W to the P

Day 140

LBAS_Image

Hello aliens! It’s me, Jack. (but not really). This is my first blog post. (but not really)

Come laugh, imagine, and explore with me. Hopefully in that order.

Let’s buy a school. Anyone have a few extra mil under their floor boards?

No really.

Although this is the day I created this blog, I will be posting the chapters that I have already written as separate posts, and back-dating the threads to correlate with the original chapter release dates.

Not sure why.  Maybe it’s the OC… to provide some kind of detailed timeline to remember this journey by.

Yea… that’s the ticket!

Sideways

Day 134

Sideways 

Pablo Picasso was quoted as saying, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

The beginning of this tale is rather silly. I’m not apologizing. I am just giving you a heads up. If you’ve lost your funny, I might lose you at ‘I’m a girl’, while writing in an English accent.

The underlying purpose of this project is of course anything but silly. Having said that, the end goal is that creativity will absolutely take the driver’s seat through the visioning, planning, implementation, and life cycle of this idea which we hope is infinite.

Education as a whole, stole my creativity. It shut down my funny. So, to borrow a line from U2, we’re stealing it back.

Bear with me as I release years of stymied humor. Allow my inner child to be free, creative, witty, emotional, random and full of wonder.

I don’t want you to take me seriously. I want you to come laugh with me – or better yet at me. Be free. Find that thwarted creative. Discover the wonder that was once alive and thriving within that little boy, girl, kangaroo, or all of the above in you.

Life is serious enough. This project is serious enough. We’re serious enough in our adult, caregiver, employee, employer roles.

I know you are iN. I can smell your curiosity through your screen. Or you’re sitting too close and that’s pastrami I just caught a whiff of. Ew. Here’s a virtual mint.

Finding Our Voice

Day 18

Part 1 – Who am I?  But not totally.

Chapter 12: Finding Our Voice

It took me a long time to find my voice. Well, I found it in humor in english and gym class in middle school, and math class in high school. I also found my buttocks in the principal’s office or at my desk in the hallway.  

As an adult who had long lost his funny internal sidekick, I first found my serious, somewhat mature voice in the form of the written word in my late twenties. It wasn’t until the end of my thirties, that I finally found my vocal cords.

I’m still quite nervous talking in front of others and have found myself pulling away from the public eye from time to time. I have also woken up sweating with panic at the thought of a successful outcome of this project, but I try to push forward in an effort to teach my children to never give up or let fear take the reins. In the end, I do like public speaking for the right cause.  

I don’t want my children to take this long to find their confidence and the inner strength to fight for what they believe in whether it’s starting a conversation with someone they are attracted to, or standing up to woman’s or Native rights or whatever their cause may be one day.

There is so much power in finding our voices. I feel more alive and impassioned than I ever have as I prepare to enter my mid forties – minus the joint and back pain, being tired all the time, and the greys overtaking my thankfully still thick head of hair. Take that, father time. It may take me 3 days to recover from a game of adult baseball but my inner confidence has never felt so young.

One thing I have learned on the journey to finding my voice, is that we can go too far with the courage that comes with learning to speak our minds. I have been left regretting some actions and written words and to a degree am still in the midst of un-finding my voice. By this I don’t mean shutting up and crawling under a rock. It simply means it was time to listen a lot more than talking. It’s hard when you spent your life being that quiet kid forever listening intently, and now you are suddenly an adult with so much to say to someone other than your pet frog, and a desire to be a big part of so many conversations.

To me, it doesn’t matter who you are whether a child, factory worker, office exec or hockey star, all voices are needed in the conversations of life. I especially have a great deal of respect for stars who use their far-reaching voices to promote positive, inclusive change for a harmonious, diverse world. They often catch a lot of flack from peers who feel it’s a stars job to just shut up and play the sport they are paid to play, or act in the movies they are paid to appear in. On the big screen of life, the play is but an entertaining distraction. It’s what those characters stand for in real life, that keeps me supporting their art.

Let’s help our youth and everyone in our societies find their voice,  and to use that call in a manner that unites us rather than places walls between us.

Losing My Un-Religion

Day 16

Part 1 – Who am I?  But not totally.

Chapter 10: Losing My Un-Religion

Hunk ‘o junk. Sorry, I had to break the religious tension. A story for another time.

I don’t want to get too much into religion. It’s a touchy subject and really has little relevance to the project. Well none of this babble has any real matter now does it for those waiting for this long, self-centred intro to be finally over so we can get to what the bloody h-e-double ringette sticks this is all about already.

I will say that I do not like religion for it’s occasional judgement of others, or the part it plays in war and strife or the pain in my sciatica after an hour sitting in those hard pews. I do like the light banter afterwards in the community room and pancakes and coffee and more pancakes. When it comes to getting people out, have food will travel as the saying somewhat goes.

I have however in all seriousness, come to understand, as someone without religion in their life, the importance of having faith in something in whatever form that takes. Like the Leafs will win the Cup or Friends will have a comeback.

Although religion, for me, has no formal place in work, education or play, I believe it’s extremely important for all of our children (all of us for that matter of course), to have a good understanding of those we share our communities with every day from religion, traditions, and customs. Faith is an important part of so many of our lives. We must respect, honor, and value that in education, work and play because it’s there in our signal to the creator after a score, the rosary hanging from our family photo at our cubicle, or in the attire we wear at school.

I found my faith one summer in a valley learning about our country’s Native roots. If being Aboriginal was a religion I could simply pick up one day, I would have after that summer and a lifetime going to the local reserve with my grandfather, hearing his passion for our First Nations peoples, and his lifelong desire to do more to make their communities stronger.

As a politician, sitting on the First Nation Metis Inuit Community Advisory Committee and our local Indigenous Education Circle, has broadened my respect, knowledge and belief in their teachings and protective nature. Increasingly, it has me wanting to do more and to be constantly conscious of Indigenous teachings with the decisions I make in my life.

So although I cannot be Aboriginal and I chose not to take on any one faith, there are many beautiful aspects to all religions, traditions, cultures, and ways of life that we can all adapt to help us live a life that affords us to achieve our spirits, and those that share this space with us, true potentials. That includes our earth and all of its living entities.

Where once I believed in total separation of church, state, and education, I now see the utter importance in having an open and sincere discussion about faith, rather than shovelling it under the bulging rug. Not as a one over the other discussion or with any criticism, but rather as a matter of seeing the good intention in all of it. If nothing else, then quite simply the importance of believing in a power greater than us. Like lightning or tornados or mom’s chasing us around the house with a bar of soap.

I didn’t need the fear of God. I had the absolute terror of a cheesed off, cursing mother, with bulging central lobe veins leaping after one disrespectful little bugger.  She is my creator and as she often reminded me, also had the power to remove me from the world in which she brought me into. Luv ya mum.

Familie

Day 11

Part 1 – Who am I?  But not totally.

Chapter 9: Familie

Seeing as though my grandfather was a big influence in my life and he was born in Denmark, I thought I would add a little Danish to the mix. Dane on my mum’s side, Scottish on my dad’s, and England-born grandmother’s all around.  The Scottish roots go back a few generations however from when they immigrated to Canada.

Not only am I lucky, as lucky as divorced and broke and 2 jobs each between my partner and I go, I am extremely rich when it comes to family and friends.

Most of all, there are my two girls. Then, there is my partner who is my cheerleader, and her daughter who sits smack dab in the middle of our 3 girls birth years.  Then add an 80lb dog, a Garfield-esk cat, and two of her fluffy- sleep during the day’ kittens and one Gecko. There you have our immediate home. We even have to feed the crickets and worms and the outside cats even come to our kitchen window for a pet and a snack, so all I really seem to do except work and sleep is clean poop and feed things. Lucky they are all cute or fascinating like worms are.

My parents have toughed out many struggles and are 45 years into their marriage. They are certainly an inspiration and my biggest role models. Both my grandparents lived death-do-us part romances, except my mum’s mum died when I was just a baby. All I have of us is a photo of her holding me and a toy airplane. She and planes had a ‘never go on one’ relationship. My grandfather did remarry but at 99 a few years back, he left my step-grandmother twice the widower.

My grandfather and his second wife both lost the loves of their lives far too young. They also were on two different sides of the war. One fought it in while his darling and child stayed back home, and his second love lived surrounded by bombs going off in the second world war while her husband was in battle. Both her men would survive that war.

I have one sister who is one of my best friends. Both my dad,  mom and both my grandfather’s were of big families of 5’s and 7’s so I have lots of cousins who I have mostly been very close with.

As for friends, I have so many buds I have known since birth or early grade school. We may not see each other all that often even though some live close by, but I know they are always there and I hope they know I am always here. I wish for these friendships to continue because through breakups and other important life moments, it’s comforting knowing I have them. It’s always nice of course but life goes by in a rush.

My family is very sociable, kind, giving, lovers of children and animals, reunions, drinks and a game of cards here and there. We are passionate about our local team, big local supporters of small business, and together a very passionate, talented, and creative lot.

None of us have really left this place. It’s common for locals and if you stick around for awhile, you see what a hidden gem our hometown is. Some have ventured off for a short while or came back and moved not too far away. Otherwise, at any given moment we could probably scare up 50 family members including new relatives that pop up from time to time as pasts reveal the very human nature of all of our families.  We are far from perfect but perfect in every way that matters.

Our family flaws are never far from front and centre but our true nature and strength always shines through during good times like weddings and other family gatherings, and tough times such as repair needs or deaths. There is always an opportunity to celebrate and never a second thought to a hug, a kiss, or a strong man shake.

Family is so important and for those that aren’t so blessed, it’s our opportunity to share the strength that our loved ones give us each and every day. I think we do this very well as does the community I live in. I feel that’s because so many families I am surrounded by are of the same cloth. Dealt more shyte than a litter box and maybe a bit broken and guarded, but always giving and quick to love again even though their love is always forever.

I am lucky that my children have known a great grandfather and so happy they have been able to have a close bond with my parents and sister. I know how important all of these relationships have been for me including the bond I had with my aunts and uncles.

My pooch sits up for a little love as a cool summer’s wind rips through our yard, making me think of how I am also lucky to have the forgiving, forever-love of this sweet soul. She and my cuddly cat have been with me through many lonely nights.

There are so many great souls in my life that I feel have all contributed to a powerful passion with so much pent up love and giving to express.

Strengthening that sense of belonging to a family is something I feel is extremely important and a big driver of this project.

Daddy

Above image credit: My two girls (really)

Day 10

Part 1 – Who am I?  But not totally.

Chapter 8: Daddy

Is there anything more amazing than hearing that call? ‘Daddy?’

It is surely soon to slip away. It’s long since been ‘dad’ for 1.

~

For those imaginary people following along this, quote unquote, live writing journey, it’s been a few days since I have hacked away at this tale.

As I believe I have stated – the memory isn’t as good as it never was so perhaps I have, I am a single father. Kind of a misleading phrase considering I am no longer single and I never truly have been. As in single parents without the assistance of anyone to rescue them from tantrums, gadget duals and dirty laundry on top of clean laundry on top of toys on top of candy rappers on top of cat. I believe the run on sentence nicely symbolizes a day in the life of those bearing child minus a sanity assistant. Those angels need a medal or opioids or a big free frickin’ party for single parents at each month’s end sans children and avec whatever the frig they want. Parenting is hard bloody enough with another person or half of one or even one that comes down with the lurgy every time it’s their turn to watch the little buggers.

I love my girls with all of my affection. I have fought hard to be in their lives half of the time and I would gladly accept all of of it. Although, there has been a moment or two in recent months as they enter the ‘can I get away with locking them in their rooms’ years, that I was ready to send them back to mom’s. Of course the moment I get in the car and head for home when our time sharing ends, I already wish them back. Back to give me a hand when I realize on returning home that there is makeup and sparkles all over the bathroom sink, evidence of a long game of dressup, and rubber bullets spewed across the living room and in kitten mouths. Of course in all seriousness, that is codswallop; wishing them home to clean not the mess they make, because I will cherish the already fading desire to want to be with me rather than friends or boys. My aluminum bat is ready and has already had a couple of symbolic taps in my palm.

Before their mom and I separated 5 years ago, I had not gone but a couple of days every once in a blue moon without seeing them. I had to kiss their sleeping foreheads goodnight after spending hours on transit travelling back and forth to work for a few years, or had to settle for having a few moments to read them a story before bed, but otherwise we were hardly apart.

I am lucky to be in the situation I am, aside from an ‘always love her for giving me the greatest gifts ever’/loathe/dislike existence with my former spouse, as I know so many great dads fighting for access when all they want to do is be a part of their children’s lives as much as possible.

Although I cannot change my situation, even though every day I regret the time I have lost and will continue to lose with my gals, I believe I have a lot to offer – especially my children, to help others be better equipped for life’s challenges. This includes understanding relationships and especially our own personal needs. Not that I am a trained professional or have any paper qualifications, but I do have many thoughts on how we can as a society, avoid completely messing the family bed. After all, I  myself have written numerous pages in the Mucking it up for Dummy’s self-destruction manual. I have many degrees in lived experience.

I do not for one moment believe we should encourage bad couples to stay together as our prisons are already in abundance, but I do believe we can provide our children with more tools to help them avoid at least a few setbacks in their lives. Life has so many obstacles as it is. Like tapered jeans, brothers exposing your unaroused neckedness to a love interest and the whole trailer park while you sleep, a Parisienne full of party weekend buds breaking down 5 minutes after departure, or that perm that you thought was a good idea that you’ve never been able to obtain the negatives for.

Divorce seems such a waste in so many ways. Like all that hard-earned cash gone to pot for know-nothing lawyers. Most importantly of course, it’s a waste of precious time without our little beings. The creatures we have waited our entire life to meet and nurture and not totally fudge up before graduating into this sometimes dark and lonely world. I don’t wish this life on them or anyone for that matter. Well maybe some, but not really.

I interviewed other soon-to-be fathers when we went to prenatal classes before our first child was born. I wanted to know what they were thinking, dreaming, or fearful of with regards to becoming a new zombie dad. I in turn wrote a story about my own feelings towards fatherhood. I was scared and excited and in a bit of a fog, but never did I imagine being where I am now. It makes me sad often, like this very moment only hours from having said goodbye for another week. Looking out the window at our small pool awaiting a child’s play, laughter, banter, and the family dog in its second life leaning over the edge waiting to be splashed too with tongue dangling like a rabid lunatic.

‘Single’ life ‘aint all candy bars and rainbows. Sorry it is candy bars; and lot’s of strong coffee like the paste my partner concocts each ‘mor. I mean mmmmm. ‘I love you honey.’

I am so grateful for how close these years have brought me to these girls and mostly proud of my accomplishments, but I have missed and will continue to miss, so very much.

I guess you could say my heartache has inspired me to at least help others avoid similar paths. Whenever they aren’t here, all I do is think of them. At least I can be doing something in their absence that they have inspired, because that is what they have been to me since the moment I first held them or even talked to them in their mommy’s belly. My inspiration. My purpose.

Where once I fancied being famous, called crap on social media, or to be chased by neurotic photographers, now all I want is to be a dad and anything in life that provides me the freedom and peace of mind to be a better father to my children.

I was at the family court house the other day – my nightmare away from home these past few years. As I entered, an elderly woman, perhaps a grandmother or 30 something mom who hasn’t slept in years, said to the police officers as she exited, that ‘this place might just be the most depressing there is.’ I couldn’t agree more.

Why does it have to be this way? All parents deserve better. The children especially.

I love you girls. Sleep well. Virtual kisses and hugs.

Quid Pro Quo

Day 7

Part 1 – Who am I?  But not totally.

Chapter 3:  Quid Pro Quo

So where was I then? Aw right. I am a girl. No, a boy. No, a man. Yes. I must be a man now for the true events that haven’t taken place yet are of a very important nature and requiring of a great deal of seriousness and a boatload of cash. That’s where you come in. The oodles of bills and coins flowing from your virtual pockets 100 years after this story was written. Not because you have paid £15.30 for a paperback novel by an unknown ‘writer’ who has to find creative ways to stay focused, because you are reading this story for free on your computer or handheld device right now. At least I hope you are still with me.

Hello? Anyone there?

The vaults of currency for this project will simply appear (at least that is how my tale will end), constantly through the airwaves over the years because you have read or heard of this story and feel it’s something you believe in as well. I fancy £2 from every reader would help us achieve the purest, most sustainable version of the model we are seeking for our venture. Of course your response will determine whether this is a straight forward novel, or a choose your own adventure story where the alternative here is that it all goes to pot, and I am seen as an even more crazed lunatic than is thought any other regular day.

I am not looking to get rich. Um. Yes, absolutely not.  I simply want to make an honest wage doing something I believe in. This is from the man being straight-faced now.  No quips. No sexy English accents. (clearing throat and getting all serious) Plain old boy.

Okay. Accents on.

We all want something out of life but we should not expect it. I do fancy a million pounds but of course one needs to play the lotto to win I guess. I would love a new vehicle. Just a mini-van will do although I miss dreaming of Mustangs and Fiero’s. Stick shifts and fitting 24 bottles of beer where you might find an engine in any other car, are certainly more sexier than seats that magically fold into the floor or VHS players that keep the kiddies quiet for 5 minutes at a time. Yes, VHS players. Who knew. It is even easily removable because at some point in time one needed to worry about a VHS machine being stolen from your family car disguised in red, with a spoiler and fancy rims.

All jokes aside, we must do the things we do because we love it. Because it’s right. Because it feels good. If there is reward great, but that cannot be the end goal, the purpose, or the expectation. We all want something and that is okay.

Indeed I will get a great deal in return should this dream be realized because I will be doing something I can be passionate about every day. In the end however, the expectation is that the effect this vision will have will be far-reaching in our communities and my return will be but a small blip of the grand effect felt by others.

The value of this ‘thing’ is in your belief of this vision. Plain and simple.

So there is no Quid pro quo here. No expectation of payment for reading this story – either from me or you. I don’t demand you virtually toss me a pound or two simply because. I do expect that this story and these thoughts will be for some and not others. There is hope of course. Hope that the former outways the latter.

Come on then. Let’s talk about where I have been and what brought me to where we are here and now, for we must first understand where we have been, before truly knowing where we must go.

These events actually did happen already. Honest they did.

Short and Sweet

Day 5

Part 1 – Who am I?  But not totally.

Chapter 2: Short and Sweet 

Listen to Audio Track 

Reading has always been a challenge for me. I have what one might identify as novel narcolepsy. I don’t actually have narcolepsy but one might guess as much looking at the photos my little sister often posts to my Facebook wall  of me asleep in random places and usually with an upright drink in my hand.

I do love to read but stories broken down into smaller bits assist with my uncontrollable urge to nod off one or two pages into a chapter or side stepping into a story I find written in between the lines. Head nods and constantly having to go back a couple of paragraphs to remember where I left off make enjoying a good book both painful and challenging. Smaller chapters provide me with that motivating ‘only a couple of pages to go’ element that helps me keep focus.

So both to assist in the ability to comfortably read back my own book a million times before publishing, and in the spirit of the dream I wish to make a reality, this imagined tale is packaged with those with short attention spans in mind. If you are not of this category, than simply ignore the random bold titles every so many pages and continue as if the chapters are twenty pages in length. I wish I carried your steadfastness.

Suffocating Creativity

Day 2

Part 1 – Who am I?  But not totally.

Chapter 3:  Suffocating Creativity

It’s exciting being excited about the excitement that writing a story more than 500 words contributes to my spirit. Where the tale will go. How I will get to the conclusion. The adventures that journey might entail and what I will learn about life and myself along the way.

It’s mystical. Magical. It’s so much a part of who I am. That someone I denied to exist for far, far too long and who I continue to ignore at times throughout my ever shortening time on this earth.

I miss creative writing and the peers I used to write with. I do write stories related to my political role from time to time in local community papers. I enjoy sharing space with so many other passionate neighbors throughout the area I live in. So many are selling this great neighborhood on social media and in passing which is an exciting thing to be a part of. Our City is going through a great renaissance so playing any role in that change is empowering.

For someone like me who has lived in this place all of my life, it’s like people are now saying they believe in us too because nobody held any regard for our City up until now. The locals have always seen the beauty in this little big town but when one goes through life hearing others talk smack about your hometown, it kind of defines you as a person as well. We are our towns. They become us. It’s nice that others see our beauty now even if they are a bit tardy.

I’ve been a creative soul as long as I can recall to be honest with myself, so all this seriousness and the drama that often comes with politics and corporate life does eat away at you. I love it all too but there is so much that I wish to see changed.

Having that urge to tell a tale is invigorating and I miss it. I have felt this craving for some time now but I also do enjoy being an advocate. Writing and speaking up in those regards I have found to be more fulfilling in a different way.

I believe a big reason why I have been feeling so lost and unsatisfied with both my jobs as of late is the lack of creativity in my life. Expression. Exploration. Freedom.  Oh how I enjoy drawing with my kids or telling the tales of our lives together as if I were of English decent – well I am two parts English or three if you include my step grandmother.  Those moments are few and far between however.

For one, I am often too exhausted. More so than a man of 44 should be really. I read a story by author Steve Goodier once that talked about skidding in at the end of your life sideways rather than packed up perfect and seemingly unscathed in a perfect, tidy little white box. For me, each day seems like a desperate slide into home plate leaving scars and bruises that take days to recover from. So with a goal of one day skidding in sideways, I feel I must slow down a tad and take my own life by the horns for fear I might fall in backwards unexpectedly before my time.

I love being busy and wanted and needed and important and that my days are full, but I have long tired of sweating the small stuff. I want a different life for me but I also want a different life for everyone. Most importantly, I want a more meaningful future for my girls and their children should they wish to venture into parenting themselves one day – hopefully before I do any final skidding or stumbling myself.

What I should be doing at this stage of my thought process is writing a business plan and in fact I have written one before so I know I can do that. Then there is that desire for creativity in my life. So, I thought why not marry the two needs in an effort to move this rather time-sensitive initiative forward sans some boringly formatted bank proposal, by appealing to the calling inside my spirit that longs to be more free in it’s wonderings.

Why not write this vision as a storyteller? Picturing how it might all unfold to see if I have still sold myself on this concept never mind the many people, the time, and the money it will take to launch such a lofty endeavor?

I will either succeed or fail at gaining your belief, and or your monetary or physical support. That is not what is important. What matters is the journey and what it teaches us about ourselves and the fascinating people we meet along the way.

I often wish I could be more straightforward in my approaches, but I have long since become happy with who I am and how my brain and heart sees the world and my place among those thoughts.

Let us imagine together. Let’s learn. Let’s laugh a lot. Yes even at me. Should all of this lead us forward in the spirit of this dream, all the better. If not, hopefully you at least don’t feel this journey was for not and that you too learned something about others, a missing need, and most of all, yourself.

Let’s first sleep though and draw the curtains on the first day of this written journey shall we. Falling asleep at my desk is one of those odd places I have nodded off before so I do not wish to suffer whiplash before bed this evening. The used mattress I purchased off off a buy and sell website from a chiropractor some six years ago is pain enough each morning never mind other self-prescribed tortures.

Good dreams then.

Let’s Begin (Again) ♪

Day 1

Part 1 – Who am I? But not totally.

Chapter 1: Ramblings

Listen to the Audio Track

Because I am rather drawn by stories narrated in an English accent, I imagined this tale as if red oh by say Hugh Grant or the lovely Emma Thompson. Well, since I have always loved the name Emma, we’ll go with Ms. Thompson then and assume me a girl instead of a boy because well, it is my imagination and with it I can do whatever the bloody hell I want right?

Let’s carry on then, Ms. Thompson.

I’m a girl.

~

Usually when one reads a tale identified as based on true life, those events have already occurred. A writer hears of something that catches their attention, they seek the rights to said story and the rest is history. Er the past.

I have always been a peculiar girl. In my head. I started talking to animals at a young age and could easily spend hours alone with nature or with plenty of drawing materials, letting my imagination run wild. I’ve learned to mask my peculiarity as I have grown to seem mostly normal, but to do anything in a ordinary fashion still bores me enough to be a little more open to being thought the fool. Age and all of our impending dooms seem to do that as years pass and dreams remain locked up in ones bored brain.

So in the spirit of my lifelong oddness and in a fashion traditional to my life’s story as it has thus far occured, this tale based on true facts, has not yet happened.

I have long dreamed of being so many things. A professional hockey player, an animator for Walt Disney, a teacher, a coach, a famous actress, a regarded writer, an inventor, entrepreneur, someone who others would be inspired by, but mostly as my 20’s were coming to an end, I dreamed of being a husband and a father.

Well, there you have it. We must pass the auditory baton over to Mr. Grant because well, it is important that I tell this tale as a father because as a former husband, it is the struggles of fatherhood that have brought me to where I am today. Imagining my future as if it has already happened to well, determine if this dream that I carry is a good fit for my girls and our futures together as father and daughters.

I am a boy.

As I make my way to the mid-forties mark, I have long come to the conclusion that the most important beings on this earth that I want to inspire or be regarded by, are my two girls. My eldest is almost 11 going on 16, and my youngest is soon to be 9 and thankfully, for a dad embracing two childhood’s slipping away far faster than I would like, going on 9.

As early teenage years sneak in, I am also quickly realizing much to my dismay, that I would rather ensure I raise two respecting, caring and giving girls than a couple of little bugger’s. So, being liked all the time is something I am slowly coming to grips with not being as concerned about. I think I am winning that argument and perhaps it’s the only confrontation I will triumph over in the next 10 years. I am sure at some point they will tell me they hate me not unlike similar words spoken to my own mum, which of course translated to I loved her more than I love you could possibly portray. I hated her for caring and sticking by me always in spite of me being a little explicit b-word. I always had a little trouble communicating my feelings.

Did I mention a house full of girls? Right. I’ll get to my now extended family a bit later then.

I am a boy. Yes I know I said that already as well as saying I was a girl. I know I am a man and an aging, greying, slower moving one at that but the greatest gift aside from the pure, forgiving and absolute love my two beautiful girls have given me, is helping me find the boy inside again.

My grandfather often talked about keeping in touch with the child within and himself, enjoyed an occasional cartoon to his end just a few days shy of his 99th birthday. Like the time we re-lived seeing Song of the South together when I was a child, after I found a copy on VHS via the internet. We sat in his 16th floor flat and watched it together like a couple of school boys, before grandchildren made their way into our lives.

I believe I am man enough when called upon to be a mature and leading adult, but I like the man I am becoming more as I remember the boy and how imagination, hope and belief in self ran rampant in his otherwise randy little loins.

Of course, being a man means you need a job and any one at that to keep a roof over our heads, peanut butter and jelly on the table and clothed enough not to appear a ratty mess. One just can’t quit to pursue far-fetched dreams. I have no regrets for the employment position I find myself in as a mostly uneducated 40-something. I actually have a really good job. Two in fact.

Divorce is grand.