Piled High

Emotions piled high, letting the weight settle,

Ten days of go, to decision and loss and sadness and alone,

Our last canine, remaining sister, her time to end, to heart stop, eternal sleep, house quiet, heavy.

Ten days plus 556 days since the family changed, two households now, split, solo dad era established,

Adjusted ok outside, inside still unsettled, still unsure, how, entering into the true me maybe, we’ll see…

Married once, twice, that doesn’t seem to be me,

Just a dad now, grateful, certainly a part of me, that love never fails,

User of words to frame moments and feelings and spirits, striving so is me,

Willing, unrelenting, unsure of all but the desire, certainty that this is what I am,

Wandering, wondering, what lays ahead, limbo somehow, floating being,

The lessons, reward come hard, the glory fleeting, if any, seeking, subtle, sublime,

Closest to my being in those moments, these moments, sublime struggle, somehow,

GOOD.

Irritant

Another title for this piece might be “pain in the ass” , or legs, to be more precise

I’ve been dealing with some sort of skin issue on my legs for a few days now. Thought it was sun-related maybe; then I thought maybe a plant or insect bite allergy.

Still not sure. Whatever the cause, it seems to flare up most in the middle of the night. Like when I started scribbling this post down.

This situation, it got me thinking deeper. Surprise. It got me thinking about happiness. There’s this fundamental I’ve thought true for a long time. At my best I love it well.

Much of our happiness in life depends on our ability to ignore irritants.

Lotion helps too, sometimes.

Chatter

Listen to them fill in the final moments before sleep,

Topics not touched on prior, squeeze every last this and that on any particular thing,

A few more breathes of words to fill in the cracks after the lights have gone down,

I mildly lament, a stubbornly resist, and then I let it run, them run, just enough I suppose,

And then GOOD.

A Dad’s Way

Up early, do what you can.

Tip-toe into the kids’ room, blow them a kiss, piggyback to the one on the cheek, hand the night before.

Move the pile of clean laundry from one spot to the other; gotta fold that tonight.

Sip cold brew, do a little work on your day off.

Take solace in the birdsong drifting through the open window.

Reset another password.

Push anxiety and doubts aside.

Thank God for another day.

Firm or Harsh?

I find myself periodically in this space. I’m wrangling to keep my kids on task during the crunch time of work/day evenings. We’re working to stay on schedule to meet a goal, in this case lights out in time for a good night’s sleep.

As they seem to wander to and fro, distracted, my guiding tone goes from pleasant to terse, insistent, firm.

I try hard not to yell. I recall I didn’t like to hear yelling as a kid myself. But I do get more firm; I remind them of consequences to behavior.

Sometimes I think I’m being harsh. Every time that comes to mind, most every time there’s a shift in my own thinking, patience level, I try to pause, and check myself.

They’re just kids learning, living, growing up. They benefit from guidance, especially when a time schedule is involved; but if they stay generally on task, that’s the main goal.

Those are the two take-aways:

Check firm, make sure it’s not harsh;.

Remind them of the goal (what ever it is) that’s linked to the schedule being imposed.

Ah yes, and remember, they’re just kids learning.

Sing Song

I love music, and I L O V E this song. It’s one of my favorites, over the few decades since I first heard it.

I learned the words long ago, and sing along pretty much whenever I listen to the tune.

“A Pirate Looks At Forty” by Jimmy Buffett. It’s a great one. Many other musicians have covered it, including Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews. I’m no musician really, but I cover it too.

So several years back when I was inspired to sing my kids a lullaby well…after singing a couple of the “standards”, I switched to this time-tested fave.

My kids call the song by the first line, “Mother Ocean”. I don’t sing the whole song to them – there’s a little more adult content toward the end – but sing away otherwise I still do for them.

That’s the message I’d like to convey: don’t be afraid to sing along, or even lead the way. It feels good to sing.

You’ll be glad you did.

Promo

Promo, don’t you know,

Not the commercial kind, oh no!

Rather the advancement, getting promoted forward, skyward,

No in work, but school,

Grade 5 to be exact,

Our oldest, our leader,

Older than her 11 years,

On to middle school,

Our two-house family come together to celebrate and support and fill her with love,

Filled with joy,

Shine on kid, Shine On!

Week-end Struggle

Weird to think, struggle on the weekend,

Fun and games and care-free ways give way to toil and trouble, bubble bubble,

As Sunday night settles in, angst and worry, aches and pains, imagined, real, pour in through the cracks and splits,

Lava creeping, melting, molding all to worry, can’t control, overwhelmed, just what we don’t want as Weekend recedes,

But is what is, we feel what we feel, and that’s all we can respond to, adjust to, you , me,

Us all, same boat, let’s row together as best we can, into the night, week, day ahead, look forward, rest,

The dawn will come soon enough, soon enough.