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Well, that was terrific!

And definitely worth a rec or two ~j
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And to think - you could have taken them home and gone into the office.

You will remember your time at the batting cages your whole life. I have a feeling you will be telling that story at some reunion 25 years from now. Good for you!

jak
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And to think - you could have taken them home and gone into the office.

You will remember your time at the batting cages your whole life. I have a feeling you will be telling that story at some reunion 25 years from now. Good for you!


My wife has recently been beating into my head that our kids are growing up. Our oldest daughter is fourteen. Our baby is now 7. It really is hard to believe how fast it goes by. Regrets are terrible things to carry around with you. I'm working on minimizing those. I'm working on collecting those memories so I have something to talk about someday when I'm rocking on my front porch.

I struggle with the balance of making ends meet and being there. We committed to my wife staying home with our kids. It was important to us. My wife especially wanted to be home to assure that there were some attributes of our kids life unlike hers as a kid. Its a tough row to hoe sometimes in a single income household, as everyone knows.

I'm getting better at the balance. I plan my work better. I take things with me to handle on the fly while getting to events for the kids. I try to leave work at work, and live my family at home. Two years ago I wouldn't have even considered the coaching gig. Not for lack of interest in doing so but, for perspective in what was possible. It has made for some trouble. But, you got to do what you got to do..... and I've come to the realization that my kids are the biggest gotta do in my life and putting food on the table is just the beginning of that.

Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle" put a lump in my throat a while back when my wife commented that the song was about me. That was brutal. But, I needed to hear it. I've resolved that when my son wants to play catch, I'm grabbing my glove...... and hopeful that someday he is more interested in a chat with me than the car keys.

The boys are easy as I relate. My baby is easy too, cute as a button and melts my heart, still playful and fits on my lap just right. My two oldest girls are a lot tougher. They are at that age where their world revolves around the telephone and friends. The dawning independence can be trying when manifested in beligerrance and the like. Some days I barely recognize them. But, I am determined to stay connected with them. In short, I've realized I still got some dues to pay so I'm never a lonely old man. :-)
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Its a tough row to hoe sometimes...

You have my undying gratitude for not saying "road to hoe."
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They are at that age where their world revolves around the telephone and friends. The dawning independence can be trying when manifested in beligerrance and the like. Some days I barely recognize them. But, I am determined to stay connected with them.

My inner teenage girl is jealous. If you show interest in their lives, even when met with belligerence, it doesn't go unnoticed. They can't appreciate it now. They are consumed with peer pressure, school, changing bodies, etc... But they will notice you are there and when the chips are down, they know they can come to you.

As the adult, as the parent, you know that in the long run it pays off even though it doesn't seem like it at each instance of, "But Daaaaad."

jak

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<<My two oldest girls are a lot tougher. They are at that age where their world revolves around the telephone and friends. >>


Don't let them fool you.

While I was certainly a "daddy's girl" as a little child, he wasn't all that involved in my day to day care. I somehow knew, however, that if I were ever in danger, my dad would chew through 12 inches of steel to get to me. He may not have been overly involved, but he kept his eye on me to protect me.

I was one of those "very independent" teens. I spent my time on the phone and with my friends. I wasn't particularly close to my father, although I knew that he loved me. He was clumsy about telling me. He was awkward about giving advice. We didn't have those "heart to heart" talks that you see on TV or in movies. He was just... there. He worked a lot. He watched the news a lot. He occasionally got involved in discipline, but not all that often. I thought he didn't have much of an impact on my life.

All through my 20s, I was completely content to be single. I wasn't against marriage... it just wasn't a priority for me. I had a pretty exciting life - I moved to Europe when I was 25 and had all kinds of adventures.

Then my dad died.

Apart from the normal grief, I discovered a very odd thing. For the first time ever, I really struggled with the fact that I was single. I mean I REALLY struggled with it.

I did some deep soul searching and thinking as to why.... and one day realized... with my dad gone... there is no one on earth whose face lights up, simply because I walk into a room. My father's unswerving love and commitment to me, had been the bedrock of my self-esteem.

Once I realized that, I was able to make the necessary adjustments to my thinking... and I am again content to be single. But I will always be grateful for that foundation of "you're the best thing walking the face of the earth" that my dad gave me - without ever having said a word.

The high regard with which he held me, gave me the strength to stand on my own 2 feet... and to avoid some relationships that would probably have been damaging to me in the long run. I have discovered dozens of ways that he modeled values for me that have given me the ability to lead a good life.

It may not seem as though your older girls need you very much right now. But I assure you... you affect them. Don't ever think you don't.
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Kasuma: What a fabulous post. Very true, isn't it oddly funny how in hindsight, if we are fortunate enough, that we get to embrace such a true sense of balance & steadyness that was there all along.
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It may not seem as though your older girls need you very much right now. But I assure you... you affect them. Don't ever think you don't.

Oh my oldest definately acknowledges I affect her. :-) I'm the stick in the mud fuddy duddy that just kills fun. :-) The interrogator demanding to know where she is going, what she will be doing, who else will be there, and when she will be back. The boorish pragmatic that talks about responsibility, situational propriety, priorities, and avoiding situations that you are not ready to make decisions in. The contrarian that counters that I do indeed understand and though she may not know it, she doesn't understand just yet...... and hopes that she comes to understand with as little pain in her life as possible as some of those lessens in understanding can be pretty damned hard.

It is my hope that all of my kids know, that I would walk through fire for them.... that despite refusing to be the "cool Dad" and giving permission to be unwise, when they screw up, I will be there for them, and a Dad's love is that forever kind..... they couldn't possibly screw up bad enough to change that.

Dov, sometime back put it pretty well. Kids need an ogre.
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coyote97:

You're miles ahead of a LOT of "busy" dads. Enjoy those good times now, and know that, one day, you'll have them still, locked up in your heart where you can recall them when things in life get crappy -- as they will from time too time.

We raised two girls and a son. Today, they're all married and have kids of their own, and one of our daughters is pushing 40! They still obviously love us dearly.

Interesting thing about the son: He and I enjoyed all kinds of stuff together (as did our daughters, too, with their mom and dad, together or individually), until his senior year in high school! That year, all hell broke loose. He and I somehow yelled at one another almost all the time, and my wife later said she worried we'd end up killing each other! It was usually about his room or his homework or... the usual stuff.

We got through it all, he graduated, went on to college, did fine, got a great job, married, etc. In college, the closeness returned somehow. I still remember that day after he graduated when he and I got a six-pack of good, dark ale and went to our motel room to sit down, man to man, and talk about his plans for how to invest his money from the new job. He had good ideas of his own, but wanted some advice -- which was refreshing all by itself!

Today, our son and I are still close. We don't just shake hands when we greet or leave one another; we hug, just as do the girls and I.

As you observe, a job or a career is just that. Love and family can be so very much more -- forever.

Enjoy.

RV
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