My kids have been in town for the last couple weeks, and I have about another month left before they leave. I’m really enjoying my time with them, and find myself kind of surprised how true that cliché about kids growing up fast really is. It seems like yesterday that my son was in diapers, and now he’s riding his bike at full speed, swimming and running all over the place. My daughter, who used to be so tiny, is no longer so easy to pick up and put on my shoulders. They even have their own social lives at school with friends and classmates.
My arrangement is far from ideal, as I have to drive hundreds of miles per month during the school year to see the kids on too-short weekends and holidays. I miss them terribly when I go for up to a month without seeing them. You never really get over not having your kids sleep in your house every evening. It can be pretty doleful to wake up alone without the little ones to liven the place up.
However, I have it a lot better than many men, who either don’t see their children at all or can’t afford to see them as much as the law allows. Parenthood is an enormous part of many people’s lives, and any parent that misses so much of it is deprived of one of life’s most important chapters. Divorced men who are separated from their children truly live incomplete lives, and usually through no great fault of their own. Anyone who has children and doesn’t feel for them must have a heart of stone.
Furthermore, even men who don’t divorce are usually deprived of a great deal of time with their kids due to social expectations about the man’s role. There used to be a time when work and family were not mutually exclusive, but sadly for most of us that is no longer the case. In fact, if my ex still lived in Seattle I’d probably have more quality time with my kids as a divorced man than your typical married guy. When faced with the threat of loss, you tend to cherish your time with the children, so you make the sacrifices necessary to be with them.
This summer, I intend to spend the rest of my time with the kids doing lots of fun things, biking, fishing, playing and going to the beach. So there may be a few gaps in the content from time to time; it’s the price I pay, and it’s worth it.
Perhaps the most important mission of this site, and the one about which I feel most strongly, is to bring fathers and children together. Not only is fatherhood necessary for a civilized society, but for children’s well-being, and I sincerely believe that depriving children and fathers of the opportunity to know and love each other is a crime against humanity.