minuet” science fair projects. The broken hearts and the lessons learned. I can only hope that in this chance at being a father that I can be the father that mine was to me.

Perhaps it is something in the way that we were created that we are always supposed to feel inferior. But, I have been fortunate enough to have a great role model that at least I have an idea of what it will take to be a father that can lift my child in all of their times of sorrow. By the way, just in case I have not said it, or have not said it enough, thank you Dad. Thank you for being the best you could for me. Thank you for the time that you have spent, and most likely will continue to spend, making sure that you are there for me, even when I do not think that I need it.

I AM GOING TO BE A DAD, I am scared out of my mind, and I hope that I can be as awesome as a father as mine was to me