Archive for December, 2009

Out of order but here is my Christmas Eve with the kids

My Christmas was on 24 December.  I had the kids on Christmas Eve and then took them over to my ex’s house on Christmas day.  It started on the 24th with me getting my kids around 10 am.  I had told my ex where I was taking them but didn’t tell the kids.  My daughter had her hair done and was all dolled up and my son for the most part dressed up as well (as well as any 12-year-old will dress up when made to).  I showed up to get them and the curiosity was bubbling out of them incessantly.  My son wanted to know so badly where we were going as did my daughter.

I wasn’t ready to tell them yet what I had planned for them so I told them we were going fishing.  FISHING?!? they exclaimed.  How do you go fishing all dressed up?  I told them we were going “Fancy Fishing”.  Made up a whole story where you sit on kind of like a bleachers like seating on a fancy dock in Tampa and you get a 7 course meal served to you all the while you cast your line and try for some fish.  The kids wanted to know why you dressed up for it.  I told them that you do it because if you wanted catch a fancy fish (like an Ahi Tuna) that would be served in a fancy restaurant you need to dress fancy to catch it.  Of course they didn’t believe me but since our event wasn’t until 2 pm I had a lot of fun going into depth with my fancy fishing idea.  Hell that could possibly make money as a business maybe?

So onto the actual event.  I had purchased Orchestral level tickets for the Broadway Musical “Wonderland” for Christmas Eve at 2 pm.  It was awesome.  The whole concept is that this grown Alice who is a direct descendant from the original Alice who the “Alice in Wonderland” was written about is an author.  She had been thrust into fame with her previous book and because of it her personal life was falling apart.  Her husband was leaving her and her daughter never saw her.  She had the deadline for a new book looming over her head and just couldn’t juggle all the balls that fame brought with it.  She ended up losing her daughter into Wonderland and she had to chase after her making friends and enemies all along the way.  I won’t tell you how it ended but I just want to say that the Mad Hatter was probably my favorite Character along with the “Grown Alice”.

My kids LOVED it and it was a memory we had created together.  The tickets weren’t cheap but it was well worth it.  Afterward we came home to my place and opened up all the gifts.  I had convinced my son to get my daughter a remote-controlled car and I convinced my daughter to get my son the same remote-controlled car.  When we were at my grandfather’s place in Wyoming he had a remote-controlled car for all his great grandkids to play with and my son and daughter loved it.  We played with those things into the night and had a wonderful day.  So my Christmas had come a day early.  That didn’t make Christmas Day any easier, but those memories we shared on Christmas Eve were amazing.


Christmas is a lonely day

Christmas was hard.  Yeah, I realize that it is only 8:40 in the morning but already it is done for me.  The kids woke me up at 6 am and by 7:10 we were at my ex’s place.  Santa had come.  The kids had written him and told him that while they were spending Christmas Eve with me that they would be at their mother’s place in the morning so if it wasn’t too much trouble, if Santa could please deliver there.

It felt odd being in her place with her roommate and her roommate’s husband and “their” child who were all there having their separate Christmas together, a Christmas that my ex was a part of but which my only connection was through my children and their joy.  I sat there like a stranger looking through a window of a place that was not his.  My dog Benny came with the kids and I when we went there so he and I spent a majority of the time outside playing with the Frisbee so as not to be in the way.  My ex asked me to stay for breakfast but seeing as how I wasn’t really spoken too by the other members living in that house (other than my children of course) it just felt awkward.

I had to go.  Alone is something that I have been quite a lot over the last year and a half.  Even though I don’t really care for my own company I make due.  Christmas Eve was amazing, I have those memories with my kids that we created together and for that I am lucky and joyful, but Christmas day is different.  You know what?  The holidays suck, they are hard and stupid and we make them out in our head to be so much bigger than they need to be (I am not meaning for my kids, but for myself).  We expect to feel some sense of something bigger than ourselves but really it is just you and all your own demons together for some good alone time when all is said and done.

I will be fine though, I have a lunch with one of my wonderful friends from the military who I thank God for every day.  His name is Daniel.  He and I served 2 tours in Iraq together and we both understand that our lives have been and will always be changed because of the things we saw and the things we did.  He understands my pain as I understand his and I am so very thankful that he and his wife have so graciously invited me to spend Christmas day with them starting at lunch.

As I drove away from the home that is no longer mine I called my dad.  He too understands me.  He has served in combat (Vietnam) and he too has gone through divorce, loneliness and pain.  I called him and I felt the tears coming as I told him I loved him and that I wished him a merry Christmas.  He is a good man, a great man really.  The people in my life are ones whom I do not deserve but who bless me by accepting me with ALL my flaws.

I suppose this is how Christmas is as a single father, awkward and alone, but happy that your kids are so wonderful and so loving.  Merry Christmas to all of you and I wish you a happy new year…

Met with an old friend today

Back in my army days I was an Arabic Linguist.  I did my language training in Monterey, California and today I got a call from an old friend and fellow service member from my Arabic class.  His name is Gryzb and it was such a pleasure to see him.  I showed him around Tampa a bit and we ate some Turkish food.  It has been over 7 years since I saw him, hell he held my daughter when she was only a month or two old and now she is 8 years old…

Life is good when old friendships are allowed to be dusted of the cobwebs and you get reacquainted with those people you served with or whom you spent so much time with.   On that note, happy holidays to all of you, I wish you the very best.


I’m glad scientists haven’t invented this yet

Genetically augmented cyber snakes with modified scales that actually scoop up snow and store it at sub 0 C temps and then use that to put themselves into some kind of frozen suspended animation state as they sit coiled ready to be sprung like the spring in a mouse trap… SNAP, the snake flies through the air like a poisonous arrow full of snow and snake venom ready to do lethal damage to the unaware…

I’m excited!!!

Tonight is my first weekday night with the kids, we had a home-made chicken pot pie and then my daughter helped me make brownies for desert.  While the brownies were baking she and I ran a mile for training (my son was at soccer with my ex at that time).  We finished with some quality time playing Castle Crashers on Xbox360 followed by both kids reading and then shower and bed.

Tomorrow we shall really see if I have my ducks in a row when I wake them up and get them to school.  I’ll be a bit late for work but will make that up by working later.  I know this is mundane for most but I am excited, I feel like every day that goes by I am closer to being the kind of father I wish to be.  I know my kids love me, but I also know that I am hardest on myself so any shortcomings I have are magnified in my eyes.

wish me luck for my morning and for all you single fathers out there I want to let you know that life is so much more fulfilling when you play an active role in your children’s lives.  I have a surprise for my kids on Christmas eve by the way.  I’ll tell you how it goes after the fact.

Training for a Race

I decided that the kids and I would enter this race (the St Pete Times Forum Bolt Run).  When I told my kids about this they were both shocked.  We will be running the 5K and for those of you who are not sure how far that is it is only 3.1 miles.  While my son was at soccer tonight I took my daughter for her first training run.  She made it most of a mile without needing to stop too often or walk much.  When we finished I asked her if she could do that 3 times and she said heck no.

That is where I began to explain, I told her how we will do that each week 1-2 times and when it gets to where she doesn’t have any side ache or need to stop then she will be ready to run a little farther.  Over the weeks we will keep going until she and my son can make it all 3.1 miles without stopping much (if at all).  I’m excited and ready to run my first race with my children!

Our day of Fishing

We went fishing and caught some fish, I know they are small but we were excited!!!  This was done at the Sunshine Skyway Pier.