Posts Tagged ‘Kids’

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
Scott Adams 

This makes me think of the movies “Pay it Forward,” and “Evan Almighty,” which happens to be two of my top 200 movies of all time. I know you may be thinking 200 is an odd number to have, but it is what makes the most logical sense. “Pay it Forward” is great, because it shows the ripple effect over this one boys acts of kindness. It amazed me how many lives were changed over those three little actions. “Evan Almighty’s” primary message, is how we can all change the world with one act of random kindness at a time.  These movies made me think of what role I play in acts of kindness; besides “The Bucket List Foundation” I do very little to better my fellow man. I write about how greed keeps us from thinking about the needs of others in our society. I do not consider myself a greedy man, but I wonder why I do not practice what I preach.

I think one of the reasons for this, is I have not been in a position to really execute these acts of kindness. I am aware, that what I am in a position to do is acts of kindness towards my family, but I even find myself having trouble with this. My doctor says this can be attributed to my Anti-Social Personality Disorder. I actually had an opportunity to display an act of kindness, but I passed on the situation.

I went to get our morning coffee, and there was this younger gentleman with a makeshift duffle bag made from a bed sheet tied on all four sides. He said he needed a ride to Mystic Lake Casino, so he could catch a bus into downtown Minneapolis. He said he only had ten dollars on him, which wasn’t enough for the cab fare. He went on to say he had a pretty bad fight with his girlfriend, and he had to quickly get out of the house before there was a domestic violence issue. I honestly told him I just didn’t feel comfortable giving a ride to someone I didn’t know.

As I was preparing my coffee I kept thinking to myself that I should give him a ride to help him out, but then my other side was telling me this was a bad idea, because he could take my car and rob me, or possibly worse. I think this is a key reason why people hesitate to help out those in need. It saddens me to say but the society we live in today is violent, and void of morals. You really cannot tell who you can trust and who you can’t. I think because of this people are hesitant to do the right thing. It would have been so easy for me to do this guy a solid, but this voice in my head was telling me he can’t be trusted.

What interests me the most is the ripple effect random acts of kindness can have. It is amazing to me how the smallest things have such dramatic effects way beyond what we even realize. This makes me think of the butterfly effect, and how the most minor trivial changes can drastically change the future as we know it. It would be amazing to do a social study on what would happen if every citizen made it a priority to do one act of random kindness a day. Would this mass ripple effect alter the outcome of the human race? How much would our society be altered if we all made this a priority?

I want to do my part and better society and my fellow man, but I am at a loss for how to do it. I suppose this can be done through my foundation, or I can start looking for the smaller things. I believe the message in “Evan Almighty” was focused on how the main characters acts altered his family. Evan was so focused on his work that he neglected his family. In the end his journey was one of creating a stronger family unit. I stated earlier, how I am in a position to give these acts of kindness to my family. I think this is a great start, and in reality should be my top priority over anything else. I would imagine these acts towards my family would have a massive ripple effect, even more so than giving that guy a ride.

Now that I think about it, I do perform random acts of kindness, anytime I am on the floor in the nursing home. I go out of my way to interact with the residents here, and I always leave them with a smile on their face. I know I leave them with a feeling that they are valued. You would be amazed at how this vital human need is lacking in our nursing homes. I can do my part everyday I come to work, and in all my interactions throughout the day. I can do my part by strengthening my family unit, and by nurturing an environment built on unconditional love. Maybe this is the simplest way to change our world.    

God asks Evan “How do we change the world.” Evan answers “one single act of random kindness at a time.”

 Evan Almighty

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I was going to write about my oldest son today, but I am just filled with to much internal conflict, and yucky emotions. My daughter (B) had one of her monthly visits with her mom yesterday, and as usual it didn’t go to well. I am disturbed over this whole situation. I know I have written about this several times, but just writing about it eases some of my intense emotions over this subject. I am also frustrated over the next “Dylan Thomas” book I am writing, which is causing me to feel torn over what I want to do with this blog. I think I may need to take a step back and focus on this book, but I have a hard time letting this blog go.

Last night when B was dropped off from her visit with her mom, she ended up crying for over two hours, because she was so upset and hurt over her moms’ refusal to let her see her sisters. I am not really sure how the conversation over this came up, perhaps B just asked her mom again why she can’t see them. When her mom started seeing her again she told B that she wouldn’t be allowed to see her sisters until she agreed to see her step-father (Fuck Face.) B wants nothing to do with FF because of all the shit he has done to her. The excuse she gave B last night was she can’t see her sisters because she doesn’t want to “separate” FF from their two girls. This probably means the same thing, just worded differently, but that is not how B understood it.

B told her again that she doesn’t want to see FF, so does this mean that she can’t see her sisters until they are 18. Her mothers’ response was “well looks like you will just have to wait then.” She couldn’t stop crying, she said she doesn’t even know what they look like, and if she saw them walking on the street, she wouldn’t even recognize them. She said she doesn’t understand why her mom is doing this to her, and she can’t deal with how painful this is. She then uttered a phrase I had hoped none of my children would ever say; she said that she hates her life. I know pre-teen and teenagers utter that phrase often, but I could tell by her pain that she truly meant it.

Needless to say this caused me to see red. I am very protective of my children, and the fact that someone is causing my little princess deep emotional pain, just doesn’t sit well with me. I have grown so sick and tired over how much agony her mother has caused her over the past six years. I just simply can’t understand how her mother can so easily hurt her without even a second thought. B has been put through tremendous pain over this situation, but I have never seen her cry and hurt so much as I did last night. I was enraged over this; I did the impulse thing and texted her mom. I told her “I hoped I was wrong about religion, because I know there is a special place in hell for sick twisted people such as yourself, and hell is exactly where you belong.”

It is bad enough that her mom shows no interest in her life beyond there two four hour visits a month, but not allowing her to see her sisters is just plain evil. B is so sick with depression she didn’t even want to get out of bed this morning and felt so sick she didn’t even want to go to school. I am waiting for a call from the nurse to come pick her up. I really should have just let her stay home. I feel so powerless over this, and I want to fix this for her, so she doesn’t need to hurt so much.

I am also torn and frustrated over the “Dylan Thomas” book I am working on. I had already decided to not write a blog post everyday so I had more time to work on this book, but I am finding this is not curing the problem. Writing these books is rather difficult, and requires much more time then I have. The problem here is, if I have time and I can’t find the magic then I end up just staring at the computer. I need this magic to write these damn things, and it frustrates me that I cannot just summon this magic at will. I am only four pages in and even this has taken me four hours. The “Dylan Thomas” format is written in four or more line stanza’s where the last word always rhymes. Writing a learning book in this style is very difficult. I captured the magic yesterday, but lost it in short order. I was devastated over this, because I have been trying to conjure up this magic for over a month. To have it, and then lose it is tearing me apart.

I am thinking I may need to put my blog aside, so I have more time to work on this book. I will still try to write posts when they come to me, but I am not going to make this a priority right now. This makes me a bit sad, but I need to get these books off to an agent. I have a better chance of success with the DT series than I do with this blog. I apologize to my regular readers, but I promise I will write at least one post a week.

I am a Staffing Coordinator at a nursing home in Minnesota. My main job function is to ensure we are fully staffed twenty-four hours a day. One of my many other responsibilities is managing our lodge employee program. Lodge employees are people who work at the nursing home and live in one of the lodges on our campus. This lodge is a housing unit for people in recovery, many of which are homeless. These individuals, after their first thirty days of sobriety, are then allowed to come up and work at the nursing home as monitors. I can name about a dozen people who are here for a few months, try to go out on their own, then relapse and come right back. Then there are the guys who I see once and never see them again. I feel for these people, and the lives they have chosen. I grow fond of some of them, and try to be there for support, and tell them about my own personal recovery. I root for them hoping they can beat their addictions and enter back into society with a place to live. I look at their lives and it makes me grateful for who I am and what I have accomplished in my life thus far.

I had one of my lodge employees come talk to me over the winter. This guy has been one of the best employees I have had in over three years. He came to me one day to ask me for advice. His dilemma was whether he should leave the lodge and grab his fiancé from another sobriety/homeless shelter in Minneapolis, take the money he has made working here, and go back to St. Cloud to live in a motel. Being that it was winter, he was concerned about what he would do when he ran out of money. He told me it would be almost impossible to find a homeless shelter to live in up there. He said he felt content and safe at the lodge and is going on two years of sobriety. His fiancé, on the other hand, was staying somewhere in Minneapolis where they will hold a bed for her as long as she volenteers as a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army. She does not like where she is and is trying to pressure this guy to leave. He wants to stay here until springtime because he says it’s a lot easier to be homeless when the weather is nice. I offered some programs he could check into but I really wanted to shake this guy and tell him there are so many options out there for him, he doesn’t need to be homeless. I advised him to stay where he was at and encourage his fiancé to do the same.  

This got me thinking of my own life and how truly lucky I am. I have a beautiful, healthy, and wonderful family. I have a stable job, although not what I dreamed I would become; it pays the bills. I live in a beautiful home, there are times I just stop and take a step back in awe seeing all that I have. There is always food on the table and we feel blessed knowing our kids will never starve. Although I do not place a high value on possessions, we have many things people only dream of. We are able to spoil our kids for Christmas and even though we live check to check, we manage to survive month in and month out. These are all blessings I have been given, which I am sure any of the guy at the lodge would give anything to have. The problem is, I don’t always realize how truly blessed I am, it is as if, I almost forget how great I have it (this is usually when ego takes over.) I will at times take for granted the life I have and the people within it. I just grow comfortable with my situation, I do not take the time or energy to realize and reflect on what I am thankful for. In this situation I  take for granted the things and people I have in my life. I do not express enough how grateful I am to have everything that I do.

Considering my severe mental illness, and my personal battles with addiction, I could realistically be any of these guys over at the lodge, or perhaps even much worse. I wish I could take all the credit for this, but my beautiful wife has been my guiding light. Even in my darkest hours her love, compassion, and just plain giving a shit, has always lead my way home. She has always seen me for the man I can become, even though I have shown her the opposite. My children give me the motivation to become a better father than I have ever had. I have wonderful mother, supportive siblings, regular readers, a killer children’s book series, a great home,  cool shit I never thought I would have. I have kids who love and think the world of me, a great dog (not my first choice but I have grown to love him) and I am one of the few people out there who can say they found and married their soul mate. I may not always see it, but I love my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  

As for the gentleman I mentioned earlier; sadly he did not take my advice. He left two days after we had our conversation, and I haven’t seen or heard from him since. Wherever he is, I hope he can find the same happiness I know today.

As a father, I have always wanted my boys to be just as I was as a child. I want them to prosper on my good qualities, and be absent of my bad. I had so many fun experiences as a child, and I want the same for my kids. I was the type of child who loved sports; I would play football and baseball outside for hours with the neighbor kids. There really was nothing as exhilarating; like a pick-up game of no pads tackle football. I would never do this now mind you; I am far too old and way out of shape. If we were not playing sports I was playing G.I. Joes with my best friend Andrew, we could play G.I. Joes outside for hours upon hours, but for some reason our “wars” always ended up in a fight. If we were not doing these things, we were just outside exploring the neighborhood, and playing miscellaneous games. The funny thing is, as much as I want them to have a childhood like I did; I do not let my kids do half the things I did as a child, in fear for their safety. There is no way I would let them play tackle football without any pads, and I would never allow them to wander and explore the neighborhood like I did as a child.

When I became a father to Austin, he was 3 years old. I wanted him to love football and action figures just as I did, but he really wasn’t into it very much. He also was not big on playing outside with his friends. He is more of a home body, but I am very proud of him, for his intense dedication to football and working out. I must note I am perfectly fine with him being a home body. I think about what I was doing at fifteen, and I can tell you I was out doing very bad things. I felt sad, because I thought he was missing out on all the fun I had as a child. I was confused, because I figured all kids would act and live the way I did when I was a young. My youngest son Dylan, on the other hand is a spitting image of me as a child. This fills me with such joy and such fear.

Once Dylan puts on his football pads and jersey, he will have me set the timer for sixty minutes, and he proceeds to play a complete imaginary football game. He throws the ball around, and catches it; if he is tackled he violently throws himself to the ground. During his imaginary game he does his own play- by-play. He loves it when you sit and watch him, while he plays out this pretend game. When football season is over he turns his attention over to baseball. This kid is amazing, because at the age of six he watches entire baseball or football games. He sits and watches how players pitch or hit, and tries to emulate their movements, just as I did as a child. He is great at reading offenses and defenses during football games. He is also good at calling balls or strikes during baseball games. When I pitch to him he is able to identify the movement on my pitches. He sits and plays entire games of Madden with such joy. I am so proud of him for his intense interest in sports.

He also just recently got into action figures. This Christmas he received a ton of G.I. Joes, and loves to sit and play with them. I am taken down memory lane every time I sit down and play with him. I remember all the characters from my youth, but I am a bit disappointed with how they changed their design. I also don’t understand why they don’t offer more characters. It seems to me they just keep making the same ones with different looks. When I watch him do his thing I see myself playing twenty-three years ago. Like I said earlier this fills me with joy, but I have not yet touched on my fears.  

I was a really naughty kid, and a handful as a teenager. Dylan already shows signs of anxiety and ADHD behavior. My daughter Brianna is also showing signs of anxiety. If they are not properly stimulated they get out of control. I look at Austin, and I am filled with hope; except for his lack of interest in school he is the perfect kid. I am a bit fearful of how Brianna or Dylan will be when they hit their teenage years. I worry if they are not properly stimulated; they will end up going down the path I took when I was younger. I suppose it is karma; if they are a handful. I am sure I deserve it considering what I put my mother through. I just worry about my kids overall quality of life, and the repercussions of my actions and my DNA will be the downfall of my kids. I do not think this is fair. Why should they suffer for my bad karma?

My daughter is in the sixth grade, and she has now started to “date” boys. Nicole thinks she is way too young to be having boyfriends, where I feel it is normal and harmless behavior. I remember when I was in sixth grade, I had girlfriends and it seemed to be, a normal practice at this time. Sixth grade is just a time where boyfriends/girlfriends are just the in thing to have. She has taken the next step in life, and this is part of that next step. The question I pose today, is if she is too young to have a boyfriend?

I think the whole thing, is all innocent at this time in her life. The biggest events, which seem to happen, when you are boyfriend and girlfriend at this age, is hugging and holding hands. She did have one boyfriend, this year who wanted to take that next step and kiss, but she was not ready to do that, so he broke up with her. I am happy that my daughter knows her own comfort level and boundaries enough to say no. I have noticed, that they tend to throw the word “I love you” around the day they start to date, which at first bothered me, but then I thought back to when I was young, and that word was thrown around all to casually. These kids have no concept of relationship love, so I am not really concerned over them using the word, because it means nothing.

I also think, dating must be normal at this age, because they have started doing school dances. I again, think back to when we started doing school dances, and one of the thrills was asking girls to go to dances with you, which is what they are doing today. You would think as her father, I would be freaking out over all this, but I am really okay with the whole thing. It is not, that I am not protective of her, because papa bear syndrome runs rampant with all my children. I guess, I just see this as normal innocent behavior for a sixth grader. When I think back I was actually “dating” in the fifth grade, and I am sure things have not changed much from then to today.

I am sure as time goes by, I will be less and less okay with her having boyfriends, considering as how things progress physically as they age. I was a bit nervous, but excited when she had her first kiss, but I will not feel the same when it comes to her first French kiss. Anything after the French kiss completely terrifies me. I think I may get her a chastity belt when she turns thirteen. I may think this behavior is all innocent and fine now, but I can guarantee you as she gets older I will become the dad who holds a shotgun the first time I meet with her boyfriends.

So, which one is it, should she be allowed to date, because it is a normal right of passage at her age, or is this completely inappropriate? As I have said, in looking back at my childhood, this was all normal behavior, thus I am totally okay with what she is doing.

It has been two years now since my daughter has been allowed to see her sisters. The first year made sense as to why she didn’t see them because she wasn’t seeing her mother aka Satan. She has now been seeing her mom for a year and her mother is still not letting her seem them. Satan’s reasons for why she can’t see her sisters is because her husband aka Fuck Face is not allowing her to see his kids because he is scared she will bad mouth him in front of them. He will only allow her to see them if he is there to monitor the visit. The problem with this is my daughter doesn’t want to see him, because she is angry and terrified of him for the things he did to her while she was living with them.

When her mom decided to start coming around again Satan told her the reason she can’t see her sisters is because for the first few visits she really wanted to reconnect with her before her sisters were re-introduced into the scene. The visits would come the visits would go, after awhile my daughter started asking her mom when she could start seeing her sisters again. Satan’s response was she could only see her sisters if she agreed to see FF at the same time. When we first started hearing about this ultimatum we knew it would only be a matter of time before Brianna caved in and agreed to see him.

During their last visit her mom brought up a concert that they were all going to attend on her visitation day. She said that Fuck Face and her sisters would be there and asked Brianna if she wanted to go. When she came home that night she told us about the concert. She said she didn’t want to see FF, but wanted to go because there was no other way she would be allowed to see her sisters. When we went to court the judge was adamant that Brianna should be allowed to see her sisters right away, and that my daughter and her mother should go through therapy together before FF is even introduced back into the situation. Both her therapist and the judge agreed that because of everything that happened Brianna shouldn’t have to ever see FF if she didn’t want to. This is what pisses me off because Satan is forcing her to see him, and using her sisters as the bait to achieve this end.

Later in the week Satan sent an e-mail to us asking if she could keep Brianna later on her next visit to attend this concert, but failed to mention to us that FF would also be attending this concert. Ever since the last run in between my daughter and FF I have made it crystal clear to them that Brianna is not allowed around him. We are now in a pissing match over this topic. I told her mother that if FF wants to really make this work, then let her see her sisters with just her and her mom for a few visits then he can be added to the visits as long as it is in a public place. Satan’s point is that she can do whatever she wants whenever it is her visitation hours and I have no say in this. My stance on this is Brianna does not want to see him, but wants to see her sisters. She should be allowed to see her sisters first so she feels safe and secure before she is exposed to FF. I know she is going to feel very uncomfortable the first couple times she sees him, and I do not want these emotions to get in the way of the joy of finally being able to be reunited with her sisters. Brianna deserves to be herself, and if he is around looming like a prison guard she will feel very uncomfortable.

I don’t know what to do here. I don’t want to be the reason Brianna can’t see her sisters, but it is also my job to protect her. I know FF doesn’t want to see her; he has made it clear time and time again that he doesn’t like her, and she is excess weight keeping them from having a perfect family unit. Both Satan and FF were perfectly fine not ever seeing Brianna until they found out that with custody change they would have to pay child support. Ever since then they have been working hard at trying to make things go back the way they were. The sad part is they are holding her sisters as a bargaining chip to achieve this end. Brianna is only eleven years old and to be manipulated in such a way almost tops all the dirty shit that went on in the past.

I think one of two things is going to happen; first she will either hide the fact that FF will be with during her visitation hours, or Satan will now start to blame me for why Brianna can’t see her sisters. I think she will bring FF around without telling me, and I really cannot say anything about it. Brianna doesn’t want to see him she wants to see her sisters, but her mother has made it clear to her that she will only see them if she sees her husband. I think she has finally been worn down by her mother’s ultimatum.

Tell me what you think of these songs:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise thee, we bless thee.” From Gloria Canon

“We are marching in the light of God” From An African Celebration

“Let us sing altogether to the Son of God. He is born as our saviour and redeemer. Come see the Christ child in the manger. The sweet little babe, Christ the King.” From Psallite

“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of hosts. Holy, Holy, Holy God of power and might. Heaven and earth are filled with all your glorious works. Blest are they who worship in your Holy Name. Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of hosts. Holy, Holy, Holy God of power and might. Holy, Holy, Holy evermore the same.” From Sanctus

So what do you think of when you read these lyrics? Would you say these are religious songs? Would you come to the conclusion that perhaps these songs would be sung in a church? I come here to you today as a pissed off parent to find out these very same songs were performed by my daughters PUBLIC school choir. I was never informed and there was never a permission slip given to me asking if I thought this material was okay. I never received anything from her school. I did not find out about this until I was sitting in the stands and the program was passed out.

I was immediately outraged by this! I could not contain my emotions. I expressed my frustrations to my wife which started a separation of church and state debate in the stands of the auditorium. I am sure the parents sitting around us were either offended or amused by our banter. In my opinion this shit does not belong in our public schools. This is a clear violation of separation between church and state. You can clearly see these songs are religious based. The lyrics do not try and hide there purpose. It is just BAM in your face. I wanted to get up; grab my daughter and pull her from this performance. I will be contacting her school today. But wait it doesn’t stop there!

I was chatting with my daughter one day afterschool and she was telling me about how in social studies they are learning about Judaism. She recanted the story of Moses and the Pharaoh and the plagues that came to the Egyptian people. She went on to say Moses parted the Red Sea in order to get away. She then explained how Moses reached Mount Sinai and spoke to the burning bush, and about how on the top of the mountain God gave Moses the Ten Commandments written by Gods finger on two stone tablets. They were teaching her this as if it is a fact not a religious belief. I am all up in arms over this. I was irritated when she was telling me about this, and I had to immediately correct her and explain that these events are not real facts they are a man made fairy tale. She has been my daughter long enough to already know this to be true. I think these songs really pushed me off the ledge.

I really want to call her school and confront the principle on this subject. I will try to refrain because I am not sure how articulate I will come across. Now back to the debate with my wife. She was telling me I am an extremist in my views and that I am a hypocrite because I am making such a big deal about this. I am not sure if she really gets my point. Here is my stance. I do not think kids should be exposed to religion until they hit the age of reason. At this point I am all for them seeking out faith if they so choose. If my daughter is fifteen and chooses to go to church I will support her. If she chooses to become a Muslim I will support her. If she so chooses the Tao or to believe in nothing I will support her. Of course I would love to expose her to my belief system, but that goes against what I believe is right for my children. I do not think exposing children to religion is the right thing because their minds are not fully developed and frankly they are gullible and will believe just about anything.

My youngest son (6) has been recently talking a lot about God, Jesus and Heaven. I am not sure where these ideas are coming from but I am not okay with this. He has been told this by someone and now looks at it as a fact. I mean c’mon this kid still believes in Santa Claus so that about says it all. I made a mistake with my daughter. She used to go to this Christian daycare center and was exposed to religion. Every time we talked I had to reprogram her to set her straight. I told her these things are fairy tales and are false teachings. I succeeded in swaying her away from Christianity. She really enjoyed the movie “Religulous” which makes me think she is probably an atheist. This point is where I can see I am hypocritical. I didn’t want to do the same thing to my son so I just tell him that this is something people believe, and is not rooted in any logical form of thinking. I really doubt he understands what that means, because he still believes in Jesus just as much as he does Santa Claus. I would love nothing more than to start schooling him in Taoism, but like I said this goes against my belief system.

All I know is I am pissed about her social studies class. Something should have been sent home informing the parents what they will be teaching when it comes to religion. I am also pissed because her choir teacher should have sent something home asking the parents if they are okay with this material. I am a firm believer in the separation between church and state. God has no place in our government and sure as shit has no place in our public schools.

Every time I think I can no longer be surprised by my daughters’ mom Melissa Fleury, she proves to out due herself. This is the first time I have used her actual name in a post; as you know I have been lovingly referring to her as Satan. She was supposed to pick my daughter up for their four-hour visit two Sundays ago. It was my wife’s birthday weekend so we were not sure if the change would work or not. I told her I would let her know Sunday morning if we had a change in plans. I texted Satan in the morning letting her know she could take her. I never received a response back so I kept checking with my daughter to see if she had heard from her. It was getting close to the pick-up time so I decided to ask my daughter once again. She told me that her mom text her and can’t see her this week because she was up all night praying and is too tired to visit. Upon hearing this I was a bit shocked, but then started laughing over the absurdness of the excuse.

Melissa is a perfect example of religion gone wrong. She has always been in my opinion lacking normal intelligence. Because of this void of a brain it had been difficult dealing with her in the past, but once religion got a hold of her it totally twisted her up. Throughout the whole time she wasn’t seeing her daughter she often referred to how God was trying to “teach” my daughter a lesson by not allowing my daughter to see her and her sisters. She has referred to how she has been praying that our daughter would just admit that her husband was not mistreating her when in reality he had. It just amazes me how a semi-functional human being can be totally misguided by faith. She has gotten to the point of extremism.  

It is because of these things and others I had to stop them from talking on the phone without it being monitored. When she wrote her final letter to our daughter saying she was no longer going to see her anymore she stated how she had to pray really hard before the answer came (I am assuming from God) to her which was to no longer see her. I am not a Christian, but I am pretty sure God would not condone a mother abandoning her first-born daughter.

Either way this woman is insane. To say you cannot come and see your daughter because you are hung over from praying is just borderline psychotic. She still had to get up and take care of her other two daughters, but couldn’t take four hours out of her day to see her first-born child, which is much easier to care for then her younger daughters. The sad part is my daughter thought this was a normal acceptable excuse. I know she has come to grips with the fact that her mom is not a very good mom, but still. I think part of the reason she wasn’t coming was because there was a Green Bay Packer game on Sunday night. Her husband (Fuck Face) is from Wisconsin so he makes a big deal out of these games. I think he didn’t want to have to watch the girls so he made Melissa stay home. It has been one year and eight months since she has seen her sisters and this would have been a perfect time to allow her to see her them. I know my daughters’ youngest sister was just a baby the last time she saw her, and the other was only two. I am pretty sure they are unaware they even have a sister.

I am on the fence whether she was really up all night praying and was too tired to come and see her. The excuse just seems so out there and unbelievable… which is why I tend to believe it.

I started writing and never finished a post last week about how thankful I was for not being consumed by a deep depression for some time. I feel like it has been a lifetime since I ventured into the darkest regions of my shen. I should have knocked on wood, because since yesterday I have steadily crept into a downward spiral of darkness. I am trying my hardest to lighten the blow, and recover before it gets to bad. During this depression free time I have by no means been stable. My moods have been all over the place for a few months, but I have been void of any out of control manias or crippling depressions. The times I had hit a small mania or minor depression I was able to quickly rebound from it. I was considering myself lucky, until today. I do not know exactly what is wrong with me, but all I want to do is crawl into bed and cry.

I have been sitting here in my office trying my hardest to fight back the tears. I think this episode started when I was looking at a new picture of my youngest son on my desk. They did this new style at his school this year which I am really digging. I must say this is the best school picture I have ever gotten. I just got lost looking at his picture, when all of a sudden tears started welling up in my eyes. I was a bit overwhelmed by this since I am not one to cry. If I were to guess; I would say I only cry two to three times a year. I at first thought these were tears of joy, but then I was slapped with this gut wrenching sense of guilt. I started to look into myself to figure out why I am feeling so much remorse. I started to do some deep searching and came to the conclusion my guilt lies in my failures as a father.

I am by no means the worst father, but I can guarantee you I will never win father of the year. I have made many mistakes as a father, many of which I would sell my soul to take back. It is not like any of my mistakes have been ones of violence. I have been angry as hell at my kids, but would never harm them. The things I wish I could take back are the many small things that equal up to the big things. As I sit here reflecting, the only conclusion I come to is I have not been a good enough father. If anyone out there is a parent you can understand the tormenting feeling this reflection will cause. There is one thing in life you should not fail at, and that is being a good parent. I wonder if my kids were asked “do you have a good dad” would they answer yes without hesitation or would they need to think about it? I believe they would need to give that one a second thought.

I am trying to take inventory and convince myself I am a good father, this is becoming increasingly difficult. There may be a thing here or a thing there I do well as a parent, but I seem to fail everywhere in-between. I feel like I am not there enough for my children. It is so hard for me to just be in the moment and enjoy what I have. I am always lost somewhere inside my mind. I am either focusing on my writing, sucked into a down causing me to be emotionally unavailable, or I am consumed with distracting mania (my children’s favorite mood.) I feel like I do not give them the attention they deserve. I have cut the amount of time I spend writing by 75%, but still feel like I am a stranger to them. I feel like I have been in this cycle forever where I am only partially available. My mind is so scatter brained all the time it is hard for me to focus on things. I tend to get distracted off into so many different directions. I never feel like I am just right where my kids need me to be.

I am feeling such intense guilt over all the times I have yelled at them. There are so many better ways to speak to your children, and I take the cowards copout by reacting with the only emotion I feel comfortable expressing. Inside I am by no means an angry person. I am normally very Zen, but the minute I feel any negative emotion it comes out in anger. I cannot cope with these deep scars I have, and instead of feeling through it I lash out. I think this is a defense mechanism I developed long ago. I hate myself for not having the commonsense to just walk away and collect my thoughts. I know what it feels like to grow up with a yeller, and let me tell you it is horrible. The thought of me speaking to my children the way my step-father spoke to me makes me want to vomit. I try to make myself feel better by saying “all parents yell at their kids from time-to-time,” but this is not working. I feel like I have become the one man I despise more than anything, the man who traumatized me as a child. If I am doing the same things to my kids that he did to me, then reason would conclude I am him. I cannot deal with this reason. I cannot cope with this reality.

I just want my kids to be healthy and happy, and I worry they can’t be healthy with me around. I have failed them in every single way I possibly can. I am having a really hard time with this. I can almost feel the pain I have caused them, and it is ripping my insides apart. If they even remotely feel the way I think they feel then what the fuck am I? What have I become? I should have learned from the mistakes of my parents, and not followed in their footsteps, but somehow here I am. I try so hard to change these things, and I may be straight for a few days, or a few weeks, but then slip back into my old self. I hate my old self. I find it very hard to think of anything positive to say about my true self. I find it inconceivable my children love my true self. This actuality makes me cry in my office.

Friday was my sons’ very first parent’s day at school. He was so excited for us to come to his kindergarten class and see what he does in a day. When we arrived to his school we saw his class lining up outside getting ready to go inside. When he saw us he got this huge nervous smile as we enthusiastically waved to him. Immediately there was something that caught my eye; I noticed one of his classmates dressed in complete winter gear. This girl had a winter coat, a scarf, hat, gloves, snow pants, and snow boots. I would guess the temperature outside was around sixty five degrees! I was floored by this discovery. At first I laughed because the concept was comical, but then I realized this poor little girls’ parents had to have dressed her, or at least Okayed this prior to her leaving the house. Because of their lack of any resemblance of intelligence she is the one who suffers. I was eager to get inside and catch a glimpse of her parents so I could see this folly with my own eyes. I was not too surprised to discovery they did not attend parents day. Just like last year, I had to endure the haunting sadness from the children’s faces that were left with empty chairs next to them.

When we arrived to his classroom the teacher had set up enough chairs arranged in theater seating to accompany both parents from each child in her class. When my wife and I took our seats and class started we noticed many empty seats. I wrote a post “The Sadness in Their Eyes” back in February or March discussing this same issue when we attended my daughters’ fifth grade parents’ day. I was filled with such sadness as I watched these kids’ whose parents did not show up slouching in their seats with their heads down. The only times they looked up was to check the door to see if their parent was about to walk through the door. I think the kids then were bothered more than the children in my sons’ kindergarten class. Perhaps this is because this is the first time they are experiencing this type of setting; regardless of this I could still see their sadness. I speculate what was going through their little minds wondering why all these parents are here but not mine.

After the morning routine was complete the parents and children were all able to play a counting game, once this was finished we were able to sit at our sons table and watch him work on his letters. He sits at a round table with three other classmates. Sure enough sitting next two us was the girl dressed in complete snow gear. She was so quite and so shy, my wife tried to help her with her letters, but she seemed lost in the concept. She did not speak one word the entire time we were there. Present was another girl sitting at the table with us who also did not have a parent with her. The man sitting next to his son was nice enough to interact with her and help her along. The thing I find ironic is my son and the other boy who had a parent with him; had no trouble with the letter assignment. The two kids in the group without parents there could barely trace the letter let along draw pictures of things starting with said letter.

When we got home I did a post on Facebook about how I felt bad for these kids and asking how parents can do this to their children. I caught backlash from some of my friends criticizing me for judging other parents. They pointed out they may be single parents who work two jobs, or parents whose employer wont let them off work or yada yada yada. The conversation got a little uncomfortable and tense. I in no way tried to judge other parents at least not consciously. I cannot imagine missing these things in my kid’s life.

This will be my last kindergarten parent’s day ever. I will never have this opportunity again, so there is no way I would miss it. When you look at it this way there should be no excuse to not attend these things. Whatever work you have will be there tomorrow. Not only will this be a memory lost for both you and your child, but not attending messes with your children’s’ psyche. I would assume the parents who make justifications for why they can’t come; have never seen the look of depression on their kids faces for them not attending. I would hope if they saw the sadness in their eyes they would change their outlook on this subject.

I am not saying these parents are bad in anyway. I know many of them are shitty parents, but I can’t say they all are. I can understand the work argument. For the longest time I was a corporate scumbag whose only focus was on working my way up the latter, and trying to achieve bigger bonuses, higher pay, and higher status. I would not miss a day of work for any reason. I didn’t care about parent’s day, or any other function for that matter which interfered with my work. I look back at this now filled with regret for all the things I missed. My kids are happy I am no longer this way; I am joyful I am no longer this way,

I am pleased I only need to go to these things for five more years. I am haunted and have nightmares over these poor children. I either have a dream where I am one of those children, or I am the parent and the children appear dead and are just starring at me with sunken eyes and pale skin. I try speaking to them, but the only thing they will say is “why.” This is one creepy ass dream; I had it last year for a few weeks, and I have already had this dream since my son’s parent’s day.