Thirty Three Days

One of themost commonly visited pages on this blog is one I called “The Loneliness of theLong Distance Father” which was at a time shortly after my separation where mykids didn’t really want to have a lot to do with me.  

As withmany things, time alone can cure some of the angst and distress that comes tomost kids when their parents break up.   But whilst the pain eases for the kids perhapsso too does the desire to keep contact with both parents, or maybe it’s justthe classic cats in the cradle stuff, the natural pulling away as you get olderand become more independent.
We built abig house because at the time we entered into the contract we had four of thesix kids we have between us that needed a place to live.   Over the months of waiting for the title tosettle and the house to be built their needs changed and so we have a fourbedroom house occupied by the two of us and the two furkids and in an area nowfar away from where the kids mostly reside.
And that’sOK, the place is there if some time in the future they need it, but there aretimes when I miss knowing what is happening in their lives.   It seems that unless I make a call then wedon’t talk and I am left to watching facebook for updates.
Last week Iasked my two daughters if they would like to set aside one Sunday evening permonth, visit us for dinner and watch a movie.  I was actually hoping that maybe we would justsit around the dinner table and chat and just find out who they were loving orfeuding with, what books they were reading or movies they had seen, any one ofhundreds of mundane day to day things that they do.  One daughter said she heard me but it wouldhave to wait awhile because she’s working a lot of overtime and very busy but Idid find out on Facebook that she enjoyed her day at the Races and her roastdinner at her mothers in the past few days.   Daughter number two has been silent and thatusually means I am in the bad books with her.
It got methinking that if they spent 3 hours one day a month with me that would be atotal of 1 and a half days a year.  If Ilive as long as my father (and I hope it is longer than that) then I have 22years left and that would mean that for the rest of my life I would spend amaximum of 33 days with my kids, half of which I would probably be sleeping.
So if theremainder of my life was equivalent to an hour on a clock for every month thatpasses without seeing them the clock advances another two minutes and we allknow that as you get older time speeds up and the 33 days will rapidly become30 and then 20 and 5, until those last few precious minutes come in a hugerush.
And knowingall that makes me regret the times I didn’t call my own Mum and Dad other thanon the special occasions.   So maybe what goes around…
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