July 05, 2009

Dad Doesn't Always Have The Answers

It is another Saturday night and I am up far too late. It is well after midnight and the sun will come knocking upon my door far too soon. I had every intention of going to bed at a decent hour, but good intentions don't always manifest themselves in the way that we intend and well....I am awake.

Not just awake, but wide awake. The blood is pumping and I am not exaggerating when I say that I am ready to go hit the gym. There is no doubt that if I wanted to I could stay up all night without any effort. But that is not what I want.

What I want, what I need and what I hope for are far different. One of these days I'll blog about that, but not right now.

Now I am trying to wind down. Now I am trying to empty my mind the million thoughts racing through it so that I can climb into bed and sleep.

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It is a very hard time. It is hard for a million different reasons. A time of change and uncertainty that is impacting not just myself but so many of my friends. A time in which we are questioning many of the things that we thought were unquestionable. A time where we worry about the decisions we make because we no longer have just ourselves to worry about.

A time where we debate what is selfish and when is it appropriate to be selfish. Again, that is a post for a later date, but I don't believe that being selfish is always a negative thing.

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A short while ago I stood outside and stared at the sky. An enormous moon filled the sky and was occasionally decorated with fireworks. I looked up and remembered a million different Independence Days from my past. Images of picnics, barbecues and swim parties floated across my mind and all sorts of other things.

I remembered being 16 and in Jerusalem. I held my girlfriend's hand and walked through the city talking about what they were doing back home in the states. I thought about that moment and marveled that 24 years could have passed so quickly.

There were 38 of us in that group, a bunch of teenagers who turned into doctors, scientists, lawyers and business people. Twenty four years later we are down two members, one lost to cancer and another who took his own life.

Not sure why or how I got to thinking about that, but I did. Maybe it is because during a recent trip to The Coffee Bean a friend asked if I knew what happened to a girl who went to high school with us. I told him that she died three years ago, cancer.

He looked at me and asked if I was joking and I said no, rattled off three other people that have died from cancer. Looked at him and asked if that was normal, that I should know so many people who have died at such young ages.

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Earlier I sat at a family party with my son and fielded more questions about life. He asked what I did as a boy for the 4th of July and did grandpa let me play with firecrackers. He told me a few secrets about school and asked me to tell him some secrets of my own.

We laughed and wrestled and played catch. Later on he'd ask me a few more questions and I'd flip them back at him. I'd look at him and say, "what do you think happens" or "why do you think that." It is good for him to have to think about things, let him work on piecing it all together.

After a few minutes he looked at me and asked me to confirm that sometimes dad doesn't have all the answers. For a moment I mulled over telling him that we always do, but opted not to. Sometimes it is worth telling a white lie to make sure that he can sleep at night, but this wasn't one of them.

I smiled and told him that sometimes all we can do is try our best to make a good decisions and then go from there. Dark eyes peered up at me and he nodded, "that is what I think too."
I gave him a hug and we grabbed a slice of cake.

While he ate it I looked up at that moon and wondered if anyone else was staring at it and what they might be thinking. More than that I wondered again if I was facing one of those moments where life presents a fork in the road

This time I think that I might take it...

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