The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

March 16, 2008

Me and My Kids (again)


And that's OK, because I post about my kids a lot. And I like that I do, and I'm going to again.

And my camera battery ran out so I couldn't take new pix. So I've had to resurrect these ones. But I might have anyway.

I haven't seen my kids, together, in a couple of weeks. And I've been very busy and preoccupied in other ways, by work and other fine distractions, but my kids are never far from my mind or heart.

And as usual, I learned something about them again this weekend.

It really hit home what good friends they are. And, gulp, how I don't need to be part of that.

(Photoshop effort courtesy of Donn, aka Homo Escapeons or whatever he calls himself nowadays)

As a non-custodial parent of two kids I care more deeply about than anything else, two kids who live with their mom, a big thing with me is how much I miss out on their daily lives, the most intimate moments.

So I tend to gravitate towards over-compensating...wanting to give them everything, wanting to micro-manage them when they're with me, wanting them to see how much I care for them and how much I want to be a part of their lives...
But that's not really what they need. They need to know I'm there for them, of course. But sometimes, they just need me to BUTT OUT. They need me to get that they're surviving and are OK, thank you.
They want me to provide for them, to pamper them at times, to always understand I'm there for them...but at the same time, to gather that they're not little bubble babies and that they need some space, too.

So while sometimes I just want to smother them when they're with me, I can't. They want and need to feel they're themselves over here, the same way they do at their mom's place, where they (gulp) live, full-time.
And this past weekend, I finally got how while they like being with me, they still have to be themselves with me and, to be honest, they can most be themselves without me.
At least, without me being in listening distance.
And I learned this when I disappeared from the room they were in together and heard them talking and joking and teasing each other. I know they were talking about my son's girlfriend, for one.
And a lot of other stuff that clearly they felt comfortable joking with each other about, as long as I wasn't within earshot.
And that "stuff" is stuff they probably wouldn't have talked about together if I was there with them. Argggghh...

So as much as it pains me to say it, I guess it's impossible, in the words of that old Bee Gees Song, to say or sing to them, "I Just Want to Be Your Everything." Even as much as I want to be.

Instead, it's about just being their dad...and letting them be individuals, which they are evolving into, no question, with me being part of that equation, but especially now, without me being in the picture, kind of more in the background scenery...

If you think about it, how close were you to your parents? In the larger scheme of things, the teens and early 20s are all about becoming an individual, breaking away, finding your own way...
And they seem to have each other. They have a lot in common and I was amazed this weekend how much they kibitzed with each other when I wasn't right there. I told them both afterwards I had noticed this.
And they both smiled and nodded that it was true. To me it was a bit frightening, but it rang true. And it's cool. A bit hard to handle, but it's true.