As a member of Generation X, I have many of the characteristics that people associate with Generation X-ers. I have worked for myself for most of my adult career, and I tend to be pretty scatterbrained. I cling to technology and I use it often. I can be pulled off task with ease, and there is always “one more thing” that needs to be done. When I am interrupted, it is hard for me to regain focus, or even remember what I was doing. I am incredibly selfish, and feel that I am overly important at times (which is another issue, entirely). I do not multi-task at all, so it is not hard to tell when my mind is preoccupied. Amanda is aware of this and is usually very patient about allowing whatever has complete hold of my brain to wind down before bombarding me with any questions or concerns. I envision it to be like waiting for a sparkler to burn out. The light in my head is on fire. While lit, I need to focus on the fire, cause it is potentially very dangerous. My sparklers burn out quickly, but a little patience is required, so we don’t burn the whole universe down.
My children are often “victims” of my attention deficit and selfishness. I am guilty of placing work in front of them. I am guilty of placing more value on my laptop or iphone, than whatever it is that they have to say. I am guilty of becoming impatient at whatever I am working on, and taking it out on them. I have a habit of building frustration in one area, and then misplacing that frustration into an area which involves my kids. I tell myself that I just have to finish this “one more thing”, until one more thing pops up. It takes everything I have to turn off whatever is on my mind when it comes to spending time with my family, and I really try to get better.
As far as being a father goes, I am not sure where I rank. I am not very structured, and I often lack patience. I feel guilty when I lash out at my children, but I try to apologize. Most of the time, I scrape by pretty well, and I know that my kids feel loved. I don’t think that any parent truly knows how they fare in the overall rank of parenthood, but at least we are putting forth the effort. I regularly go to bed taking inventory of something that I wish that I would have done different as a father. It usually involves an area of my kid’s life where I wish I would have demonstrated more patience, or devoted more attention. I pray about it. I try to do better. Sometimes I do better, and often times I do worse….but there are moments. There are those moments.
There are those moments in fatherhood, where you know for that period of time that you are “daddy”. If even for a few brief moments of your son or daughter’s life, you know that YOU ARE KILLING IT. You have that moment where it actually feels as if there IS a manual for parenting, and you are writing it. There are those moments that every dumb thing you said, every situation in which you overreacted, every lunch you forgot to pack, and every event you could not attend, and every yell that you ever shouted is erased, because your child sees you as the almighty “DADDY”. The guy that they want to be when they grow up. The guy that they are sure has made mistakes, but right now, can’t seem to remember what they were. The guy that for right now, makes them feel confident and secure. The guy that makes it all seem so easy, like problems are ants on a quilt, easily plucked away, or thumped into oblivion. I was able to enjoy one of these brief moments yesterday.
A friend of mine, who is doing the #goalgetter challenge with LHRL, had posted some info about her streak of running one mile, every day. Carrie Jackson has been doing it for like 120 days or something and said she is feeling the benefits. I decided that it would be a good idea for me to try something like that, and yesterday was Day 2. My second day of simply running, at whatever pace, a distance of 1 mile. I asked my 9 year old son if he wanted to go with me. Hesitantly, he agreed and off we went. I explained to him that there was nothing to worry about, that we would maintain a pace that we could carry on a conversation, but would continue at a jog throughout. What came of this one mile run was one of those moments as a father that I hope to not soon forget. As we waddled, conversed, and built up a sweat, it seemed as if I could feel the screws of life loosening their grip on my 9 year old son. We chatted, and laughed, and talked about life. We discussed him being 9 and my being 39, and how the two are so similar and how they are different. We discussed a whole world that I have never explored with him, and there was a comfort between us that I’m not sure I had felt. There was a rawness, an honesty, an openness between us that just felt so real. It was as both of us were are present together, as we have ever been. There were no walls and there were no distractions, just a boy and his daddy enjoying the moment. The mile ended too quickly and we walked it on in. Grayson said, “can we do it again tomorrow? I think that was fun. My heal hurts, my shoulder hurts, but i’m pretty tough. We got time to throw the football? Just a few quick throws would be fun.” My eyes swole up watery, and my goosebumps stood upright. The universe had spoken, and nodded its approval. It’s not often I’m good, but this for this moment, I would not be outdone.
I tried a new thing. A new goal. A new adventure. This one paid off, even if the streak stops at two. I will not be a failure, because that moment was priceless, but I can’t wait to do it again on this evening. To some it’s a mile, but the distance means little. I can’t wait to climb back into his world all alone. I look forward to the sweating, the panting, and the toughness, but I really just want the closeness, and the rawness, and the bond it creates. I am so thankful for the willingness to try new stuff, and people to share it with. I hope that you enjoy your day and shake up the monotony. If the monotony is working, I hope you continue the streak, but if you need something different, I hope you try something new.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,