Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Real World

Back in the World for a few days... the real world... for me, at least. This world has children in it, and friends who don't carry weapons, and a brother and sisters only care about me and my kids. It's nice.

I'm afraid of getting too comfortable in it... because I have to go back, and then the real work begins. Being with my kids is just so... comfortable and sane.

The other day, spending the day with my kids at my sister's house, my littlest became hyperactive and started being very willful. I thought that he was probably very tired and needed a nap, so I took him to the playroom in the basement and tried to get him to lie down. He squirmed and squirmed, so I turned on the TV and started flipping channels. NASCAR was what did it. He suddenly became riveted to the images of cars zooming around the track and settled down. In minutes he was asleep, and I lay there, holding my baby boy while he slept and felt a touch of heaven. It was the calmest, most comfortable, sanest time of the last three months. I felt such love and contentment for that time, it's hard to explain how rich it felt or how much I enjoyed it.

I had been worried that he would begin to forget me, but the moment he saw me he lit up and reached for me. My heart melted. He wouldn't get far from my side all day, and the little boy who doesn't really want to be held much would barely let me put him down. I love him so much, and it breaks my heart to think that I may never get to know him as he grows up, and that he may not get to know his father. That's not what I want for him. I may not be much, but I am the one he has, and I want for him to have a father. If something happens to me over there, he won't remember me by the time he is an adult. I will have only a genetic legacy in this one.

Crushing thought. Unbelievable pain.

It's hard not to seem melodramatic... of course the biggest chance is that I will come home completely unharmed and my little boy will come to know the fallible father that he was born to... but perhaps not. I don't run around thinking about it all the time, but it comes to mind. Even if there is a completely happy outcome for everyone, there is still this year... or whatever it becomes. Something tells me it will be more. That is time none of us will ever have back.

There are a lot of implications to what I am doing. Not all of them are my implications. Some of them are risks borne by my children, who did not agree to them and never asked for them. All they want is their father, no matter how fallible he is, no matter how sad, or poor, or screwed-up. They just want, and need, their dad.

I have had an active part in separating themselves from their dad. I am happy to be doing what I am... I have respect for what I am doing. I feel that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, and what I am intended to do. At the same time, there is guilt. My children have had, and will have, pain. I caused that. It was me. The only reason I can bear that is that I do believe that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. It gives me a sense of serenity, and I am at peace with what I am doing.

I am doing the right thing. But my kids are being hurt by it. Reconciling that in myself is an exercise in mental, emotional, and spiritual yoga. Everything becomes twisted into a knot; but it has to be done.

These type of thoughts occur at other times, but they happen most when I have the joy of seeing my children... and I want so much for them. I certainly don't want them to hurt. The hardest thing about this journey for me is missing my kids. All of the rest of it is fine, really. I can accept everything, and I am constantly working to accept everyone exactly as they are. Missing my kids is so painful that I don't like to dwell on it. Thinking of their pain is even more painful. It becomes a matter of mental discipline not to dwell on it, not to let it seep into nearly every waking thought, destroying my ability to do my job... or enjoy being with my kids. Or let them enjoy being with me.

My eldest son went to tears the other day seemingly out of nowhere. He was anticipating the pain of my leaving again. I had to help him to re-center and be with me in the moment. I can't help him to live in the moment if I can't do it for myself. I can't afford, and he can't afford, for me to be all ate-up over my pain, and anticipating his pain, and feeling a bunch of guilt over all of that.

So, to re-center myself for now; I am getting to spend time with my kids. I am getting to enjoy them, and spend time with them, and let them know that their dad loves them so very much. They are enjoying the sense of peace as much as I am. There will pain when I leave again, this time for a bit longer... but there is time for that when it is time to feel it. It will be a rich emotion, too. It is life, and thank God that I can feel anything.

For today, I am enjoying being in my home city, being with my children, being with family and friends. I am grateful for all of this, and for all of them. We are alive.

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