I’ve made enough mistakes in my life to warrant the caution of others, their being wary of my resolution. My intentions have mostly always been for good (I used to believe “firmly always” but I’ve grown to accept that mostly is more applicable.) Because of these there are weights I carry that no one but me has asked me to. We all do to a certain degree. It’s not that I want or need pity – I’ve got healthy children and I’m not poor and living in a box downtown. I’m not burdened by dramatic chaos or damnation like those who secretly enshrine Ricky Martin. I simply have no fucking clue how to live anymore.

And I want to. I miss life. With a big Fucking “LIFE” sign all Cusack style above my head. Joy from the soul like when Lucas hugs me randomly before tumbling over the back of the sofa yet again or Olivia reads me a bed time story because she learned her silent letters and wants the pride from me that I couldn’t ever let go and which has been there from the very beginning. She reads with a passion I can’t imagine anymore, but I used to have it. I want that back. My Monopoly board’s corners are Work. Kids. Relationship. House. Somewhere between all those someone forgot to toss in some “Dance like Footloose” and “Fifteenth Place in a Best Dad Contest: Good for 1 Quarterly Boffing” cards.

It’s not that I don’t want to do the work, I just don’t do work well. I jump in. I wade around. Dive in the deep end because its fun, but when it comes to doing laps my brain and determination shut off. Olivia digs the flips. She digs everything I do. I know that because when she needs to be scolded, or held, or soothed, or congratulated it is me that waves the magic wand. Its the greatest feeling a Father – a person – can ever know. There is no close second. But there IS a second, and third, and 50th. For some there’s a 100th. I’m not one of them. I have my go-to emotions and I ride em out Die Hard style. Now my life my emotion list is smaller than its ever been. My love for my children pervades all. But Olivia’s love, and Lucas’ are also what derail me. And what my brain should carry as a gift becomes a Holy Fuck All as to how to be ME outside of that. Everything is supposed to be for them, and what is for me I fight for and against selflishness.

I worry. A lot. I think too much. Listen too little. And prattle on incessantly. Again I think mean well, but I don’t always practice well. I don’t want to hurt my children. Ever. One day, God willing a long time from now, I will be responsible for breaking their hearts through no choice of my own. And I won’t be able to fix that. No Elsa bandaids, no extra chocolatey milk. No cookies before dinner or ice cream in January under a blanket-tent in our living room. No long-distance calls to soothe a broken heart or another pull from the ATM to get them home. All I can pray is that by then we will have raised them as best as we could. To be strong, assertive but courteous, compassionate and considerate. Put Simply to be honest. To become themselves. Be there for each other. To their chosen partners whomever they may be. To forgive my fuck ups knowing I did what I hoped was right because I knew from day 1 that they each deserved my best even when I didn’t give it to them. My soul will be able to rest easy if that’s my legacy, and the only real pain I cause them.

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