Getting Closer

As you're reading this I'm spending two weeks with my three sons, Noah, Harrison and Saywer, which if you're a regular subscriber, you know we live thousands of miles apart. This isn't the way I want it as Ashley and I are seeking opportunities to move closer to them, but it looks as if it will be a while longer until this hope becomes a reality. Ashley has now got a solid job, and Allie and Avery are about to will start school soon and we don't want to pull them out in the middle of the year.

Despite the practicality of these circumstances, the fact that I want to be an involved father takes precedence given the impact of the alternative un-involvement would have on my son's development. Surprisingly, I get flak over this stance from friends and even from their mother.

Unfortunately, we do not have an amicable relationship, which I want to be careful about drawing attention to in that I don't want to demonize her in such a forum given she has no opportunity to defend herself. I certainly wasn't blameless in the relationship, but that is over and my focus is squarely on the impact of the divorce as well as the physical distance between us.

Around Father's Day, when you start seeing all the articles related to being a dad I found this article from ADD Magazine, and it articulates many of my concerns over how not just Noah (who has ADD) grows up, but the other boys as well. The first two paragraphs especially define the issue particularly well, and so I wanted to at least include those within this post.

"Due to a variety of cultural forces over the past few decades, many women have had to take on greater responsibility in the raising of their children; sometimes even assuming the role of both mother and father. This model is not ideal for anyone — it asks too much of mothers, diminishes the influence of a loving father, and deprives the child of a role model they sorely need. It is especially not best for boys with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD). Boys with ADHD need their dads.

Boys learn what it is like to be a man and how to act like a man primarily from their fathers. Adolescents might look to other males in their life for guidance, but their father is the primary role model. It is critical that they feel that their father understands and accepts them as they are, ADHD and all. They did not ask to be born with hyperactivity, distractibility, and/or impulsivity — but they were."

- Dr Larry Silver

You can read the rest of the article Here.

After reading either the entire article of just the first few lines you can see why these two weeks with my boys are so important to me. Even still, as important as this issue is, it's also key that I don't become so emotionally entangled I ultimately lose perspective on what's happening to the boys. This is an easy trap to fall into particularly when the other parent is vocally uncooperative to the point they ignore the potential ramification with the belief the problem with go away once the other parent fades away.

Even if the frustration and resulting anger is justified, it's counter-productive to the example I set for each of my boys.

If you're the praying sort then if you would ask the situation works out as it should in His will. This is tough for me to say, one, because I never ask others to pray for me (it's a pride thing), and two, what I think is the right answer might not be the right one as far as God is concerned. I want a 'normal job.' I want Chicago (or nearby), I want to be near my boys. I want to write funny stories about them like I do their step-sisters. I want their mother to be a co-parent, but what I want might not be the answer. Irregardless of who wants what, it's still important for me to be the major male influence in their life.

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