How much is that kiddie in the window?
I went to the neighborhood grocery for a fish head yesterday (don’t ask) (no, they didn’t have it). Just inside I notice two of the cutest kids playing, they were brother and sister, around four years old I would guess. I could be wrong on the age, because, well, I’ve never had normal kids. My first thought was “Cool, they are selling kids at this store now, I’m gonna get me a normal one!” I am not around them much, and that does not make me happy. Turns out they belonged to a great neighborhood guy who I’ve said hello to (and knows my daughter), and no, they were not for sale.
People, friends and family included, have always been hesitant to talk about their kids fearing that it would hurt me somehow. Even worse, we are not included in things, parties, outings, etc. When my daughter was young and in a fully integrated classroom, she would occasionally be invited to a birthday party, almost always to an inaccessible home. As she grew up, that stopped. Neighbors don’t include us in things, nor do many family members. Worse, others are afraid to talk about their kids. They don’t feel they can share. If my kids were normal, you know they would tell me how great their kids are.
It is bad enough that my son will never play little league, but we don’t get asked to watch our friend’s kids play. Why not? My daughter would love that, actually we go down the street and watch strangers play and enjoy it. I’ve taken her to various “houses of worship” to the same reception, people do not want to talk to us, they have no idea what to say.
I have no idea what it is like to have a normal kid, and I want to know. Just because my daughter won’t get thrown out of school for smoking dope or doing some boy in the playground, and your daughter won’t have seizures or die of aspiration in her sleep is no reason not to include us in normal father – daughter, neighbor – friend stuff. Tell me how great your kids are and invite me and my daughter to their recital. Let’s take our kids to the aquarium, the zoo, the park. You know that big rock by the swings? We have fun sitting there watching people play, why not say hello? I am talking friendships here, you know, I could use a male friend or two who’s not afraid of my situation.
She’s not just a vegetable in a wheelchair (can’t believe I said that), I am not a poor sympathetic loser pushing her. She has a mind, a soul, a personality, yes, a sense of humor. I have advanced degrees, own companies, and was once the opening act for Steve Wright. Hey, I pee’d in the same urinal as Babe Ruth, ask me about it. (Many years later, of course, and I am not sure it was ever cleaned since he used it!).
I am friends with a married couple, two 25 year olds who recently left all their family and moved across the country to my city. They come to dinner about three times a month, we are in touch weekly. Why? The guy’s grandfather was a major force in my formative years, but that’s not why. First, I like them. Second, I will never have children that can tell me about their graduate studies, their daily grind, that will need help with some stuff, or look for advice. They are the age my normal kids should be. Third, when I was their age and left home, a family helped me and now I am repaying them, by passing that help along. These two are not my kids, no, I’ll never have kids like them. But does a bit of vicarious living hurt? Is it ok to learn what normal is by helping out some good people, indirectly paying a debt (of gratitude, but a debt nonetheless), and just having some great dinners and conversation? Is it ok to sometimes say, wow, wish I had two of those?
How much were those kids in the window?
Your actions and observations and even desires lead me to believe you are an extremely normal person. You know, no one ever said it was easy being normal;)
So, online friendships, too?
I frequently include stories of my Studly Hubby and children – from their childhood days as well as recently. (Teen parenting has been quite the challenge in our home.) Most recently, I included some you-can-probably-relate stories in a post on cord blood treatment and about the costs and benefits of karate for my children (post title: The Drive to Learn).
I know you visited my blog after I first left a few comments. I would be honored to be considered your blog-friend, Single dad.
I can count on one hand the number of blogger-dads that I regularly interact with, but that might have something to with my sensitivity for coarse language. For today, I recommend my friend, Matt, who has other male online friends and freely shares his parenting experiences. He’s funny, too. Very funny.
While one “married couple, two 25 year olds” does not a full social calendar make, its a start. I’ll be window shopping for you.
I recommend Black Hockey Jesus (bhg.com) as a blogger Dad to read. He’s outrageous, is a stay-at-home dad with an extremely irreverent take on everything in life.
I wish that I lived closer to you and we could be friends, especially with our girls. I’d also sell you my boys but they might be out of your price range.
oops — here’s the website: http://thebhj.com
Everyone dumped us about 2 years into the fiasco…really intelligent people whom I thought could handle it. So much for that. People are embarrassed to complain in front of us because they know their problems don’t compare to ours….but they don’t know that we don’t judge them that way. A problem is a problem, a joy is a joy. Oh well. We have our online buds.
Your parenting adventures are well beyond anything I will ever experience. But this one I understand. I can’t have children, so making that effort to keep up with some of the experiences you won’t get to enjoy makes complete sense to me.
Hey man. I got linkbaited back here by Barbara, but read through some of your site and really appreciate your outlook. It’s not easy to be so honest in a public forum and I, for one, appreciate that. Raising “normal” kids in enough to push me over the deep end sometimes. And I can’t pretend that I don’t ask the same question you asked at the end of this post as well.
Part of the reason I’ve been out of the blog game for a little while is that I got tired of the lack of integrity and candor. Your stance is refreshing.
Glad she led me back here. I’ll be reading!