This week, I celebrated my 32nd birthday. Naturally, most people take the occasion to reflect on the past year. My last year has been filled with disappointment and heartache. So it should come as no surprise that I faced the beginning of this week with dread, and a lot of anger.
My ex-wife and her family put me on display to watch my every move, required me to act and behave in certain ways, and then swiftly kicked me out of their life when I “just didn’t get it.” A string of labels, beginning with such accusations as “You never loved me” from my ex-wife really hurts me, and fills me with anger. The woman who had my children and lived me with me for 7 years knows me better than that. My anger at not being understood is something she has misconstrued to turn me into a monster. Now, there’s absolutely no reason for her to ever apologize or admit her lies. There’s nothing I can do about it, and there are moments when that reality is more than I can live with.
On the other hand, I could not have asked for a better birthday. I spent 4 solid days with my kids. There was one brief moment when Mandy asked during a movie we were watching together, “Daddy, why do birds eat worms?” I don’t recall if there were birds in the scene or if she was remembering our visit to the aquarium, which included a live bird exhibit. Either way, I knew I would not be able to answer her question. But I also knew I had a way to connect with my daughter, even when she is away.
In my employment, I write a weekly column called “Good Question.” The premise is simple–answer a question about the everyday things you have always wanted to know about. In my mind, “Good Question” is now a platform to answer questions posed by my kids.
I’m grateful for my daughter’s innocent curiosity about life, and I’m grateful for the Divine inspiration that provided me with a new sense of purpose in my work.
Photo courtesy Bill Schiess | EastIdahoNews.com