Something’s Missing

I miss my kids.  As a result of their uncle being in town from Venezuela, they have had a week full of plans and I have not seen them since Monday evening.  Even though I have had the opportunity to talk to them every night, it’s not quite the same.

The funny thing is that I was always of the opinion that I could handle extensive time away from my kids without it bothering me.  In 2004, I traveled to San Francisco for a week for a conference, and I don’t think I missed them then as much as I do right now.  Granted, my situation was very different at that time.  I was only four months removed from splitting up with my wife and leaving the house, I was searching for answers regarding the direction of my life, and I was distracted by conference and the beauty of San Francisco.

Today, I have much more stability in my life.  I have my new place and newfound personal direction.  And it is clearer to me everyday that my kids provide me with that sense of stability I crave.  My children are the reason I do what I do.  Sure, I may make subtle comments from time to time about ‘the cost’ of being a parent, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I need them in my day to day.  I need knowing I am going to pick them up after school and share some time with them.  I need to know that I have to keep the pantry stocked with Fruit by the Foot, Gushers, popcorn, and fruit snacks.  I love watching Daniel sit back and play Sonic on my PlayStation.  I cherish playing Tag with Natalie and watching her crack up in unabashed fashion.

I have contemplated career opportunities that require travel and time away from home.  I look at vacation plans and weekend getaways that keep me away from my kids.  I think about how little time I actually spend with my children, and how this time away from them makes me appreciate them even more.  And I have learned that being a parent is more than a responsibility.  In many ways it’s a privilege because of all the rewarding moments that come with raising kids and watching them grow up and succeed.  I see my kids as my vocation, and I know now, more than ever, that I am nothing without my children.

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