This is my little Easter Bunny, isn’t she cute ???
When I got sober again in 2001, the thrust of crossing that bridge into sobriety, meant that I also decided to grow up and become a man.
A real man.
A man I would be proud to be.
For many years, I really did not know what that looked like, but the one man I learned from was Todd. He was a real man. A man I loved and wanted to be like, in every way possible, because, in him, he was love, compassion and strength personified.
He was GOD.
It is now almost sixteen years since I made that decision to cross that bridge. And I have not looked back since. I’ve learned a great many things in the past stretch of time.
What Todd gave me, was the education in knowing how to take care of another human being. I learned how to be present. I learned how to be courageous, to be bold, to be smart, and how to love unconditionally. I learned how to serve. I learned how to give from my heart at all times, to the most number of people, to the best of my abilities.
My father had fatal flaws. But like my father, I provide. I hear him in my mind speak to me, at least, the few phrases I use on a daily basis.
Once you speak words, you can Never take them back.
Sadly he did not listen to his own advice when it came to me.
- I don’t speak falsehoods
- I don’t speak negativity
- I don’t speak arrogantly
- I don’t speak from ego
When we get sober, not only do we put down the drugs and the drink, we put down all that we used to be, in order to become who we are meant to be.
That is a daunting process for both men and women.
In the beginning, we may not know just how far we can go, and/or/ how far we need to go. The sky is the limit. And I think that depends on just how much of life we take a bite out of as our lives progress.
How far can we go ? Well that depends on you.
How far do we need to go ? As far as is needed.
Relationships are always dicey in recovery. Because the recovery mixture may differ.
You might find someone in the rooms, and you might find someone outside the rooms. Getting that mixture right is the challenge. Both participants in relationship need to figure out what each of us needs to bring to the table to make a relationship work.
Marriage is a JOB. A FULL TIME JOB. Marriage is work.
For us, at least, marriage was not a cake walk by any means. But we succeeded.
When Mama walked into my life a little over three years ago, I had a few months to begin a friendship with her before she went back to New Foundland to have Lu.
After Lu was born, I took the step of solidifying our relationship. I made the decision that I was going to invest in Mama and the baby. That choice is one of the most important decisions I have ever made.
If Todd were to see me today, I am sure he would be proud of me.
The baby is a full-time job.
The day I arrived in St. John’s, Lu was at daycare, so I had a few hours alone with Mama to get oriented to the schedule and the routine. And we were both pleasantly surprised when she got home with grandma. She took to me immediately.
Our days usually began around 6:30 in the morning or 7:00 if we were lucky. We at least had time to drink a cup of coffee, before we were off to the races. The day usually began with crafts: like Play Doh on the kitchen floor at 7:00 a.m.
If it were a regular day, Lu went to day care with Grand ma around 8:00 a.m. for the day and come home around 4:00 p.m. Having grand ma living just up the road is key to this routine working, because when needed, we can hand Lu off to them for a few hours.
They have the TV with the TREE HOUSE channel.
READ: Crack for babies …
Since it was a holiday weekend, we had Lu 24/7. And let me tell you, that having a three-year old with a solid streak of attitude can be a challenge. Lu is determined to do her own thing, whether you like it or not. And her mood will turn on a dime, if you piss her off or say NO.
She knows the word NO, it is one of her favorites.
Mama does not have a tv, nor cable, nor a computer in the house. And she does not want either of them in the future. Which means that if you are home with Lu, you are interacting with her ALL DAY LONG !
I colored these Christmas pages out of one of Lu’s coloring books.
You don’t know how calming and wonderful it is to sit and color for an hour with a child. I loved every minute of it.
We read, we play, we color, we dance. If we are lucky, we get an afternoon nap.
If we don’t get that nap, dinner usually follows around 6:00 p.m. Bath time around 7:30 and bedtime, AH BLESSED BED TIME comes right around 8:00 p.m. on a good night.
I can’t tell you how good it felt to be disconnected from my computer and social media for five days. I really did not miss it. However, when I got home, I thought to myself that I was not sure I could live a disconnected life 24/7.
I had a book, SHANTARAM by Gregory David Roberts with me. I cannot tell you just how GOOD this book is. At 936 pages, it is a daunting read.
If you read any book this year, Shantaram is the one to read. Because there is an ample sequel to that book on the store shelves right now.
This weekend proved to me that I can be daddy, and do it well. On Easter Sunday, Lu had a meltdown in front of the family. It was not pretty. And in the end, I ended up fireman carrying her out of the house and tossing her into her car seat and bringing both Lu and Mama home.
They both passed out from emotional stress. Mama in her bed and Lu on the living room floor, because she passed out sitting at the table with me coloring. I laid out a blanket and some pillows and I let her sleep until she woke up.
Which meant I got a few hours to myself to lay on the sofa and baby sit while I read my book.
Having a child is not easy. Being a father/or/father figure is not easy either.
But I have learned just what kind of man I really am, because of the words I speak and the actions I take. I have virtue. I have faith. I have smarts.
All that I am, is an amalgamation of all the men I know. The good and the bad. Then I get to decide what I am going to do based on the decisions that need to be made.
Mama and Lu are full-time decisions to be ME.
In addition to my husband, Mama and Lu are the most important people in my life. Because I have been Lu’s father since the day she was born, because the man who participated in creating her, wanted us to abort her when Mama was pregnant.
Today, we are fighting in court for Lu’s child support.
And we know, right now, that we might not get anything close to what we want from him, however, I have stated my case to our lawyer. The hard, unvarnished truth of a man who is a Legend Liar and irresponsible and blind to his obligations as the biological father of our little girl.
In the end, she will be my daughter. But first he will pay his dues.
By the Law.
Which makes me the best man Lu has in her life besides grand pa.
I am the man I am because of that first decision to grow up and become a MAN.
I would not have changed anything.
St. John’s is a beautiful place to live.
Just saying ….