My phone vibrated in my pocket. I fished it out, wondering who might be calling me so late in the weekend.
The caller ID said it was my son, Baby B.
“Hello?” I answered in a somewhat confused voice.
“Can I come over and pick up a pair of shoes?”
“Okay. I’ll see you in a few minutes.”
I dropped my phone back into the lint-trap that is my pocket and resumed my battle with the evil pile of laundry which had inexplicably invaded my bed. Several minutes later, Baby B arrived and grabbed his shoes. On his way out the door he thanked me.
“For what?” I asked, perplexed.
“For letting me in. I didn’t know if you’d want to see me. At least, any more than you have to.”
That caught me off guard. I couldn’t tell of this was a lame self-depreciating joke (the sort which I have perfected) or if he was deadly serious. In my response, I opted to reply as if it were the latter.
“Son, despite how crazy you sometimes make me, if it were up to me you’d be here every day.”
And I mean that, from the very bottom of my grinch-like heart.
I know I don’t always show those I love how much I care about them. It’s a foible I’ve yet to remedy despite my feeble attempts. I love too much. Or sometimes not enough. I don’t really know how to love. But I’m still learning. And I hope I’m getting better.
So in the event that my children will inevitably read this (because I’ll be IMing them the link), let me tell them now (in written word because I’m 1000% more capable of articulating my emotions in written word rather than in person where my emotions get the better of me and words spill incoherently from my mouth like vegetable soup from a broken bowl (my mom did the same thing…I get it honsetly)).
My twins, you have no idea how much time and money I spent fighting for every minute I get to spend with you. It took almost a year after leaving your mother to get the 50/50 arrangement we have now. That was the one thing I fought for in the divorce was equal parenting time. I was not going to let you guys go.
For years afterward there was a gaping hole in my heart whenever you weren’t there. I’d often stare at my wall full of your pictures while agonizing tears of sorrow poured down my (likely) unshaven face. In fact, just the other day I had a “memory” pop up on Facebook in which I lamented (just a month after Baby C was born) just how much it still hurt that I didn’t get to see you every day.
I love you. All three of you. And if it were up to me, all three of you would be with me every minute of every day. You guys are what keeps me going. I do nothing without forethought of how it will impact your lives. But I can’t have you all the time, and, quite frankly, I probably wouldn’t even if I had the opportunity. I could never take your mother and her family away from you. I may not always agree with her parental choices, but deep down I know she loves you as much as I do, and I could never deprive you of that love. Or that of her family. Know this.
I know I’m sometimes hard on you, and that can make it seem like I don’t love you. I can assure you, though, it’s quite the opposite. I’m hard on you because I love you. I push you so you will become the very best version of you that you can possibly be. I want you to choose the right path where I choose the wrong one. I want you to have a better life than I have had. I want you to be able to provide better for your children than I could for you. I want you to be more prepared for the real world than I was, because, let’s face it, the real world blows. (Case in point, Trump is probably going to get the GOP nomination.)
I also know that I’m sometimes short with you. I don’t mean to be, and I never ever seem able to stop myself. I don’t realize I’ve snapped until afterward. Please remember that I do have a mild mood disorder and that I am being treated for it. I’m trying. Really.
I hope I’m wrong and that you don’t really feel like I don’t want you around. Trust me, I know that feeling and felt the same way about my father at your age. It’s not pleasant at all. I will continue to do my best to find ways to show you I care. On the off-chance that I’m not able to make that change, though, please refer to this. I cannot imagine my life without you boys, and I hope I never have to.
You boys have grown into young men of whom I’m very proud.
I just wanted you to know.