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…

The days go by

Newhome is almost ready – plumbing is done, tiling is finished, garage doors are hung, the floor coverings go down this week and our Post Construction Inspection is booked for 12 July.   We will probably be in by early August.

A few weeks back the last of my pets from the old life was run over by a car and killed.  Connie, our Brittany spaniel was named after Constance daughter of the Duke of Brittany.   She was about 15 years old and had been ailing since Gambit, her brother, died a few months back.  But she was let out in the yard with the front gate open and wandered onto the road.  She was the most beautiful natured dog and whilst I haven’t lived with her for a few years now it still hurts to think she had to go in that way.   RIP Connie.

I’m halfway through my tenure at work but the boss has asked if I’m interested in sticking around.  I’ve said yes but will make up my mind when I find out what the offer is.  I have a bottomline that will need to be met so that the new mortgage is covered.

Speaking of the mortgage, the CBA is stuffing us around again.  It looks like they underpaid the first of the builders payments by about $2.5k which means we now have to find the extra.  The problem is because of the way the loans were set up I have no visibility of any payments we made or fees we were charged pre March this year.  I’ve asked for a full reconciliation and four days later still haven’t heard a result yet.   We’ll definitely look at moving banks once the settlements are done.

We lay byed  some limited edition prints for the home theatre today.  An indulgence, certainly, but maybe an investment too.   The prints are those below by an artist called Alex Ross.

Erin has left school and started work.  Not something I agree with but no point in forcing her to stay on and waste the rest of the year either.  She has the next couple of years planned out – save for a car, save for an overseas trip, work overseas for a couple of years and then come back and decide what she wants to do.  I’m in fact less upset with that decision than I am with the fact that her mother did not communicate any of it to me.  I found out a week after the fact.  Still, can’t be too critical can we, if I am my kids tend to get all angry with me.

Long Awaited Update

I know I posted yesterday but posts have been few and far between this year.  Why?   Just busy and being in front of a computer all day at work means I have little desire to switch it on at home.   But time for an update.

We have bought a block of land and will be building a house at some stage in the next year.  The uncertainty is related to the time scale on the property settlement which whilst we were told it would be August now looks like being closer to the end of the year.   You can follow that journey of you wish at Destination 3977.  If you drop by there please leave a comment :).

At work the year started with me being given more responsibilities until Friday when they were all taken away from me.  Nothing to do with work performance – more to do with a person not actually taking the time to understand what was actually being done.

On an entirely different note (if you care to read it that way) I have never been one for empire building and nor have I been one to run to a boss and whinge, so I don’t have a lot of respect for people who do.   In fact, rather than not a lot of respect, I have none at all.  I also have no respect for people who point the blame elsewhere rather than take responsibilities for their own shortcomings.

Son number one will find out in the next few weeks where his next posting will be.  Of course, as most soldiers do, he is hoping it will be overseas.   I’m happy if it’s not but recognise that he wants to do the job he was trained for.

Son number two has his bed at my place now, but only sleeps in it a couple of nights a week.

Daughter number one is in Europe and in fact by the time this post appears on the blog will be in Paris.  She’s on a 10 week grand tour with a girlfriend and has so far visited England, Ireland and Scotland.

Daughter number two had her fifth diaphragmatic hernia operation a couple of months ago and is recovering very well. 

Mum has had a polyp removed from her bowel and will get the results in the next week or so.  She will be 80 next month.

Friends

It was my daughters 21st a couple of months back but she only had her party last weekend.  I have to admit to being a reluctant attendee.  I didn’t want to go into a situation where people who want nothing to do with me would be.  I have seen no one from my previous married life as some of you who have been following this blog for a long time would know.

So I was apprehensive, scared and had a hard time relaxing.  I gave a couple of good speeches at my two son’s 21sts a few years back (even if I do say so mself) but I went to this one totally unprepared and I was thinking the whole time about what I might say.  In the end it didn’t happen and I regret that, not that it was totally my fault.

I left the venue to go and guide my sister in because she had gotten lost and when I walked back in the speeches were already being made so I sort of hung around at the back in a cowardly way.

The party was held late for my daughter and early for a friend of hers.  These two have known each other all their lives and been great mates for a long time, so here’s what I would have said.

Young ladies, you move now from what was once considered childhood into formal adulthood.  It’s an artificial line in a lot of ways, you can already vote and drive a car and drink legally.  I remember when I turned 21 that I believed I was already pretty old and wise.   Foolishly really, because the years since have taught me many lessons and as all parents know it is not an easy thing to pass those lessons on to their children.   But I’m going to try and do that now.

You two have been great mates.  You’ve laughed and cried together, enjoyed ach others company and been sick of it at times, squabbled occasionally but been there for each other when you have needed to be.   Never, ever, forget that.

There will be times in the rest of your lives when you need friends, when you need to have someone to confide in, or just a mate to share a burden occasionally.    Give each other a shoulder to cry on when it’s needed, hold out a hand and support each other in the hard times, and delight in the joys that are yet to come, your marriages, your children, the many other occasions you will share throughout the rest of your lives.

But know also that you need to work at it.  It’s easy to lose friends.  It’s easy to forget and maybe not forgive alleged wrongs.  Promise me that if that distance starts to creep in that you’ll work at keeping it at bay.  That doesn’t mean you have to live in each others pockets, just remember to remember the other one.

Twenty one is called your majority but it’s only the first step of that adult roller coaster we all go through.   It’s always better to share the good times and bad with your friends.

Musical Monday – My Little Girl

It’s been a long time since I did a musical Monday post but having spent yesterday reflecting on what it’s like to be a father I thought I’d post this one for my daughters.

What others think.

It is no secret that I have made mistakes. Last night after I had told my lady about the events of the day she broke down and made up her mind to leave. It was all too hard. We were judged, despised and condemned by people who knew only one side of the story. And sometimes it is really difficult to see when things may begin to improve. It’s often one step forward, two back.

And in any story whilst both sides have elements of truth the ultimate reality lies somewhere in between. In my desire not to hurt anyone anymore than I already had I let other people either tell my story, or let them listen only to the one side that showed me in the worst possible light. And in some ways that did suit me when you harbour guilt or lose your self respect it is easy to believe the worst. I have done my best to accept all blame and not make negative comments about my ex to anyone. Yesterday made me believe that perhaps I hadn’t been afforded the same courtesy.

It was a message from her daughter that convinced my lady not to walk away. “You know Mum” she said, “I am sure everyone is hated by someone, but at the end of the day if you come home to a really nice guy it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.”

That made us both feel much better.

I have begun a private blog taking the lead from some of you and I’ll send out email invitations to those of you who wish to view it. I will definitely keep this one going but there are times when I need to be a bit more circumspect with what I say. If you haven’t received an invitation but would like one please drop me an email.

What others think.

It is no secret that I have made mistakes. Last night after I had told my lady about the events of the day she broke down and made up her mind to leave. It was all too hard. We were judged, despised and condemned by people who knew only one side of the story. And sometimes it is really difficult to see when things may begin to improve. It’s often one step forward, two back.

And in any story whilst both sides have elements of truth the ultimate reality lies somewhere in between. In my desire not to hurt anyone anymore than I already had I let other people either tell my story, or let them listen only to the one side that showed me in the worst possible light. And in some ways that did suit me when you harbour guilt or lose your self respect it is easy to believe the worst. I have done my best to accept all blame and not make negative comments about my ex to anyone. Yesterday made me believe that perhaps I hadn’t been afforded the same courtesy.

It was a message from her daughter that convinced my lady not to walk away. “You know Mum” she said, “I am sure everyone is hated by someone, but at the end of the day if you come home to a really nice guy it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.”

That made us both feel much better.

I have begun a private blog taking the lead from some of you and I’ll send out email invitations to those of you who wish to view it. I will definitely keep this one going but there are times when I need to be a bit more circumspect with what I say. If you haven’t received an invitation but would like one please drop me an email.

Little Wonders

I’m back from a wonderful trip. I’ve spent the past two days processing some of the photos and over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting about Thailand and what a great place it is. I want to go into some detail in the off chance that people searching will find some of the information useful.

I’ll get around to visiting my blogs friends over the next week as well.

In the meantime I am really pleased to say that my youngest daughter stayed at my place last night for the first time in around 18 months and when her mother goes away at the end of the week on a holiday she’ll be staying with us.

So in celebration may I ask you to listen to the following from Rob Thomas.

Little Wonders

I’m back from a wonderful trip. I’ve spent the past two days processing some of the photos and over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting about Thailand and what a great place it is. I want to go into some detail in the off chance that people searching will find some of the information useful.

I’ll get around to visiting my blogs friends over the next week as well.

In the meantime I am really pleased to say that my youngest daughter stayed at my place last night for the first time in around 18 months and when her mother goes away at the end of the week on a holiday she’ll be staying with us.

So in celebration may I ask you to listen to the following from Rob Thomas.

Little Wonders

I’m back from a wonderful trip. I’ve spent the past two days processing some of the photos and over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting about Thailand and what a great place it is. I want to go into some detail in the off chance that people searching will find some of the information useful.

I’ll get around to visiting my blogs friends over the next week as well.

In the meantime I am really pleased to say that my youngest daughter stayed at my place last night for the first time in around 18 months and when her mother goes away at the end of the week on a holiday she’ll be staying with us.

So in celebration may I ask you to listen to the following from Rob Thomas.

« Older entries