I’m really not looking forward to this. I know it’s the best thing for us right now, and I know it’s not the end of the world, but I dread the fact that I’m not going to be tucking anyone in , getting spontaneous hugs or being there to answer geography questions. Well, unless I end up in camp with Doug, but what are the chances of that? I am really going to miss these girls that are now such a huge part of my life. I am going to miss their smiles when I finally get home from work, the groans of displeasure when they don’t get what they want and the way they fight tooth and nail, and then make up immediately after and say “I love you” to each other. It makes me realize what I was missing all of those years, and I wonder where I’d be now if I had had children when I was younger. Divorced to be sure, and probably working lots of overtime at some factory job to give my kids as good an upbringing as possible, while trying to be as big a part of their life as I can.
I always figured I’d be a good dad, because I had two fathers to learn from. I’m not saying they were perfect by any means, but they did try, and they grew up in a different time, so they were just doing what they had learned. You have to give people credit for trying, right? I mean, times are constantly changing, and what was right yesterday, may not be right today and surely won’t be right tomorrow. Some of the hard-ass things that were taught by their fathers, were certainly softened by the time it was their turn to carry the torch.
When I say that I learned from them, I mean what to do, and also what not to do. I learned that speaking to children like they are idiots, will only create feelings of inadequacy and resentment, but if you allow a child to help with something important, while telling them that you couldn’t have done it without them, it will make them feel like a million bucks, and there isn’t much that they can’t accomplish if they try. Another thing that I picked up as a child is that there isn’t much that a hug and an explanation can’t fix when you’ve just gotten a blast of shit for something. There are few feelings worse than being told you’ve done something very bad and sent away, while never being told why it was wrong and what you could have done instead. That just creates anxiety by making them wonder what they did that was wrong.
One thing that always made me feel as though I was really special, was getting to do something fun, without any of the other kids. That was something that we had, it was something that we bonded over. It didn’t even matter what it was. A walk in the woods, throw a ball back and forth, or fix up an old Ski-Doo.
Oh right, we were talking about going to camp. Like I said, I’m not looking forward to it. I’ll be gone about six weeks for the first stint, and they might forget who I am. I’m hoping they remember me, and that nothing will change when I get back for Christmas, but there is always that feeling in the back of my mind, that I won’t be as important to them as they are to me, because I wasn’t there every night to say sweet dreams, or to help them with a project. That thought really scares me, even though I know it’s only six weeks, and I’ll be able to send and receive videos on the phone and if I’m lucky, the camps will have better wi-fi than last year, and I’ll be able to Skype every night.
Shit, that would be so sweet to be able to see those faces before I crawl under my thin wool blanket, with the sounds of loud TVs, and the asshole that always seems to be having a fight with his girlfriend every night at ten o’clock. When I was gone last year, I hadn’t been more than their mother’s friend, and they didn’t understand that I was going to be such a big part of their life, and neither did I.
I guess we never know how much we are going to love someone, until it happens, and even then it seems that there is no limit to how far it can go. When I met Mrs. Birdman, I knew I liked her, and I thought I could fall in love with her, because I admired, respected and adored her, but I honestly never thought it could be like this, and every day that we are together, she shows me new depths to her personality, and in so doing, she’s shown me new heights within myself that I hit, and others that I aspire to.
I do dread going to camp, but I know that what we have is strong and deep enough, that a month and a half will fly by, and then comes the reunion cocooning. I happen to know from experience, that it’s the best type of cocooning, and other than a bit of dehydration and some friction sores, it will make you forget that you were ever apart.
You look extremely sexy in spandex,