Sunday, October 17, 2010
Another good day for me and the kids. We started our day out early, as we were off to have a visit with my parents. The morning started out just like any other, with the boys doing absolutely nothing they were supposed to. Me being the most patient dad, okay, that's bullshit, me being the most impatient dad, got the troops moving in the right direction by channeling my inner drill sergeant.
We drove across town, and picked up my daughter, for this short road trip. What was supposed to be a quiet visit between us and my folks, became a loud and very active visit with each of my brothers, and a few of their kids. It was complete chaos, but it was family, and we all loved it. Let me tell you, one of the best reasons to be here in southern California is that we are now able to visit my family more often, and it is truly wonderful. On the drive back to San Diego my kids were commenting on how great it is to see their cousins so often. This tells me I made the right decision to uproot our family, and it tells me that we will do well in putting down new roots as well.
Part of today's excitement was that the kids and I were meeting our realtor, Jonathan Olow, at the prospective new house. Did I mention that I found one I liked? Well, it meets all of our requirements, and I wanted to get feedback from the kids before making a formal offer. It's not that they will make the decision, but I wanted them to feel that their interests are taken into consideration, and I wanted to feel a sense of ownership as well. As we arrived, Jonathan was great about engaging the kids, and encouraging them to look around and give us their impressions. And believe me, they had their opinions. I'm beginning to think I have allowed them to watch far too many HGTV shows, as it really felt like I was on an episode of House Hunters.
I tried to carefully observe each of the kids. I wanted to see through their excitement, and watch for the subtle messages they might feel uncomfortable discussing. I need to keep in mind that they have also suffered a big loss this past year. They lost their stepfather, who they loved dearly. They lost something in me as well. We can't pretend that I am the same person, or the same kind of parent. I'm just not. What I saw in them while in the house, and while walking around the neighborhood afterward, was that they so desperately want us to be happy. They were careful to include each other in the discussions, and were direct with each other about what thoughts came to mind. My youngest son, Remy, carefully chose his words when addressing a concern with Dante. He could hear the sound of kids in a nearby house, and told Dante that he would have to watch his behavior, meaning how loud and out of control he can get. He looked Dante in the eye and said, "you know that the way you talk is not appropriate for small kids to hear." Surprisingly, Dante seemed to understand this. I found this both touching, and refreshing.
The other part that I find interesting, is the voice of restraint and common sense that keeps emerging from my daughter, Arianne. When she hears me talking about changing this on the house, or adding that to the house, she stops me in my tracks, and says, "dad, do you really think you need to spend so much money on changing something that looks perfectly fine as it is?" The voice of reason. From my daughter?
In all, I must say that this is happening at a good time. It is keeping my mind busy with numbers, and with future plans. When I stop to slow down, I can feel the anguish that is surfacing about this Tuesday. If you take notice of the important dates that are listed on the right, you will see that it is our wedding anniversary. Honestly, I feel better saying it is the day that Michael and I got married. It somehow doesn't feel right calling it our anniversary when we never actually had one together.
I really don't mean to sound melodramatic. It's just me being honest, and speaking once again in real time.