When I got home last night, it was around 7:30 and I was hungry and tired. My sweet baby made me some damn fine soup that she learned about from a friend, and she spit fired a chicken in the backyard, so that I could have a nice, hot chicken on a kaiser with it. I was thinking about how lucky I was, when the phone rang and Mrs. Birdman had to speak with a client. The girls bedroom door then opened, with two bored little girls holding a handful of tattoo markers. So, seeing as their mom was on the phone, I allowed them to give me some new ink. They actually did a pretty good job for little kids. Awww, who am I kidding? They did a better job than I could have done, I totally suck at art.
We decided that it was time to tell them that I was going away for a while. Not because we were just waiting for the right time, but I guess it just never came up before. It is two weeks away now, so I guess it might have been a little late, but what do you do? There was a lot of asking “Why?” and tears welling up in the eyes, but that was just from me. T didn’t think it was fair that I was going to be gone for Christmas, and when I told her that I was coming back for the holidays, her eyes dried and brightened up and she said, “Are you going to bring us something?” That brought me back from the edge, and we all had a laugh and some hugs. After that we went out in the rain and lit a bonfire, and we roasted wieners and s’mores, while telling ghost stories and reliving the past ten months together. Ten months. It seems like we’ve been together far longer than that. I have a hard time remembering when I wasn’t looking out for them, or fixing something up, like the luge track down the snowplow pile, which had been dug out into a fort.
I explained to them that I don’t like leaving for work before they wake up, and coming home when they are in bed, or getting ready for bed. I told them that I want to eat breakfast and supper with them, and that if I go out for the winter, it will afford us the option for me to look for a better job with better hours. A job that I can be happy at. Can you imagine? I know some of you can, I’m living with one. I actually feel pretty selfish about wanting that for myself, partly because I don’t think that I deserve it more than anyone else, but mostly because it’s me that wants to be here with them. I didn’t once ask if they would like me to be here more. Maybe they are quite happy with me showing up for an hour or two each day, and every other weekend we’ll maybe do something fun. I guess it is selfish, but I don’t even care. I hate when they are already in bed when I get home, and I know I won’t get to see them until the next night, if I get done early enough.
I always think about when I was a little kid, and my dad would go out for a few beer after work, and he’d come into our rooms and wake us up to say he loved us. I never cared that he woke me up, I liked seeing him, but he was my father, and that kind of thing is acceptable when you’re a dad. It seems a bit creepy if a step-dad is doing that, no matter how innocent. It’s too bad that the world has come to that really, but I totally understand. I’ve taken the girls out on several occasions, and I’m scared shitless. I am constantly watching everyone that goes near them, looks their way or breathes upwind of them. It totally freaks me out, because you never know who is lurking, or where. I know the odds are slim, but every other parent that has had a child snatched has probably said the same thing. I think it’s worse if they aren’t your children, because then there are two or more people that can’t live with themselves.
What a fucked up world we live in. I remember being a kid, and the whole community looked out for the kids there. We were told what houses to stay away from, and who we weren’t to talk to. If we did what we were told, nothing bad would happen. I rarely did what I was told, and when I would get home, my parents knew where I had been, who I was with and what I did. I was usually sneaking a smoke that we stole from Bugsy’s parents or maybe shooting bottle rockets at the ducks with Joe. It didn’t matter, I would get spotted, and promptly ratted out. I’m glad I got caught, because that meant there were people all over the place that cared about me, and I have no doubt that if any harm was befalling me, those same people that were telling on me, would be right there helping me.
So thank you Wally Young, Shorty Sandercock, Clara Drope, Nancy Houston, and the countless other people who gave a shit about what happened to me. Even though most of you are gone, you are not forgotten. I don’t know if there is a saying about community shaping the children, but there should be. Someone make it up, so I don’t have to. Ah, what the hell, I’ll try a few. “A person is only as good as the community that they grew up in.” or, “A person with no community, is not a person, they are a fucking savage.” Maybe I’ll leave the quote making up to the professionals. Anyhow, I loved where I grew up, I loved how I was raised, and I love who I’ve become. I guess it doesn’t get any better than that, does it? Oh, maybe a good job to come back to, but whatever, I’ll make out okay, I always do.
Give a kid shit tomorrow,
P.S. The cooking the chicken in the backyard, and the bonfire thing might be bullshit.