Some days you need a gentle reminder, on other’s you need something a little more direct and forceful. Today after a conversation with my oldest daughter, My wife, Sarina gentle reminded me, “It’s not about you.” She wasn’t wrong. I replied, “I just can’t stand to hear her cry.” I could see the twinkle in her eye as she said, “Then why tell her the things that are hard for you, when she needs to just express her pain.” (If I Have never expressed my disdain for talking on the phone, I will do it so here.) I HATE talking on the phone, hearing a person’s voice is kind of like talking to myself. I feed of interpersonal communication and rely on the feelings I interpret from people that I come into contact with. As my wife spoke truth to me I realised that much of the last month I have been self absorbed. I have felt the sting of my own pain, my inability to do certain things. I’ve faced so many different emotions that I have not been the greatest at assisting those in my family that in turn needed me. I had focused on myself and become selfish, I was becoming someone I didn’t like. It’s funny how sometimes it is the kids that teach us about how to be an adult.
It was at the end of this conversation with Sarina that I knew I couldn’t control what anyone else did, I could only focus on what I could controll. My youngest daughter Lili had been trying to Skype and call her dad for the last 4 days. She was currently sitting in her room talking to herself after calling on Skype 3 times. I know how hard she’d tried to contact him the last week. (I’ve been off work last week and had given her my phone to call him and charged our Skype phone numerous times to encourage the contact. On top of that “numerous” gifts she was promised for her birthday hadn’t arrived. Here I will mention that I have only ever been the “natural” father that has screwed up.) Lili and I are very similar with many of our “quirks”, so her and I usually relate well or drive each other crazy. So I devised an afternoon that would help me if I was disappointed. It helped her to not think about the issues, while allowing me to think about mine. I am a better father than I have ever been, Shit, I’ve had lot’s of practice. I’m still flawed but hell, I’m doing it. My kids love me….
Sometimes, you just need to get away from all the real world issues that consume you and just say, “screw it I wanna get dirty!”
I felt so bad that while she took a shower and washed all the mud from her body and hair, I bought Lili a slurpee, when she got out of the shower and thanked me I handed her my phone and said, “Let’s give it one more chance!” (He answered!) She grabbed her phone and said, “I gotta go Skype”
We never know the impact we have on our children. I know that I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I can only alter today. On this day I paid myself back by being the step dad I wish my son had. I will never measure up to that expectation, but I don’t have too. I made the right choice by my youngest daughter and that was to realise that this moment “It wasn’t about me”, together we forget her issues for a moment and just got dirty. We made each other feel better. That’s what this life is about. No one is perfect. We are all a dang mess.
Tomorrow, I want to look for the person I need to help, I want to stop focusing on my own pain and issues, tomorrow I will help at least one person.
Let’s just be honest, that’s been the hardest part of dealing with this injury. I’m not doing what I was meant to do.
Tomorrow’s a new day and we’ll all try again.