I am a weekend father.
It is a fate I made for myself.
I have a son and a daughter,
and I love both of them dearly.
My daughter and I talk rugby,
we talk music and we laugh.
I read the Harry Potter series,
not because I care about Harry
or He Who Shall Not Be Named;
but so I would have something
to talk about with her.
She steals my favorite music compact discs
and my favorite t-shirts.
She amazes me with her independence.
She has flown the nest
and she soars in the skies.
I smile every time her shadow crosses mine.
My father died ten years ago,
and I wish I could talk with him,
or ask him a few questions,
or solicit his advice on this or that.
He once said,
"How cruelly these tiny fingers
grip my heart."
But he is gone,
and the only whispers I get from him
are when I think of what he would do
in the situation I am facing at the moment.
My son and I don't speak much.
I text him in the midnight hours,
I write letters to him in French and Spanish.
I travel across Texas to see him,
just so that I can hug him or shake his hand,
and I enjoy putting money in his pocket.
I love him more than I think he realizes,
but he seems to be in his own world.
I would let them spend the night in jail
if they were arrested.
I would whip their backsides heartily
if they were to get caught with drugs.
I would take their electronics or books and hide them
if they were to get failing grades in school,
not because I want to punish them
or to see them suffer hardship,
but because I want them to succeed,
because I want them to know right from wrong,
because I want them to realize
that life and time and opportunities
are precious and come very rarely
to those who work hard and persevere
and almost never to those who don't.
But the most agonizingly painful way
in which I exhibit my love for them
is to wait for them to come back to visit,
without losing my faith,
or my focus
on loving them to the fullest
my heart can manage.
(My) Life is a Battlefield
2 weeks ago