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Sunday, August 28, 2016

I Moved My Daughter Into Her Dorm Today... A single dad reflects on divorce and how fast kids grow up.

I moved my daughter into her dorm this weekend.

It feels like she went straight from the maternity room to her dorm room without pausing. Like there wasn't 18 years in there.
Being divorced only made it worse. Whatever time I might have had with her was reduced by about 75 percent.
I was there for the big things...Recitals, graduations, art shows, and talent shows. I've never missed a birthday or a holiday with her. I spoke to her every day that I wasn't with her.
But there were little things that were stolen from me. It wasn't me who took off her training wheels when the time came. It wasn't me who pulled her first loose tooth. I had to share her first day of school with the monster her mother married...and is now divorcing. I would call her and he would always make it a point to talk loudly in the background, just so I could hear him and he would let me know that my daughter was in HIS house. He would bait me and hope that I'd lose control and go after him. I have the habit of writing her a letter that I include in every birthday card. It usually recaps the years that have passed and talks about the future. The one I wrote her on her ninth birthday, Jeff (Holly's second husband) decided to "edit" and deface. I wanted to kill him. Somehow I managed not to.
Her mom played along. She liked the feeling of rubbing salt in my wounds.
But I stayed and I fought for whatever time I could get and squeezed in a little more by having lunch with her at school or picking her up and taking her to her mom’s just so I could have the time in the car.
Still...I missed about 75 percent of her bedtime prayers. I missed her singing in her room every night. I didn't catch nearly enough lightning bugs or bake nearly enough cookies or color nearly enough funny pictures. I wish I could be Santa just one more time and she would believe when she was little.
The house I bought in Franklin TN had a Jacuzzi tub. I never used it but she liked it when she was little. One time I put a giant scoop of "Mr. Bubble" in it and she was literally lost in the suds. She had a blast. That's how it was for the first ten years. Once a week and every other weekend we had an adventure of some sort. We had fun and we laughed and we could forget that our little family was broken.
But I see her now and I see the adult version of what was a happy little girl. She trusts no one. She has a chip on her shoulder about men, because she saw how her mom's new husband treated her, and she didn't have a chance to see me treating someone well because I remained single. She has a love for Jesus but a distrust for church because she saw me be essentially abandoned while my life had exploded. Not until I found a different church did she see people caring, as a body of believers, and it jaded her. She knows how individuals helped and cared, but she loved church as much as I do and she felt the disappointment.
She feels like she skipped childhood after age 10. She feels like she was rushed into adulthood because her home life demanded it. I have to agree. Her mom's house wasn't a safe haven, and after 2008, I had no house at all.
She's in the dorm now. She has two roommates and a floor full of young women of varying ages and backgrounds. I am excited for her. I am praying daily that her room mates and RA's and her floor sisters are all exactly who God has picked out to help heal the wounds my little girl carries.
I shudder to think of what might invade that heart if she was in a state school right now. I'm thankful that, while Liberty is growing academically and physically at a tremendous rate, our president, Jerry Falwell has managed to keep our school Christ centered. I'm thankful God brought it about that I can work there and she can go there because the two are financially inseparable right now.
But this hole in me is huge and today it's palpable. 18 years is a blink even if you aren't divorced, or homeless, or both. It's a blink to healthy families where things go well.
For me it was even faster than that. She is my only immediate family. She is the chance I got to right the wrongs from my own childhood, and be a better parent than I had. She is my second chance at seeing dreams come true. She reminds me of my grandmother when she sings. She is loving, tender, gentle, fiery, stubborn, and very broken.
And today she lives in a dorm on Liberty Mountain. And I'm sitting here wondering how it happened so quickly, and wondering if I did it right enough. We talked this weekend about the past and the future. Where I succeeded and where I failed. She told me that no matter what...she always knew I loved her. Because I told her and because I showed her.
I hope and pray that is enough.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Colin Kaepernick...a line-by-line assessment of his ridiculous statement

Note:I have a dear dear friend who lost both legs at the hip in Vietnam. Before going to war, he had been a standout high school football player. He would probably love nothing more than to dance with his wife, run with his grandchildren...and stand for the National Anthem.

Colin Kaepernick came out with an insulting statement about how he refuses to stand for the National Anthem. I thought I'd dissect it line by line. Here goes.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," 

When one says "A COUNTRY that oppresses black people and people of color" you are saying that this is an official action, sanctioned by the government. "The COUNTRY is oppressing you" means that it's the policy of the nation. Sorry Colonoscopy...that isn't true. In FACT, good people of ALL colors died to make sure those laws were changed so that this was NOT true. You know who fought those against changing those laws the hardest??? Democrats
When you say "The Country" you include ME and all other fellow Americans. Including the millions who bought your stupid jersey after you turned in one good year...and then fell into the abyss of sub-par play. You include the owner who gave you 90 MILLION dollars after one good season...have you offered to return any of that money? When you say "The Country" you include the NFL...the league in which you play, where the majority of players are black. How's THAT oppressive? And can you NEVER use the term "people of color" again??? I have a color too, jackass and mine is as important as yours.
Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game.

"To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way."

No...what's selfish is for you to ignore the men and women who died for that anthem so you could bilk the NFL in the safety of a football stadium, you thankless fraud! There are men who will NEVER, EVER be able to stand for that anthem again, because they stood when it mattered. Think about that the next time you jog off the field after going three-and-out again, on your two healthy legs.

"There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

WHERE??? Where are the bodies
 in the street and the people getting away with murder? Michael Brown? BZZZZZ false narrative! Hands weren't up...he wasn't running away. He was charging an officer he had tried to kill.
Treyvon Martin? George Zimmerman is a jerk, but Treyvon tried to beat him to death and met his end.
Freddie Gray? Nobody tried harder to convict those cops than that race baiting prosecutor..and yet she went 0 for 6.
Philandro Castille? Turns out he reached for his gun
Alton Sterling? He reached for his gun too and he was a convicted pedophile and he'd already done time for possessing a firearm when prohibited!
Nobody is "dying in the streets" while cops notch their gunbelts, you miserable little turd. And maybe you just have a law enforcement problem after that whole "being in the hotel room while a girl got raped" thing. Was it your money or your skin color that got you off the hook with that? Or were you actually those cops turned out to be.
You want to protest, fine. Protest in some way that doesn't disrespect the very anthem that makes your entire dream life possible. But at least have the decency to quote facts and not race-baiting blither.
Rant over...Chip can have him. I hope the 49ers go 0-16