Wow. The early morning was a hot mess. Lila’s schedule has been inconsistent lately—and it has definitely taken a toll. She was in Virginia with her mom and step dad for a week—then, during a weekend when she would usually be at my apartment, her mom took her to a family members wedding. Lila was dropped off to me Sunday morning looking like she needed to take a ten hour nap. Her hair was in complete disarray, eyes puffy and I detected a slight attitude.
It always takes Lila a day or two to adjust back to being with me. Her mother and I are very different—therefore our households aren’t managed in the same way. So, when the schedule isn’t consistent, it throws Lila off.
Lately, it has been more difficult dealing with Priscilla. She can be really miserable toward me—and unfortunately, she is pulling the whole “Lila should be with me and Nick (step-dad) more because we have a big house and live in a affluent neighborhood.” I know I should ignore her aimless ramblings, but it does offend me that Lila’s mother goes out of her way to make me feel inadequate as a father.
Yes, Lila and I have a little apartment—but it has everything we need. No, our neighborhood isn’t full of rich white and Asian Silicon Valley tech workers—but we do have wonderful neighbors with children around Lila’s age. They are great friends actually. No, I don’t have family in the area—but Lila and I have been a great team for the last 6.5 years. We make it work.
I’m doing the best I can to be a decent father—and I have to believe that is good enough. I have to admit that I’ve been more short fused with Lila lately—and it really pains me to say that, but honesty is important. Due to the inconsistent schedule, and maybe other factors I need to reflect upon—Lila and I have moaned and groaned at each-other more. I feel like yelling and bickering is a complete waste of energy—and I’m going to make a massive effort to not let stress become an overwhelming force in my life.
Thankfully, school starts this week—and the non summer, more structured schedule will be back in full swing. I think the structure will be good for everyone.
Back to this morning:
I woke up fifteen minutes late. I quickly showered, applied deodorant, brushed my teeth and tried to wake Lila up. Waking Lila up was reminiscent of trying to wake me up as a teenager…just a painful process filled with a lot of “uhhhhh, noooo,” “whyyyyyyy” and pulling the blanket back over her head. I have to admit, it was one of those short fused moments. I yelled and bickered like a baby—stooping to the depth of immaturity. “Fine Lila! Be that way!” I can be a complete troglodyte.
Finally, we get into the car, hop on the high-way and are on our way to meet Mrs. Personality. I glance in my rearview mirror and some douche bag is literally a millimeter away from my bumper—and as I’m making a turn I honk my horn out of frustration. So, the guy stops his car, rolls down his window and challenges me to a parking lot throw down…his challenge was laced with many profanities. I’m sitting there staring at him—I was at a complete loss for words. He drives away, so do I—and Lila is like “what was that guy talking about?” I said “nothing sweetheart.”
I dropped Lila off to Priscilla and sat in traffic thinking “the day can only get better, right?”
Thinking back—this is one of those days that, when actively drinking, I would’ve already been salivating at the mere thought of a cold (or warm) drink. I would’ve written the day off as a loss—and counted the minutes until I could leave the office and stop by the market. Grab a Coors Light twelve pack and a bottle of cheap wine.
I can sometimes see how easy it would be to make that choice. The choice to give up on sobriety and fool myself into thinking I can drink “just a couple” or “once, maybe twice a week.”
I’ve come too far. Today, I will regroup, refocus and move forward from the stressors of this morning. I will make today better not with alcohol—but through the understanding that I am human. Humans, at times, make mistakes, act out of frustration and can simply do a much better job. I am ready to take accountability. I am ready to make this the best damn week of 2015.
Lila starts first grade on Wednesday, and I need to be clear, focused and in 100 percent soccer dad mode.
Lets’ do this!