I had some very mixed emotions going into Father’s Day 2015. This was my first Father’s Day without The Old Man. This Father’s Day would also be one which I would be spending without The Kid – for reasons which I’m not really inclined to discuss here yet. This is also a Father’s Day of great anticipation: within the next few weeks – if not days, The New Guy will be here.
I didn’t feel much like a Dad this year for Father’s Day; nor did I feel like much of a son. There were a few gaping holes in the day.
Don’t get me wrong. The Auteur and I went out to eat Friday night. She made a great breakfast Sunday morning. Then we tag-teamed on dinner for her day Sunday afternoon. To cap off the day, her and 1B got me some nice gifts; but in those moments when I was alone, all I could think about were my Dad and my son.
Two years ago was the last time I got to spend a Father’s Day with both of them. I knew then how fortunate I was. I had no idea that what a “first father’s day without my dad” would feel like; but clearly I knew it would come sooner rather than later.
As much as not having The Old Man here, not being with The Kid is consuming me. All I’m willing to disclose right now is this: I’m working on it. Jabba and I have had no communication for nearly 3 months and that is no accident. We are not co-parenting and that is a situation I am working to recitfy.
I found this on this Father’s Day Eve. As a very soon-to-be expecting father, this resonated with me. This is a moment I have been looking forward to myself since we found out the The auteur and I are expecting.
One of The Auteur’s close friends, who is now a neighbor of ours, got pregnant a few months before we did and just had her baby yesterday. She had a boy, as are we; and I have to say that I’m getting bit by the baby bug once again.
I want to meet our little boy. I want to see what he looks like and I want to discover his personality – how he takes after The Auteur and how he takes after me. The Auteur is showing. The Baby is looking like a real baby in his most recent ultrasound photos. I just want him out now.
I think we chose a name. Thursday night, we drove down to Columbus to see a WWE NXT house show. On our way home Friday, we decided on a name. Granted it was a name we were leaning toward already, but I think we made our final decision.
Today, I’ve been gearing up for another round with Jabba, which has had me searching for old computer files. While doing so, I came across some old photos of The Kid when he was a baby, which is making the baby brain thing even worse.
Oh yeah, and The Old Man’s first name is also going to be The Baby’s middle name. It only seemed right…
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”
– Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities
It’s times like this last week for which expressions like “an emotional roller coaster” were invented.
Sunday morning, after two weeks of wonder what was going on with her physically, I found out that The Auteur is pregnant.
I am going to be a father again!
She took a home pregnancy test last Sunday morning. The results came up quickly, so much so in fact that when I heard her say “wow, that was quick!” I immediately knew the results. It was two more days before we got her in to a doctor to get some blood work done. The day after that (Wednesday) she had her first ultra-sound. As of this writing, our baby is about the size of a grain of rice.
Initially, The Auteur was convinced it was a boy, now she doesn’t seem so sure. We’ve both said that we would like to have one of each together – so that we as a couple can have the whole parenting experience together. sure we The Kid and 1B, but we want to have our own children as a couple as well.
When she took the test last Sunday, we were both elated. the next 48 hours or so that followed, there were some questions and concerns for both of us. I know I personally felt a sense of relief when the Auteur went to have some blood work done; and even more so after her ultrasound. We’ve had some questions as to whether or not we would even be able to have children – which of course have now been answered in the best way possible. It’s relief. It’s excitement. it’s vindication. It’s the future. It’s all of these things…and so much more.
We’ve been talking a lot about the future lately: getting married, having kids, possibly moving out of state a little further down the road. We’ve had some questions as to when we should do what: get married first? try to start a family first? We’re not getting any younger and we both want both our blended family and a family of our own. I remember saying once to her that we almost need something to happen in order to tell us what order to proceed in. Whatever way one slices it, this is tremendous news. At this moment in my life, i can imagine no greater honors than having a child with The Auteur and being marrying her. We’ve obviously been working on one. Now it’s time to get serious about the other.
And on the flip side…
Tuesday morning, my father The Old Man – went to the hospital. He’s had a bad back for years and has been laid up in bed quite a bit over the last several weeks. He goes in Tuesday and we were told that he had 3 cracked vertebrae and a spot on one of his lungs. As of this writing, they still don’t know if it’s cancer despite several tests. we’re hoping to know more later in the week.
Right now, I just hope he’s home for Thanksgiving.
The thing is, his mother (my grandmother) went through something almost identical when she died. The doctors found that she had lung cancer and it had spread to her bones. Keep in mind, The Old Man has smoked since before I was born and he’s never been able to quit. Frankly, I’ve been waiting for news like this since I was old enough to establish a connection between smoking, lung cancer and my dad. Still, you’re never ready for a bombshell like this.
I haven’t told him about the baby yet. I wanted to wait until he was out of the hospital. Now I may tell him on Thanksgiving, regardless. The Auteur and I have talked a little bit about what we should do if he does have “The big C”. Should we get married sooner than planned? These are the kinds of things this type of news gets you thinking about.
I keep going back the early conversations we had when I first moved back to Michigan; about him wanting to see me have a plan to put my life back together; about him wanting to know that I at least had a plan. Right now, I just want him to see me happy. I want him to see that not only am I going to be okay, but that I’m going to succeed and prosper.
Once again, I have so much to be thankful for this year.
I couldn’t resist using that title…
I had another interview on Thursday. This was for a job that I never even applied for – though it was in the same district that I interviewed with 2 weeks ago. I got there 15 minutes late, though that was because of an accident on the freeway. Still, i felt like I left myself more that enough time to get there should I run into any traffic snafus; and yet, late I was.
In spite of my lack of punctuality, I felt like the interview went alright. Looking back, I probably would have changed an answer or two in the interview, but I don’t feel as if I said anything that would have sunk me. But then, they haven’t called me back, so who knows.
I’m not sure I would have even wanted to take the job had it been offered to me. It’s two hours away from where The Auteur and I are living, In fact, it’s closer to my parents than it is to us. But the fact is, a job is a job and I need a job. Badly.
Well, it has happened. Child support has finally started being pulled from my paychecks. I still think my payments are based on what I was making when I was teaching full-time. God knows they can’t be based on what I’m making now. But there are steps I can take to have child support re-evaluated. I just have to do it.
Last Friday, I picked up my new-to-me-car. It’s a 2004 Ford Taurus; perhaps not my first choice (and definitely not my lasr choice either) but beggars cannot be choosers. Besides, I’ve never really been much of a car guy. The most important thing s that I have a car again.
Sometimes you forget just how essential an automobile has become in our society. It’s more than just a status symbol. In the world we live in today, it is almost essential. Having gone nearly two years without owning a car, this is a fact that has not escaped me. Owning a car again is going to make a lot easier for The Auteur, 1B and myself: We’ll be able to work differing schedules, we can take 1B to and from school and other extracurricular activities. We’ll be able to split everyday errands between us. The list goes on and on…
I’m so grateful to my parents, without whom getting this car simply would not have been possible. The car has a few miles on it, but it is in remarkably good shape. I see myself keeping better care of this car that I have for any other vehicle I have ever owned. I feel like I simply am not going to take this car for granted. Like my teaching certificate, it’s an essential that I needed to achieve the goals I have set out for myself in this life.
In other news, The Kid started second grade on Tuesday. So far, he seems to enjoy it. I need to get in touch with his teacher so that we can communicate throughout the school year. He also took up karate a few weeks ago. He hasn’t said much about it but seems to be enjoying it too.
About 3 weeks ago, I began moonlighting at a major pharmacy/retailer. Now, I’m sitting home after working a 7 hour shift and I’m restless because it’s the first time I’ve really had a chance to relax.
I think I’m getting addicted to work.
I was pretty lucky this week in that I had three days in which I worked both of my jobs. I say lucky because the school year is winding down and I know I will have to find another job of some sort relatively soon; so I’m trying to get as many sub gigs as I can before the school year ends.
It’s only been one week that I’ve been really busy and I find myself restless at the prospect of sitting here with nothing to do. Do work addictions happen this quickly?
I haven’t talked to The Kid much in the last several days. In part because I’ve been working a lot of nights this week; also in part because he is only returning my calls sporadically. Last week, I booked airplane tickets to pick him up for a week at the end of the month. I’m stoked to see him but right now our relationship seems a little rocky. He and I need this time together, but I fear it will be a little awkward at first.
Who am I kidding? I’m always afraid of how awkward things are going to be with him. Given our recent history, I think I’m pretty well justified in this fear.
A valuable lesson in checking your e-mail on a timely basis:
This past Sunday I opened an e-mail from Jabba explaining that her dad had died that Friday night.
It seemed both crazy and not at all unexpected. He’s had health issues for some time. I also know that the last few times I asked Jabba how he was doing, her response was “not good” though she never really elaborated. I suppose I should have expected such curt responses from her. After all, we are divorced; but I was always legitimately concerned with her father’s welfare. I wonder if I’ll ever get used to the fact that I am now at the age where my parent’s generation – The Baby Boomers – are slowly beginning to die off and we, the children of the Baby Boomers – Generation X if you will – are inheriting the Earth.
Jabba’s Dad was always very good to me; regardless if how bizarre her mother got at times. Even after Jabba and I split up he was very friendly with me when I was in SC dropping The Kid off at their house. During my previous life, I even got to the point where I began to address her parents as Mom & Dad; so it was a little weird when Jabba and I initially split up and I began to call him by his first name.
As I always tend to do when someone I know dies, Jabba’s Dad’s death has me thinking of mortality: mine, my parents, The Auteur, even our kids. Life is too short and I often feel like I’ve been just spinning my tires. I’m 40 years old and what do I really have to show for myself? I know, it often takes years for people to rebuild their lives following a divorce; but for me it feels like the same old problems in my life. Something, a lot of things, need to change.
I really worry about how The Kid is taking all of this. He’s holding up pretty well, from everything I’ve seen and heard. This is probably the first death of a real close loved one he’s dealt with. Jabba’s dad lived with them for almost two years after her and I split. That’s got to affect him more than we realize. Jabba’s mother died a few years ago, but he was way too young to remember that. The sights and sensations of a funeral may stay with him for a long time. I wish I had the means to be there for him tomorrow. Even if I could, I’m not sure how appropriate it would be for me to be there.
The funeral is tomorrow, so Jabba and The Kid are in town as Jabba’s dad is being buried in his hometown here in Michigan. The Kid and I got together for a few hours yesterday. Though the reasoning behind The Kid’s visit made me sad, I was so happy to see him yesterday. We played at an indoor playground called The Treehouse. It was the kind of pure unadulterated fun that I desperately needed right now. I’m especially happy to say that he’s still small enough that I can life him up and put him on my shoulders. I know that sounds corny, but I want him to remain small for as long as possible. I already miss far too much of his everyday life for my taste. Saying goodbye to him was, of course, sad. I hated to see him go. I know he hated saying goodbye to me too.
I miss him more than I realized. I miss doing everyday stuff with him: playing, hearing about his school day, meeting his friends. I have to find a way to visit with him this summer. I’m not sure where we’ll stay or for how long, or how I’m going to fund such a venture, but I have to find a way to make it happen. The truth is, I’m not involved enough in his life. I have to change that. I have to force that change if necessary.
There’s a sign in the classroom that I’m subbing in today that reads “Conflict Facilitates Change”. That’s some food for thought today. We’re watching a clip from “America: The Story of Us” covering the start of the Great Depression. The overriding theme of this segment is the American “Can Do” attitude and our ability to persevere through adversity; again, more food for thought.
Maybe Shirley Manson said it best when she sang “the trick is to keep breathing.”
A good one. I originally planned to share this one a few weeks ago.
“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
I don’t include this quote today out of any insane attempt to compare my situation – or any situation in my life to the Holocaust. I include it because, I believe it embodies how most people feel about life in general. Despite the experiences – good and bad – we all have with one another, we always look for the best in others. I was thinking a lot about this while The Auteur and I were at 1b’s basketball game. Her dad was talking about attending the game last night; he ending up calling in the afternoon saying he couldn’t make it. 1B didn’t seem surprised, but I’m sure she was still disappointed. After all, it’s her dad. In the time that I’ve known her, 1B’s Dad will pull no-shows, bail at the last second or he and his new wife will straight-up tell 1b that they’re not interested. In spite of all this, 1b will – as all people do – hold out and hope for the best.
This got me thinking a lot about my recent dealings with Jabba. Sometimes, I think that if Jabba knew about The Auteur’s experiences with 1B’s dad, it would really make her appreciate the kind of dad I am to The Kid. We’re trying to make plans for The Kid’s summer visit, but are having difficulty agreeing on a time frame. Things have been relatively peaceful between her and I – maybe because we spoken on the phone. This makes me optimistic. After all the crap she tried putting me through, maybe, hopefully, she’s starting to mellow out.
But then there’s the cynic in me that is cautious because she has been so quiet.
I don’t foresee things ever being amicable between me and Jabba. Frankly, I don’t care. I don’t want to be friends with her, but it would be nice if we could be polite when it came to The Kid.
I talked to a lawyer earlier this week and he introduced me to the term parental alienation. I had never heard the term before, but I am already all-too familiar with the concept. He said it sounds like that what Jabba’s starting to do with The Kid and I. I just don’t get it. It doesn’t have to be this way.
I guess it’s because I’m am pie-in-the-sky dreamers. I like to think of myself as this über-cynic but the reality is that I too hold out & hope for the best even from those people who annoy the hell out of me.