Summertime in Montana is coming to an end and in this last month there has been a maniac on the loose. You may have seen the satellite images of the dust cloud from outer space. A furor of activity capable only of an individual with a mental defect. I am the individual of sufficient mental defect.
The foster parent commercials tell you that just being there is enough. The sad orphans will be happy to just be out of an institution. The president lectures African-American men about stepping up and taking responsibility for their kids. I have a confession to make. I have been a lousy father because I am mentally tied-up with projects. I have made an exhaustive list of excuses to myself of why I have been doing a satisfactory job. This is not good enough.
I am S.A.H.D. and I always thought this put me on a sliding scale. You get more points for raising your own kids, right? Not true, if you are always staring in the distance praying for relief. I purposely do not own a smartphone, therefore I must be more attentive, physically yes, but once again my mind is elsewhere.
This is a confession, not a lecture, strictly written for my benefit, to refer back to in a few days from now when my mind wanders off and I revert to tired, old practices. It is hard to remain present in the moment when you are being screamed at from all directions (another excuse.) The mind wants to bail, to get lost in other ideas.
The absolute truth is, a large part of me still does not want to be a father. Coupled with my addiction to grueling design work, this has left me in a bad situation. I have to get back to the mindset when I actually wanted kids and saw the value in raising a family. Perception is a powerful tool, and I know that if I recommit myself to my sons, then my perspective will defer towards the positives of having them home with me everyday. Having two little ones is hard, but that is only a reason to work harder.