And The Rockets’ Red Glare

I turned her world upside down and she screamed at me. “I hate you!” There was fire in her eyes and flames shooting out of her ears. I nodded my head and sat there in silence while she screamed. I waited for a moment and said that I was sorry and watched as she tried to process that. Tears streamed down her face and she screamed at me again but I still sat there in silence. I know her well and there wasn’t any point in saying anything because she wasn’t ready to hear me. So I opened my arms and she jumped on my lap and buried her head on my shoulder.

These are the moments that try your patience and hurt your heart because your job isn’t to make your children cry. Change is hard. It brings out fear uncertainty and insecurity. You do the best that you can to reassure them that everything is going to be ok but sometimes the only thing that helps is life experience and you can’t give them that. Her older brother wasn’t any happier than she was and in some ways that made it worse. In her eyes he is a bigger hero than I am and when she saw him cry it just made it worse.

They looked at me and asked why I wasn’t more emotional and I told them that it bothers me more than they know. This is not my first choice nor how I planned things. I did my best to explain to them that life is filled with moments that don’t go as we planned and that we need to try to roll with them. They didn’t bite on that nor did I really expect them to. I wasn’t surprised by their reactions. They have been telling me for months about their plans but I never told them that they would be for naught. I never let them know that they were dreaming of things that wouldn’t be.

I didn’t see a point to doing so. There was no benefit and I figured that I needed to travel down this road a bit farther. I needed to go down around the bend and see if there was anything that made me think things could turn out differently, but I didn’t. So it seemed to make more sense to wait until after the school year ended. I didn’t tell them about any of the other changes that I suspect are coming because there is no benefit to worrying about things that may not be. But I know things. I feel them and the storm that has passed over us hasn’t left us unscathed. There is more to come but it is unclear as to how those things will manifest.

My son wants to know how I can be so strong and how I can be so calm. I tell him that I am not as calm as I seem but that sometimes yelling doesn’t help. He tells me that he has seen me yell and he knows that I do it when I need to. I tell him that sometimes silence is more powerful than words but that it is not really applicable here. He asks me why I mentioned it and I say that it is because it is a discussion to be had in the future.

****The Bombs Bursting In Air****

My daughter’s kindergarten class used to sing with Lee Greenwood every day. Sometimes I’d make a point to show up at school early so that I could stand in the back and listen to 21 small voices sing this song. It was beautiful.

This past May my son went on a plane for the first time without his parents. It was surreal to think that he was finally old enough to travel without us. It was a school trip so I felt confident in sending him but it would be untrue if I said that I didn’t get a little nervous. I think that it was good for him and that it helped him grown and mature a little bit. I remember when he and his friends had little voices like his sister. They are still little but not like they were. I see signs of the pre-teen years coming and I am trying to prepare myself for the onslaught.

His stories are very different from my daughters. I watch him play with his friends just as I have watched her play and I remain convinced that gender plays a bigger role in how they play and interact. You can talk to me all you want about trying to be gender neutral but I don’t think that it matters.  We think differently.

It is close to 2 AM and I really need to get some more shuteye than I am getting but I haven’t quite said all that there is to say so I’ll stick around for just a little bit longer. I have links two posts that I wrote a while back that have caught my eye. Don’t know if it is because it is so late at night or if the words are resonating for other reasons but the rules of  the blog must be adhered to.

So I share links to Serendipity and I am My Own Worst Enemy. And as I prepare to shut down for the evening I have one more video but this time I’ll provide just the link. It is called Does Size Matter and it has been a favorite of many readers here on more than one occasion.

Sleep is required so I am off to dream about the things that fathers dream about, men think of and boys aspire to.

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  1. marianne.worley July 5, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    @TheJackB I can only imagine how tough and scary that must be. I moved at least once a year, sometimes twice, until I was 8. Then, I had the luxury of staying at the same school for 2 1/2 years before we moved again. I never really got used to it, but I learned how to adapt quickly to new situations.

  2. TheJackB July 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    @marianne.worley I didn’t see any sense in making it any bigger than it needs to be. If there was a compelling reason to move them sooner I would, but…

    It has been a big deal to them. Been getting all sorts of “funny” questions about whether we need to bring the doors, toilets etc. They haven’t moved before so they don’t know.

  3. marianne.worley July 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I think you made a good choice waiting until the school year ended. I was suddenly uprooted several times during the middle of school and it always made it much more difficult to move on. The memory of being pulled out of class one day and being dropped off at a new school the following week is permanently burned into my brain. But the years I changed schools during the summer, the transition wasn’t so traumatic. They’ll appreciate your choice later.

  4. TheJackB July 3, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    @Leon Leon, I am confident that your prediction is spot on and that one day I will look back at this time. All I have to do is get through this little blip and I’ll be on my way. 😉

  5. Leon July 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    G’Day Jack,

    At some time in the future, you’re going to look into the eyes of your first, newborn grandchild and say to yourself, “Now i know why I went to so much bloody trouble.” Then you’l thinkl “Was it after the Mavs beat the Heat or was it on Independence Day 2011…….Can’t remember… That wont matter. You’ll know; that’s all.

    Of course, by then, you’ll be a fully accredited curmudgeon. Now that’s something to look forward to. “Please, my name is Hedley!”



  6. TheJackB July 3, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    @bdorman264 Hey Bill. Life is ok, just a bit more complicated right now. I use this place to vent and have a proclivity to bombard it with everything, well maybe not everything but ‘enough.’

    That video about men and women just works so well and explains so much. Weekend is pretty good so far, could always be much worse. Hope you are having fun too.

  7. bdorman264 July 3, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Jack my man, well written but I hope whatever is going with you there is positive resolution. We are here for you as much as we can be.

    I really liked the men vs women’s brains; oh, so true.

    I will take your advice and check the older posts and links out.

    Take care buddy and hope you are having a good 4th weekend.

  8. TheJackB July 3, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Hi Mimi- We are ok. Just got a few things going on. Hope you have a good holiday. Thank you for your thoughts, it is much appreciated.

  9. MimiMeredith July 3, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Jack, there is so much here to ponder between the lines. I hope you are okay.

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