Defending Dads

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Accountability

This has not been my finest week with the kids. It wasn’t terrible. Just not what it should have been.

As I tell the kids, not all the time we spend together will be like a life insurance commercial, where we’re running around the backyard under a perfect sky, spraying each other with water hoses while laughing hysterically. I tell them we’re still going through transition and I am under tremendous pressure to keep things moving. Sometimes, that pressure keeps me awake at night. Other times, it’s inspiration to write. The upshot is that a bad night’s sleep affects my daytime mood, which takes away from them.

What I want them to take from these discussions is that we’re all human and subject to varying moods. These moods are affected by all manner of circumstances, but we each have a responsibility to keep them in check. I am grateful to have the self-control to speak honestly with my children about my state of mind when they behave as children do, and that no fits of temper were involved. Our bond is based on the kind of gentle honesty that I hope fosters in them the freedom to tell me what they are really thinking, even if I won’t like it. I don’t punish them for their honesty and they extend me the same courtesy.

I don’t delude myself that they never try to deceive me for whatever reasons. It’s human nature to do that from time to time. My only hope is that they keep it real when it counts. I know I will.

The thing about living on a revolving planet is that, as long as we’re healthy, every 24 hours, we get a chance to fix what we screwed up the day before. I am going to use my current 24 in service to prepare for my next visit with the kids.

One of my many blessings is a keen awareness of the brevity of life. The kids are growing up so, so fast. Every day, hour and second is precious. I need to have my head right when they’re with me because this is all the time we’ll ever have. I got no problem steppin’ up to meet that challenge and they need to see that.

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