Friday morning, I left for Lima, Ohio, for the local barbershop convention. I use local in a slightly more global sense, as Lima is approximately 270 miles away. I was quite happy with the entire time, as my quartet performed a nice chunk better than our last contest, and the chorus performed noticeably better. We didn't score as well as we would have liked, but all judge comments were on the money and accomplishable.
The interesting thing from a family perspective is how the boys we behaving while I was gone. They are good and sweet boys, even when they are bad; but, when I'm away, they are just unbalanced a bit. It's little things - discomfort when sleeping, short tempers, that type of stuff. I see it in myself as well - without having the boys around, I simply don't function as well as I'd like. Little thing, yes.
It makes me wonder how people survive as single parents and function with joint custody or small amounts of visitation. I understand that it's a complex world, and in 2011, we find ways to emotionally cope with difficult situations. It just strikes me as being awfully difficult. Kids like routine, consistency, and stability. Adults like consistency and stability. Remove them, and things go awry.
That's not to say that our standard nuclear family has an easier time of it. Having two parents involved certainly evens the odds out somewhat, but people are still people. Our flaws make it impossible to live a truly happy life without making things more difficult for ourselves; I kind of gather that if I can teach my children how to teach themselves how to do things and how to avoid some of the worst attitude mistakes that I've make, then I've done a good job as a parent.
Man, I have something profound that I'm trying to explore, but it's just not happening. How disappointing. I'm not entirely sure if I'm trying to explain how important my children's presence in my life has become, or if I'm trying to explore single parenting and my fears about that topic. I have a few people close to my wife and me that are going through divorces - a couple of acrimonious situations, a couple of non-hostile ones. Some with children, some without.
Still, going away from home, for me, is hard. Little, little children don't really understand it, and their expectations can be difficult to bear. Hearing that Little Bear spent a little bit of time wandering around saying, "Where's Daddy?" is really, really cute. The Boy being a little pain while I'm away is... not sure of my feelings here. It's nice to know that I have such a strong impact on his life (as he has on mine) but terrifying to know that I have a strong impact on his life.
Alright. Can't deal with this tonight. Not enough sleep this week. I'll think about this and get back to you.
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