I have been silently struggling with my new role as a part-time Dad. And after thinking about this briefly, I’ve suddenly realized that there is no such beast. It just ain’t so.
While I may not see, or speak, to my children every day of the week, I am their father, EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. My effect, direct and indirect, good or bad, is with them wherever they go.
Now that can scare you, or give you renewed hope. It probably will do both. But the message is this. We may not be there, physically, as much as we’d like to be, but we are there in their hearts and minds all of the time. I’m 51 years old, and I will tell you that I hear my fathers voice (not literally!) all of the time. The lessons he imparted, the values he built into me, are here, in my heart and mind. Till the day I die. While he may not be with me physically, I promise you that he is with me in a very real sense. He is STILL my father.
So having that out of the way, I’m now looking at ways, strategies, in which I can continue to build their inner father image, in fewer hours per week. Because they too will hear my voice when they are 50, poor things!
We don’t know yet what the custody arrangements will look like, I cringe at thinking of having them only 2-3 weekends per month. But that is often the reality for us Dads, even those who are completely innocent of any wrong-doing. We are deemed to be a lesser important part of their upbringing. Which is sad, because more of the ills of society are attributed to children growing up fatherless than almost anything else. I know many courts are understanding, and trying to remedy this. In my case, we’ll know shortly how this will play out. Needless to say, all my fingers and toes are crossed, and I pray daily about it.
Nothing makes me happier than to be in the kitchen, cooking alongside my daughter, or drying dishes with my son. OK, and watching a movie and eating some chocolate ice cream ranks up there high as well.
This weekend, I’m solo. So, once I wrap this up, I will do some breakfast dishes, a few loads of laundry, take a 15 mile ride, and then prepare for a dance recital tonight.
I’m wearing a shirt and tie, nicely polished shoes, and taking a few roses to congratulate my princess on all that she has learned this year. I had to skip a Boy Scout outing this weekend, which hurts. But it’s a small price.
Because tonight I will continue to chisel away at the outline of an important figure. And to continue the rescue of a beautiful heart.
Because I will be “Father” in her heart and mind, forever.