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Life Goes On... And So Does Parenting!

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Life Goes On

Three weeks ago I got a call from my sister in Ohio that our brother had left us. I was at work and burst into tears when I got off the phone. I had not seen him much since I had moved to NY over 20 years ago. I had been back to OH a few times in that time. Of course, I would go to the funeral. Leaving the wife and kids for a couple of days would be hard on her, but I knew she could handle it. And being away from the boys for more than 10 hours of work or whatever is something I had never done, but I knew they could handle it too.

Air travel was financially out of the question, so I had to drive.12 hours each way. By myself. I had done it just six months before when my brother’s wife unexpectedly left us. Same brother.

I knew he died of a broken heart.

The funeral went as well as could be expected. Grief must be felt and expressed to lose its potency. I drove there and back without incident. Thank God.

Losing someone always leave an empty space in one’s heart and self. If Time heals all wounds, it doesn’t completely heal them from death.

My boys are eight going on sixteen but act like four sometimes most of the time. Upon hearing the news of my brother, Archie (not his real name) offered to build a grave in Minecraft dedicated to him. To him, that was the ultimate tribute. Morty, Archie’s twin (and not his real name either) said, I’m sorry, which I thought was a rather profound act from a boy who was pretending to be a cheetah just moments before.

But, Life goes on.

Two deaths in six months is hard, for lack of a better word. Add to that eight year-old twins who move and/or talk constantly. Archie attends Special Ed classes for his reading disability and needs daily reading supervision. Morty needs to work on his handwriting. Not a disability, but still not an easy task when he doesn’t see or realize the need to get better. On the other hand, I always had poor handwriting and even though I was a straight-A student, I would get C’s in handwriting. Go figure. It’s probably better I’m typing now. Maybe typing will save Morty.

I have worked in a position for the past eight and a half years which has given me income and an easy commute, but doesn’t really challenge me or utilize my preferred skills and abilities. In other words, I’m not very happy where I am. I’m old enough to know that every job will have its plusses and minuses. I applied for a new position a couple of months ago and was notified almost two weeks ago that they would like to interview me. I became more excited the more I read about the company and position. We set up a Skype-like interview over the computer. I nailed it! I felt more proud and confident in that interview than in perhaps any interview ever. Then, just a couple of days ago, I found out that I didn’t get the job.

But, Life goes on.

I don’t share everything with the boys, especially about the job situation, because even though I think they would somewhat understand, they also would somewhat repeat to everybody. I didn’t want that kind of news somehow getting back to my current employer.

We had a new central air conditioner installed last week also. That is certainly an expense I could have done without if I could have done without a/c, but that ain’t happening.

I got a new used car in September and Mommy needs one, too. The roof leaks in the garage. The yard is a mess and some trees could do with a nice pruning. The driveway has cracks in it and is beyond just needing sealing, it needs replacing. The toilet in the boys’ room needs replacing. Wallpaper is coming off. Appliances are dying.

And Mommy’s job is getting more stressful and she has a much longer commute than I do to the Bronx. Her mother lives with us and is getting older and less capable of watching the hooligans.

Did I leave anything out? What, that’s not enough? Oh, me. Well, I’m not getting any younger either. I am well above the average age of first time fathers. Energy is my most cherished resource, what little I have left. I have also been working on a blog and other creative outlets when I have Time, my other most cherished resource.

I know, that’s two most cherished resources, Time and Energy. Wait, there’s a third. Money. Time, Energy and Money.

But, Life goes on.

The other night, since Mommy and Daddy were working late, Morty offered to help Archie with one of his reading assignments. It was truly one of the cutest things I have ever seen him or them do.

Parenting is a struggle. I like to think it is or has been a struggle for everyone everywhere throughout human history. What makes it harder now is that: 1) Mommy and Daddy are both working; 2) Technology has changed everything because now we know everything that goes on anywhere; 3) Social media has taken over and even though we can connect with someone around the world, we don’t have time for our neighbors; and, 4) the kids need food, clothing, shelter and constant attention and they refuse to get a job!(Ok, they’re only eight).

But, Life goes on. I get up every morning and have my coffee and get everybody else up and off to school or work. By 9:00pm, I’m wiped. I am not trying to whine or complain. My goal is to let those people know who are considering having kids what to expect. Save Time, Money and Energy now!

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