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I wrote this on 3-15-09. I had recently seperated from my wife and had spent the day with my kids hiking in the hills. These are my observations from that time.

Let me start with this. I wrote this and then read it back. To me it sounds like the drunken rambling of someone, but understand this. I don’t drink. I came to a realization quite awhile ago that if I started drinking again, it would be the end of me. For some reason just lately I have been getting sentimental and such. Maybe I have finally mostly stopped caring what others think of me and started actually concentrating on being a better person. I hope you take something from this into your heart and mind and mull it over for awhile. If it sounds right to you, then good, if not, oh well. You can’t please them all.

I took Aaron and Tristan hiking today and we took a bunch of pictures. We went up to Steven’s Creek Dam and did a six or so mile hike. I love my kids with my entire heart and soul, and I love nature. It was such a great day. I tried to teach them a little bit about the trees and plants that are in the area. We discovered that Tris really loves the smell of Rosemary. He would take a bit off of every plant he found. There are a lot of Rosemary plants in the hills. The fragrance really calms my mind. We walked, we talked, we learned. After hiking for a little over an hour… mind you most of it is uphill and Tris is only four, so it’s not a shock that the hike took four hours… I asked the boys to just be quiet for about two minutes and listen to the sounds. I don’t think they are really old enough yet to appreciate the quiet. That’s ok, they will learn in time. A couple times I let them get a little ahead of me on the trail and just watched them interact with each other. It came to me that, even though Michelle and I didn’t work out in the end, we have done a great job with raising the boys. They are so well adjusted. It brings tears to my eyes to think that not all that long ago it was my late father and I walking the same trails. I miss my dad so much. I hope one day that the kids might bring their children there and teach them as I am teaching them now. Tris and Aaron learned one new tree today. The Coast Live Oak. I explained the structure of the leaves to them and how to identify a Coast live from other live oaks. Live is a catchall name for evergreen oaks by the way. I look at my boys and I see so much future in them. We were walking and startled some deer. They wandered off into the brush and started eating again. I asked the boys to sit where they were and stalked into the brush to get a photo. When I came back with a photo they looked at me like I was so cool. Of all the things I’ve done in life that made me feel cool, nothing tops the looks of wonder in my children’s eyes when they look at me like I’m cool. I used to spend a lot of time obsessing about being cool, being liked by girls, and not being a wuss. I now know, none of that matters. If one thing matters above all, it would be to make a positive difference in a child’s life. Even if you don’t have kids. To kids, everything seems new. We lose that ability somewhere, but when I’m with my kids, sometimes it comes back to me. Like they are some crazy superhero that can give his power of seeing things in a new light. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, I’m always aware that it’s happening. We met a couple who were walking their dog and while we were chatting the lady asked if I would like her to take a picture of us three. I love that picture. It’s taken awhile but I’m starting to get used to seeing pictures of the three of us without Michelle. And that’s ok. Tristan got tired around mile five or so and I carried him on my shoulders the rest of the way. When we got home, they ended up falling asleep. As I sit here writing this, and looking at my sleeping angels I can’t help but wonder what life has in store for them. We never really know what’s going to happen, and not enough of us truly live like we should. There’s always one more call to make, one more tv show to watch, one more business transaction to make. What will all that do for you if you don’t even know who your loved ones are. Take just a little time every day to get to know them. Tell them you love them. Better yet, as words truly mean nothing, show them you love them. I guess I’m just full of sappy rambling tonight, but I can’t help it. I realized today that I don’t give a damn. Call me a sissy, call me undriven to make myself a better life, undriven to make more money… I…. Don’t…. Care!! I could use more money and a better life, but I can do without them too. We have lost track of what is truly important. Here it is… There is a voice, not the one in your heart that so many people tell you to follow, but the voice in your soul. That is your true voice. The one you shut up when it tells you to turn off the tv and play with your kids. The one you shut up when your love comes home from work and it tells you to ask about their day. The one we slowly choke to death as we do what we believe is right all the while slipping farther and farther from the truth. Do me a favor. If you have somebody that you love, stop reading this for a moment and give them a message. Call them if it’s not too late, email them, text them, something, anything. Tell them you’re thankful for having them in your life. Tell them you love them. If you can actually bring yourself to do this… you’re doing ok. Don’t think I’m preaching, I’m still wrong more often than I am right, but the trick is catching that glimpse every once in awhile and realizing that you can do better. Well, I guess this is enough rambling for one night. If you made it all the way through this… congratulations. Oh, by the way, Thank you all for being a part of my life. It means the world to me and I love you.

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