Thursday, April 26, 2012
I took the time this week to think and post about what it means to sacrifice when you are a parent or guardian. Webster defines the word in about 5 different ways but one that I wanted to talk about was the following.
“b : something given up or lost <the sacrifices made by parents>”
This past weekend I was invited to go to two different bachelor parties, two different game nights and a birthday party. Even if I didn't have Quinn that night I still couldn't have pulled it off, but we make sacrifices for our kids. Time being the most important of them all. Being parents or guardians we will give up money, time, energy, and probably gain lots of headaches and sleepless nights. We also gain joy, love, compassion as well as sadness and many other emotions along the way of life. The minute Quinn was born and I saw here crying as the nurses cleaned her up I looked over by all the wonderful staff I knew I had a new role in life. I knew it was my job to now tell people “I’m sorry I can’t make it”. I new this little person, this little life so innocent and helpless was going to need me. I knew she was going to need her parents to guide her and train her for life as we were by our parents. I knew as a father I had a new job the biggest one and I knew it would be a responsibility that takes much patients and skill to master. Nobody can master being a parent but we can learn as we go and that is what life is all about.
As time went on I learned how to make changes and I made sacrifices as well. I knew that nights with my friends were now getting smaller or altered or well sometimes I would just come out with a baby on my lap. I can remember in October when she turned 1 I was out of town because one of my best friends was getting married and I was in the wedding. Quinn’s Mom stayed home and I new I would be missing her first birthday but this was very important and being so little I knew she would be okay with it. I remember talking to her and how excited she was because she took her first steps! I was sad but I knew there was nothing I could do I joked about how I missed her first birthday and steps so I failed already. I made this as a pun (so please don’t take it to heart. Ha-ha). I got home and everything was fine, I never knew that would have happened anyways so it’s okay.
When my divorce came not only being devastated and confused I knew I had to give in to the biggest sacrifice. I had to move out and sacrifice giving up time with my child. I had to give up seeing my little girl, the same little persons who looked up at me the day she was born not knowing what was about to come her way. That my readers and friends is something I wouldn’t want anyone to feel… I knew I would be there for her, I knew I would have my time to have her but it’s just not the same. It is hard sometimes when she comes and I can’t believe how big she is getting or how her communication skills are growing along with her vocabulary. Maybe that’s why it took me so long to realize it was over or that it actually happened and I had to go. As time went on I realized there is nothing I can do but use the time I have to be the best father I can and she will see this. My family, and friends sacrifice and still do for me, for many people. But it was my parents and my close family that sacrificed the most. They gave up much time and energy raising me, teaching me and making me the person I am. They gave up the time they had to spend on me. To me time is still the biggest sacrifice because everything else can be found or replaced. Money is just paper, skills and education are nice but they can be reached through different areas. It’s time that can not be replaced. We all have a life span and one day we return to the earth. Time is the most valuable it’s what we look back at and remember the people in our lives giving up their time to be with us. Raise us, laugh with us, cry with us, even just come over and have some tea or talk to us. Time is the most valuable and wonderful sacrifice anyone can give, it shows you are willing to do something for them when you could be doing something for your self.
So when this weekend came I knew I was missing out on two good friends bachelor parties, a few game nights but I knew everyone would understand. When I told everyone I had my daughter and that I haven’t seen her in while and didn’t want to get a sitter they all understood. The universal understanding of “hey don’t worry about it buddy”. It was nice to know I have such good friends who understand and it is nice to know how amazing people are, they know my situation and that every second with my child is precious. I just tell them maybe next time or can I get a rain check? As they grow older and have kids they all will be in the same boat. The harder thing about being a single parent is that yes there are sitters but getting a sitter means that I loose time with her and that’s time I can’t get back. I don’t have much time to begin with but I do enjoy letting my family watch her from time to time. She should have time to enjoy them as well. Bonding with other family and friends is just as important as the bond between your parents. So as we played and hung out this weekend yes I did think about my friends and hoped they had a great time, but I also smiled when I looked down and say my little girl in my arms watch TV with me, or doing a puzzle. I knew from the day she was born I was going to have to make sacrifices and I think I also knew I would never be a parent that made sure they were entertained first or did what they wanted to first then made time for their child. “Sometimes we have to give up our dream’s in order for our kids to have one.” She told me all weekend “I love you Daddy” and hearing that just makes me melt. She also tells me “I’m sorry Daddy” when she does something wrong which is also so cute. Having only a few days with her makes me realize how wonderful life is and how I can’t change the circumstances I am in but I have to embrace them.
So as you go on with your day, week, year, even the rest of your life think about who sacrificed their time, hard earned money, skills and education for you. So you can wake up in the morning a good person. A person who will try to make this world a better place, a person who has to make their own sacrifices maybe to your kids or someone you look over. Think about others that have given to you and then maybe giving in return won’t feel so hard. I want to thank everyone reading this post. I know everyone has some sacrifices. You maybe a parent or have someone to look over like someone elderly. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and say you did make a difference. That person knows, maybe even the earth. If you took a minute to clean up or plant a tree, everything is connected and in the end what you did and do is worth it. Never forget that…
Sacrifices come in all different shapes and forms but remember time is one that you can not get back. It maybe simple but it is one of the most important and stabled sacrifice just short of sacrificing life I know of. Time is so easy to give and then gives back so much. So please go and think about what you can do to maybe make a difference. Take some time tonight to listen to someone, talk about your day give someone your time, your undivided attention. Sacrifice some TV or book time to play with your kids and create that bond that will in-turn show them to sacrifice for their kids. Sacrifice… A small word, but such a big outcome…
I wrote this post a few days ago but before I posted it I wanted to add one more thing. I got invited to one of my best friends brothers weddings and I had to decline. We all grew up together and as a matter of fact they lived right down the road. He's getting married in June and the weddings just outside of DC. Over the past few months I though of different options on how to get there and if I could take time off my other job. I finally had to cave and tap out. I'm not sure if my rents are going but with everything going on and not have the best tax year, actually having the worst one it was with a heavy heart I had to decline. I was talking to my best friend on the phone and I could tell he was disappointed, well he told me he was lol so.
It stinks I really wanted to go but with working both jobs and asking for all the time off I just couldn't do it. I guess the drive was something I don't know I'm not good in a car for over a few hours. Sorry, I love flying, I would fly to a city next door lol. I knew this year was going to be hard I knew I had to make some sacrifices but I can't help but feel terrible. It's just hard with my situation and trying to make ends meet. I had to decline a few events already and have a few more this year I already know i can't make. Being a single Dad with two jobs is just a world on it's own I guess...
You are never alone…