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A Life in the day: Anticipation
The countdown had begun. In less than ten days my wife and I would be off to visit our kids in South Carolina. I always have believed in the power of anticipation. This yearning desire of our expectations had far exceeding the logical outcome of actual events. It is simply summed up thusly; once contact is made the ‘diminishing time clock’ is ticking. It’s the non-negotiable reality we have with our contract with time.
I suppose this is as good of a time as any to break from the abstract of reality into the specific realism of life. As a parent, I embrace the abstract reality of Abraham Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs”. Life being what it is, in times when circumstance dictates behavior, the weight of the crown favors Niccolo Machiavelli’s philosophy “it is better to be feared than to be loved.” Simply stated, when the shit hits the fan, order must be restored to minimize the meltdown. Love them or hate them, these are the times of our lives.
My eldest son Tim’s thirtieth birthday took place on the 25th of September of 2011. Family dynamics is a fascinating and educational circumstance to observe. This celebratory occasion coincided with my youngest son Kevin’s decision to break the news to his family he was leaving Arizona to begin anew in South Carolina with his girlfriend and daughter. Although their relationship had endured an acute historical strain of tragedy and pain, the bombshell he dropped possessed the power of a nuclear explosion leaving yet another pool of tears.
I realized not only had Maslow and Machiavelli joined the commemoration, I now was assigned the duty to be speaking on behalf of them both uninvited guests simultaneously. All the while in the recesses of my mind the musical accoutrement of the “times of your life” and “Roll with the Changes” were dueling for control of my emotion self. My wife was emotional distraught firmly entrenched in the Paul Anka camp while Kevin’s siblings sang along with REO Speedwagon.
Kevin graced his mother with the gift of a Granddaughter but not before numerous traumatic incidents preceded that joyous moment. The cost of such a blessing potentially would expose a meaning more than life itself to my partner of 25 years. A gift I was happy to embrace despite the ramifications surely to follow. Maslow and Machiavelli and the traditional Happy Birthday ritual had won the day although the cake, candles and song had been placed on hold.
…“The laughter and the tears… the shadows of misty yesteryears; the good times and the bad you've seen and all the others in between…Remember, do you remember…”
Finally, the day had arrived to which we would visit our son, quasi Daughter-In-Law and precious little granddaughter. It seems as though years had passed since the young trio had left in October, encompassed by a haze of ambiguity, at least in our painstaking minds eye. Wisdom has an affinity of creating such skepticism but not without reason. I suppose in the final analysis, it’s the difference between running to embrace life and as opposed to running away from life.
We departed for the East Coast with the expectation to assist our kids fresh self proclaimed lives albeit of limited resources; how noble of us, being of ‘limited resources’ ourselves. A plan to acquire the basics furnishing to make their apartment a home; a dinette, a sofa, a bed even, but at the very heart and soul of the journey, we would indulge our six month torturous void to adore our beloved baby Granddaughter Chelsea.
Every step along the way was one moment closer to the ultimate attainment of this realization. With each step along the way the anticipation loomed larger than life for both weathered Grandparents. This couple of 25 years had agreed on few aspects in life. It was this particular circumstance they were in complete agreement, albeit from disparate perceptions.
With no more aircraft connections to be made, the plane touched down in South Carolina. The adrenalin was palpable. Anticipation constrained their bated breath. The conviction of their voracious desire was but a moment in time away. The melancholy came across their faces relatively simultaneously; fore they realized the clock would soon be ticking toward the diminishing accessibility of time and the inherent restraint of their addiction.
In a frenzied surreal state, the bags were grabbed from the small craft on the tarmac, as they proceeded toward their inexorableness conclusion of anticipation. Their site was keen as they concurrently focused upon the initial glimpse of the object of their anticipation, the object of their affection, their addiction. In a moment, to be forever frozen in time, the beast from within would be provisionally satisfied; along with the caveat of knowing full well, the beast from within is only fleetingly satisfied.
“So if your tired of the same old story, turn some pages, I will be here when you are ready to roll with the changes…” Keep on rolling!
- A Life in the day: Adulation
The fourth part of the parenting journey finds my wife Jennifer & I blinded by the light of adulation."The moment of anticipation surrendered to the consummation of reverence. Adulation is inherent with distance; as one gets closer to the source,