Posts Tagged ‘Childhood’

My intended focus this week was to break down, analyze, and apply my methodology to three single events with the intended outcome of making the correct choice. Do I stay or do I go? I have repeatedly replayed the same haunting moment of seeing my son still and quiet on his bike as he watched me get in the car to go to work. In that moment I could see in his eyes the internal conflict between acceptance and denial that his dad is slipping away. I could see and understand all too well the sadness he was trying so bravely to hide.

It is difficult for me to release my sadness and sorrow through the shedding of tears. The only time the outside world can see what I try so hard to hide, is when I cannot hold back my tears. At that moment, just as in this moment writing about it I cannot stop the tears. Many people say that crying is supposed to be this wonderful release of pent up emotions. It’s not like that for me. Tears feel like razor blades running down my face, slicing through self-denial and exposing my weakness and vulnerability. Regardless of how many times I have been told I am selfish and only think of myself, at the end of the day my meaning in life, and my purpose is to not break his heart. I am well aware I will never win the father of the year award. To be honest with you I don’t even know if I’m a good father. Despite what I am told I know I have always tried to be the best dad I could be.

After the series of events that took place yesterday, or would it be considered today? I haven’t slept for days so time holds no logical meaning. After said events the only answer to my opening question; is to go. There are only so many pieces someone can be broken into before they are unable to be put back together. I now need to come to terms with the sobering reality that I will become in my own eyes everything I ever swore I wouldn’t. I will become my fathers son. I am desperately seeking, yet fear I will be unable to live with the guilt, or forgive myself.

Children are not stone, nor are they steel. They are dirt and clay, molded by the hands of experience. There is no way to reconcile the loss of my son’s happiness and hope due to the harsh reality of my life, which I have viciously infected upon my family. Despite my frequent mental transformations I made the decision to get married and have children; in that single moment I destroyed their lives. I suppose I was caught up in the perceived human need for significance, by my own sense of insecurity. Here is where I cannot deny my selfishness. Broken dolls are meant to walk alone.

In moments like this I want to hide within the minds of Soren Kierkegaard and Albert Camus covering myself in the blanket of Absurdism. Believing all struggles for life is for nothing. There is only birth and death, and everything in between is our feeble attempt to find meaning and purpose. This concept is wonderful, but in the back of my mind I’m burdened with this question. What if birth and death were only two points, that they were inconsequential compared to what happens between them?

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Some of my fondest memories as a child were spent playing, studying, and watching sports. My two greatest loves were football and baseball; but as a child there was just something magical about baseball. I would spend hours either playing or learning about how to play these two sports. I was really into collecting sports cards not only for the pictures, but for the stats on the back of the card. I would memorize the information on the back of these cards. I knew players stats like I knew my phone number. I was amazed at how my brain remembered this information so vividly; yet I could hardly remember anything I learned from school. I had to be taught these sports on my own because my father was never really around and my step-father would rarely give me the time of day. As a child I would watch every game on television I could; I would study batters baseball stances, fielding techniques and the pitchers delivery. I remember playing sick just so I could watch the Cubs play their day games on WGN. I think because there was no one teaching me the game I learned from watching it.

My fondest of fondest memories come from when my dad actually took the time to take me to the baseball fields. I would get so excited and counted down the hours and minutes before we could go out and play. I would carefully pick out various different player baseball cards of players I knew the most about. I wanted to make sure I knew everything about these players so I didn’t waste any precious time trying to remember their mannerisms, and I also enjoyed this time to look smart in front of my dad. Before my dad would pitch to me I would grab a specific card and tell my dad that this is who I was along with some stats about the player. I would make sure I had the stance just right to simulate this player. My favorite was Kirby Puckett with his dramatic leg lift, or Julio Franco with his goofy stance. The one thing I remember my dad saying to me was “why don’t you just be Tim?” I remember thinking he was crazy; why I would want to be Tim when I could be Roy Smalley, Vince Coleman, Tony Gwynn, or Jose Canseco.

When my dad was not around I remember going in the backyard with a pocket full of cards and play homerun derby until the sun set. I would throw the ball high up in the air and try to smash it over the fence. Just writing about this brings such splendid memories to my mind. I loved baseball, and like millions of young children I dreamed of making it to the big leagues one day. I eventually ended up giving up baseball when I got hit in the face while I was pitching. Luckily the line drive was not hit to hard. I only suffered a black eye, and bloody nose but the ripple affect from that day is still with me. I never played baseball competitively after that because I was consumed with fear of being hit with the ball. Over time I stopped following the game like I did as a child. I am now a die hard football fanatic.

I still hold tightly to the memory of pretending to be Puckett while my father pitched to me. I pine over the nights where Wade Boggs would win the homerun derby, and I loved the days of playing sick to watch the Cubs. I miss what baseball meant to me as a child. It was a sport with so much dreams and possibilities. I have tried to follow the game today, but there are so many players who I have no idea who they are let alone memorized their mannerisms or stats. I follow the Twins, but my interests don’t go far beyond that. These memories come back anytime I play with or watch my son pretend to play baseball. To see his face light up anytime he is pretending to hit a homerun, or catch the wining touchdown. I smile and the fond memories as a child return.