If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you’re probably wondering if I fell off a cliff. If you’re not a regular here you might be thinking similar thoughts about my regularity (and I’m not talking about my bathroom schedule). I recently moved hosting providers and lost a couple of my posts so it doesn’t look like I’ve posted recently. In fact, I haven’t posted as much as I normally do.
Life has gotten the better of me and I’ve been so busy with work, the family, traveling, and my other efforts with Dads Talking. I’ve really missed writing and have so much to share with you. However, something came across me last night and I thought I’d share that instead. It’s a letter I’m writing to O and Jake and it goes something like this…
My Dearest Olivia and Jake,
For the last year or so I’ve taken on the approach that other people aren’t to blame for our actions. I do truly believe that we may not be able to control what happens to us but we can control how we respond. I suppose on the larger picture we might think of horrible things like Bubby getting cancer or the time that I was held up at gunpoint and handcuffed. Of course these are times when it’s easy to see how we might allow forces outside of us to control our response.
Every day things happen to us, big and small; each of these times we’re still responsible for how we respond. Last night when I was setting up a digital frame in our Living Room you (Olivia) saw the frame turn on and started playing with it. I think you told the frame that you wanted to use Turkish as a language because it took me 2 hours to fix it and I couldn’t understand a word! The point is, I was very short with you and was visibly frustrated. Even though I didn’t yell or scold you, I sensed you saw my frustration because you must have apologized 5 times to me. I can’t imagine how old you might be when you read this but you’re two and a half today. If there’s one thing that Daddy knows it’s that two and a half year olds should be two and a half year olds. When you saw that shiny light go on that was your queue to go play with it! I should’ve never gotten upset with you like I did.
I realized afterwards that I wasn’t upset that our Frame could only be understood by someone living in Turkey. I was upset because I felt a lack of control. Even worse, it was a lack of control for the very constraints I put on myself. Most of the things that keep me so busy now a day are things I’ve put on myself. They’re choices I’ve made and as a result I’m suffering. I’m suffering because I have a million and one things to do and no time to do them. You should only reap the rewards from the work I do and should never have to consume any of the stress that gets unleashed as a result.
Again, you’ve reinforced a lesson I thought I learned but haven’t been practicing. I acted like a victim last night and with all my built up frustrations found some way deep inside to convince myself it was okay to get upset. I fell victim to my own weaknesses. For that I am very sorry. I’m upset with myself for responding the way I did but I do see a light of hope here.
You’ve helped me see something inside of myself that I might otherwise not have seen. Anybody can look at the surface of a picture but to get into the things that make the picture is something different. As you both grow and mature you’ll be faced with many situations where what’s on the outside, the surface, will appear one way. Pealing back those layers and understanding…really understanding what’s behind will allow you to embrace, nurture, and develop your inner self.
I love you both more than you’ll ever know. Just when I think I understand myself and the world around me I’m knocked back down with the thought that in a combined 3 years of life between the two of you I’m constantly growing, learning, and ultimately becoming a better Dad.
I am forever indebted to you both for giving my life purpose, substance and for giving me the greatest gift in the world…The gift of being your Dad.