Greetings from rainy St. Louis...
It's good to finally be writing on this blog again. My recent life journeys have caused me to spend most of my time writing on my other blog, but this one still remains my "baby" because of the topic. This is where my calling is and this one is where I find the kindest remarks and the most encouraging moments.
I've talked to a good deal of divorced dads in recent months. One of the common threads in the guys I've talked to is how divorce just plain makes us feel like we failed. We failed at life, we failed our family, we failed maybe the one woman who was going to love us for all our lives, (or so we hoped at least).
Well in the months that I have been walking down the road I am on, (you'll have to read the other blog to catch up) I have come to grasp some very vital things. I'll explain it all in a story.
Yesterday my daughter got her first cell phone. I wasn't too keen on the idea because cell companies tend to recycle the numbers and I have gotten more than one wrong number call me in the wee hours looking for the previous owner of the cell phone. I have worried about her getting wrong numbers from some wierdo. But she needs one now. Her mom has gone back to work and so has her moms husband. Obviously I don't live with her, so she needs a phone in case she gets sick at school or whatever.
Anyway, yesterday I was sitting in my training class here in St. Louis, and I start getting texts from her...only I didn't know it because I had left my phone in my room. At lunch I went to my room to grab my phone and I see three voice mails from a number I didn't recognize. Then I see that this same number had called me about 12 times. So I was nervous because I assumed it could only be bad news.
Then I checked my text messages...and Morgan had sent me three and a picture of herself. I was so happy just to hear from her I got tears in my eyes. So over then next two hours we texted back and forth surreptitiously, (I'm not supposed to use my cell in the training class) and over that time I got 53 texts from my little girl...and 26 of them said "I Love You daddy" or a variant thereof. Allow me to boast just a little when I tell you it made me feel like I had done a good job so far! I might have grounded into a lot of double plays in other areas of life, but when it comes to my daughter I am a home run hitter every time.
A child tells her parent she loves him (or her) only if they feel they are, in fact, loved by that parent, and only if they hear those words themselves from that parent.
Regardless of how else I may have struggled in life, my daughter knows how much I love her, she hears me say it frequently, and she is comfortable telling me the same.
That's what really matters in this world, in a lot of ways. With my love and my blessing, she will go very far. Most dads I know feel that way about their kids. Some may struggle to say it. The odd few just don't feel any connect with their kids...and sadly that's where the stereotype of a divorced man is often forged...but not the average guy. Dad's, if you've given your children the enormous gift of your open, spoken, and most of all displayed love for them, than you have done far more succeeding that failing. Let yourself up off the mat a little and realize that if your kids know you love them, and they are so confident in your love that they feel free to love you back...you have done the lion's share of the Daddy job. The blessing of the father is everything, as Ed Tandy McGlasson says. (You need to check out Big Ed's site at www.thedifferenceafathermakes.org Ed is an amazing teacher on this topic) You are still the daddy, and divorced or not, it is you who has the blessing to bestow. The biggest blessing is the unquestioned expression of your love for your kids.
Have a good day fellas.