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Posts Tagged ‘son’

I would feel …

It’s an overcast, grey, empty streets glossy from rain, chilly, messy apartment, nothing to do day here in my building. I’ve a self-imposed schedule that will bulk up my time, but you know what would make today meaningful?

The thrill of a phone call from my children. More pulse deafening than any various form of contact from anyone else, seeing the incoming number on my cell would jar me into splendid joy. I would know how my oldest did on his Learners Permit test on Friday. I would know how well my middle one felt he did on his Thursday at school when he had multiple tests. I would hear from my daughter, in her little girl voice, what she and her friends have been doing this weekend.

I would feel that I belonged.

The low voltage of steady, streaming, hair-raising electricity conspiculously felt sizzling between myself and the woman who I felt I would never finally meet. The comfort nestled deeply and securely within my soul, during a moment when she doesn’t know what I’m thinking, understanding with bright, iris cleansing clarity how fortunate and thankful I am that she has made the conscious decision to spend precious and unretrieveable seconds, minutes and hours with a guy like me. The silent promises I would keep armed and barricaded within my heart, the sacrifices to the belief in love I would be willing to endure and the chastity of single thought romance I yearn to happily embrace would all conspire to melt the vulnerability I feel with the touch of someone who is simply there and the susceptibility to widen arms to those who extend them in unison.

I would feel in love.

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16 and a Volcano

The birthday boy, and his siblings, have just left and I watched as the rear red tail lights paced out of my view.

It truly was a great weekend. I told my now sixteen year old (!?!?) boy that it was his weekend and he could choose the itenerary for any activity, any show, any meal and basically, whatever he chose. I was the grantor of his wishes.

Two steaks marinated with either a barbecue or ginger sauce, scrambled egg breakfast muffins, a Harry Potter movie, killing Nazi zombies on Xbox, giving him time alone in the apartment while I towed his brother and sister to the mall to buy birthday presents from them, letting him have sips of my beer, allowing him to choose a t-shirt emblazoned with his favorite band’s logo from their official website, taking almost a hundred photos, a very expensive silver neck chain (something sentimental that will last I’m hoping), and ending it with a made from scratch red velvet cake with sixteen blazing and bobbing candles accompanied by a rousing version of ‘Happy Birthday’ while the camera rolled.

I love that boy, that broaching early manhood child of mine. That kid that’s now two inches over his tall father. That kid that possesses a killer sideways smile who still is not into girls yet. Thankfully.

It was also the weekend of a Krakatoa realization. Concerning his mother. My ex. I’ve been thinking …

Read more…

Mental Confetti

Anybody can have, and is allowed, a bad, bad day. But resilience, perspective and determination are formidable tools that have sprung up in the wake of planting seeds and are indispensible to moving forward.

Much like exercise, being in school has the capacity to boost self-confidence. Especially when everyone wants to team up with you because of your grades.

Yes, I did fall off the wagon with smoking. But, I’ve resolved to get back in the ring and overpower the demon.

I am hardly able to fathom that the little boy who fit snugly in the crook of my arm at one time (and who pooped in it) is going to be sixteen on Sunday! He once told me that he’s getting old. Imagine that thoughts that I had as his Father.

No matter how hard I try to keep up, the mail stack on my junk table grows out of control.

I’ve been in my apartment a little over two years and it still looks bare on the walls and naked around the windows. I need inexpensive ideas and a method of making them look something other than walls of white and stark panes. I have a few pictures here and there, but is it because I’m a male that I haven’t even a modicum of decorative flair?

After all this time, I still love to play my guitar. I recently dragged out some old Creedence, Concrete Blonde, Four Non-Blondes, Bad Company, James Taylor, Beatles and a mess of various artists. It’s all pitch perfect and I make a great session player. Ah, the skills I’ve acquired and excel at – all of which can’t make a living!

I’ve teamed up with a lucky woman at work who has a history of winning on scratch tickets. I’m not a gambler and never had the proclivity to spend money on gambling, but we’ve won over $1,300 in three weeks. I’ve got a feeling …

I hardly see re-aquainted girlfriend. We talk every few days on the phone, but with opposite work schedules it’s difficult to have what you would call a relationship.

My ‘secret’ gift of chocolates that I gave to someone at work post-Valentine’s day is no longer a secret. I never see this woman because she’s on an opposing end of the building, works in a different department, has hours that most times are ending at the beginning of mine and only comes to my end infrequently to keep an appointment with someone who needs her. So I haven’t seen her face to face in a few weeks. But yesterday as I was walking down a hall to fetch a cup of coffee, there she was walking toward me! An impromptu conversation ensued, I apologized for the candy-gram if it made her uncomfortable and I hoped that she wasn’t offended. She was not. She was flattered and said that she should have shared it with me. We talked small talk for a few minutes and parted with a ‘see you later’. I turned, took a small step, turned around again, took a big breath and said ‘Wait’! I asked if she’d like to get together for a cup of coffee, or a drink or a trip to Jamaica. She laughed out loud and said she’d like to get that cup. She asked me for my number and I wrote it on a nearby napkin. As I wrote she remarked that she could tell that I never gave my number out at bars. How? Because I didn’t write softly enough to prevent the napkin from tearing in places. I’m looking forward to the call.

I’ve been wakened a lot recently by charlie horses in my left leg. What, I’m going through a second puberty?

I told an eighty-two year old woman in a wheelchair that she was beautiful. She shook her head no. I repeated that she was beautiful to me and she replied “Is it because my lips are so full?”

Thanks

I have my angels until Friday at 5:00 PM.

Although life would be more sustainable with them as inspiration if I were with them 24 hours a day, I will try today to imagine – suspend reality, that this is just what I have. Intercede their constant bickering with a gentle reminder of the joy of being with one another. Accept the nano-syllables or silence of my oldest when I talk to him, ignore the smart-aleck under the breath comments from my middle one and politely ask my daughter to put down her game player and interact with us.

I didn’t have a family growing up.

I shuffled foster home to foster home until I was old enough to be on my own. I sorely see the result of never acquiring the wisdom that comes from guidance, someone to steer me away from bad decisions and the pain of suffering in silent, solitary, mental confinement while others always had someone to help ground them. My experiences have always been as an individual apart – not with a relative, even a distant one, to help steer me one way or another. So, I’ve the proclivity to self-isolate. To live through joy or pain alone.

But my children, the only family I have ever known, are with me today.

They have each other and I hope that they need me. I see it as a twinkle ever so often, but sometimes I have the overpowering sinking feeling that because of divorce, they are quite used to, and adept at, being without me. Someone they must shuffle to from time to time. You can see how my past has affected my present.

But, today, I will endeavor to induce a chuckle, try to get them to watch part of a parade on TV, see if I can entice them to put away the games for a short while, try to play a board game with them, prod them to come outdoors and toss a football, help in preparing the turkey and fixings and make it a goal to capture a smile on film.

On this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for my children and the opportunity to teach them how monumentally important it is to have family. A lesson that nobody was able to teach me.

God help us, everyone.

Non-negotiable

Our divorce agreement states that she would take control of, and pay, the mortgage on our home.

I called CitiBank mortgage company last week to ask about the status of account.

Long months ago she told me that she wanted to restructure the loan to make it more affordable for her to pay. She filled out the application and needed me to sign it to make it legal. I stated that if she wanted to change part of the agreement, I wanted a chance to change part of it it also.

I wanted the chance to see each of my three children individually, every so often – alone. I’m in a continual struggle to find anything to do that would satisfy three radically dissimilar children in differing developmental stages – a fifteen year old boy, a twelve year old boy and a ten year old girl. There’s no appropriate movie for an ten year old girl that a fifteen (almost sixteen) year old boy wants to see. And there’s no movie for a fifteen year old boy that’s appropriate for an ten year old girl. Let alone movies, what activities do I choose for the three of them that would keep all three satisfied, curious or simply be fun? Each weekend that they’re here, as they are now getting older and establishing individual identities, it gets razor thin to impossible to stop the arguments, confrontations, bitterness and resentment that they feel toward me and even more so, toward each other, for having to attend something, or do something together, that they don’t want to go to. So, I wanted the chance to see each child, alone, at least once a month.

The chosen date would be one of my weekday nights and it would come out to three and a half hours per month for a chance to see my only daughter alone, see my middle boy alone and time with my fifteen year old alone. For each child that would come out to a total of only fourteen hours a year! It would be a time for us to do something age or gender appropriate that they alone wanted to do with their father without the pressure of having to be coerced into something generic for the three of them. This is something that married parents never even think about when they take one child alone to the store for shopping, go to an age appropriate movie, attend one of their team sports events … the others can be left alone at home, at a friend’s house, a neighborhood friend if they want to be, and still remain content. I don’t have that option or luxury.

On the Tuesdays and Thursdays that I see them, I travel about twenty-five miles one way to pick them up at 4:30PM. Then I drive the four of us twenty-five miles back to my apartment. By 7:30PM, I have to bring them twenty-five miles back home again, and then twenty-five miles back for me. For one night, that’s one-hundred miles. For the two day weeks, it’s two-hundred miles. On the opposite weeks when it’s Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday, it’s two-hundred and fifty miles for a two week total of four-hundred miles. I asked if she could pick them up only one night a week from my apartment for a total of fifty miles a week, or one-hundred miles total over two weeks.

I also asked if I could get access to my storage area (in the basement room that holds my clothing, books and various other items) once a month. Come fall (like it is now), when all I have are summer shirts and light jackets, I’m usually freezing and dressed inappropriately. Same for when spring hits – I’m still in winter clothes. I wanted to be able to quickly sift through boxes and gather belongings that I needed and drop off boxes with what I didn’t need. I don’t even venture up the stairs into my own home when I’m there.

Lastly, I asked that the difference between what she was supposed to pay for the mortgage, and the new payment amount be deducted from her side when the house was sold. I didn’t think it right that when the house was sold – having less equity because of the restructured payment schedule, that I should be penalized in profit. I wanted to have enough money to put a down payment on something small for my kids and myself and because of the restructuring, I would have substantially less.

 Those were the four items I asked in exchange – see my children alone once a month, have the children picked up once a week, get stored items when I needed them and not suffer economic penalties for a restructuring of the mortgage in her favor.

More, after the break

Bit by bit, I’m losing them all over again

I woke up with a start just a few moments ago.

I had shut off my waking alarm last night before going to bed. It was not making sense leaving my alarm on to get up for work when I’m suspended. It was the alarm for a scheduled calendar event that went off instead.

As I woke, I had the rushing thought that work was calling me because they needed me. I bolted up, came across the bedroom and picked up the phone that I use for alarms. Instead of it being the phone it was a reminder that I have my kids tonight – after work.

My thoughts shattered as a piece of glass falling from above. Reality enveloped me and here I am without work to go to, sitting in my underwear, smoking my second cigarette already. ‘Pathetic’ and ‘scared’ were the words that almost visibly came to me.

If I’m permanently out of work, the alternative schedule that I’ve set up to see my children regularly would be quickly dashed. I work 7-3 shifts. On alternate weeks, I’m lucky enough to see them on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights, which lead into the weekends that I have them. On the opposite weeks I see them on Tuesday and Thursday night. Every week – Monday after work, Wednesday after work, Friday after work when they also sleep over until Sunday late afternoon. Then I wait until Tuesday after work and then Thursday after work and it’s the weekend that I don’t see them. Today begins the week where I see them Monday, Wednesday, Friday night leading into Sunday late afternoon.

The schedule may seem bizarre, but in my profession it works out fantastically! I set it up purposly in order to get to see them at least every other day. My thought is that I helped bring them into this world, why shouldn’t I see them as often as possible despite divorce? And the schedule works out perfectly for that! It’s been in effect for over two years and I can’t imagine not seeing them on any given scheduled day.

If I am forced into another job – believing that I can find another job, my schedule would be destroyed. And then, the utter embarrasment of telling the ex, and the kids, that my schedule needs to change. I would lose the opportunity of seeing them as often, and thus, another stone would be dislodged in the continuity of seeing them. Which, God help me, would be just fine with my oldest.

Seeing them less would only help to solidify the expanding physical gap between them and I. I pale over when I think of the countless times when I’m not there at the end of the day for them. For instance, when they’re sick and need to cling – even ever so lightly, for comfort and I’m not physically there for them. She’s become the only one they cling to for support because she’s always there. And, I’m not.

It’s a continual loosening and redefinition of our bond. It invariably happens each hour, each and every day that I’m not there with them, and they’re growing up, and getting used to, their Father not there as a daily presence. It tears at my heart no matter how I try to put it aside and tell myself that this is just the way it is.

Losing my job would ease the pressure of my oldest from seeing me as often.

Good morning. I’m struggling.

It’s just the sound of my heart breaking – ship to shore.

I don’t even know how to start.

I just know that I’m not happy at all with the way that it’s become up to now. Life’s obstacles seem to make it a point to cluster all around me and I’m at a time and place where I’m even sometimes reluctant to step forward.

Spiritually, I’m in a constant battle with God to help me. I alternately lose faith, have read so much of the self-help books that I’m always confused about the line between helping myself and leaving it in God’s hands.

Physically, I’m in a constant battle also. I quit smoking for the last three weeks, but because of what’s happened to me in the last few days, I bought a pack today and yesterday. So ashamed of that.

I’m so fundamentally frustrated with my lack of formal education! I am enrolled for the Spring semester and am looking forward to that, but at my age when I finally get my degree, will it make a huge difference? I’m also looking at two more years after that in order to get my Bachelors.

My oldest, at fifteen, had taken a stand that it’s not worth it to come see me anymore. He feels that all we do is fight. I admit, that a lot of it has to do with his age, but I so desperately need to see him! I feel unloved by him – my greatest accomplishment and now, my most bitter disappointment.

I am so lonely! Long days without a reason to come home to. Home, for me, is not a single bed apartment with white walls and a television on for company. So lonely.

For the first time in years, I went to church. I asked God if he would recognize me. I did the rosary for the first time in years and could barely hold back brimming tears. I would steal glances of parents and their children – a remember sadly the way it was for me not too long ago. The crush of what was there, and now gone, was almost a physical weight on my shoulders and chest and again would cause me to well up. I felt so guilty with my tears and with the thoughts I’m holding that staring at the floor was the what I did for most of the Mass.

I have an issue at work that is coming to a head this week. Until they call me back from a suspension, I’m unsure if I have a job waiting for me at all.

I really struggled with the idea of putting this online. Will writing help me to sort it out? Who the heck, except for me, would read it? Even someone stumbling here would not see a value and quickly move on.

Where is anyone?

S.O.S. by Tim Curry

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