» Ever since the Bug was old enough to ride on the big-kid swings (.. seeing he just finished Kindergarten and lost his first baby tooth) .. we've played a little game called » fly-like-a-bird ..

New Pooh movie.. where he lays face-down on the swing (.. like a bird flying). I grab his little hands, pull toward me and release.

He swings backward, then returns .. with arms out (.. like a bird in flight). If his arc is big enough, I can catch him .. on the upswing .. in a big hug.

Around my neck he wraps his little arms and his little legs around my back. Slowly I back up, taking small steps, until the swing's plastic strap (laying flat between us) begins to tug at his belly.

It feels as tho something is trying to rip us apart. Used to be, I could dislodge his hold quite easily (.. by backing up) .. but now that he's gotten stronger, it's no longer so easy. (He squeezes tightly.)

As I'm backing up, I say, "No matter what things might try to separate us .. <-break-> .. we always come back to each other."

This is usually where his grip is broken and he swings away .. only to return on the next arc forward. =)

And I catch him and hold him and hug him and kiss him. Again he wraps his little arms & legs around me, squeezing tightly. I tell him how much I love him .. and how he is the most important thing in my life .. and how he is the best thing that ever happened to me .. and how I am the luckiest dad in the whole world.

••• today's entry continues here below •••

After we do this a few times, I've noticed that other kids grab their parents and want them to do the same. Some times they even ask me to swing them. But this isnt really appropriate for anyone but the Bug, especially when it's little girls asking.

Tho it seems other kids crave this affection. You can see it in their eyes. Sometimes they turn quickly .. when they hear the oaths-of-devotion .. as tho someone had shouted at them. Interesting reaction. Little kids are so honest and authentic.

The Bug has been back East for a few weeks, on vacation .. soon to return. It's times like these, when I miss him something fierce, that I remember our little game .. and draw strength & comfort from those memories.

Pooh & Piglet looking for butterfliesNot So Subliminal

The not-so-subliminal message of fly-like-a-bird is » we will always come back to each other .. no matter what ..

.. no matter what things might try to separate us or pull us apart. This is how I get thru the long sep-ar-a-tion-a-thons.

We've been separated, for example, on 3 different occasions for a total of 12 weeks (3 months) .. due to restraining orders alone.

We've been playing fly-like-a-bird for years. Initially it was something I did for him. Now however, I do it for myself just as much.

I was the one who first used the phrase "fly-like-a-bird" .. to describe what he was doing. But the next time we came to the park, he remembered and said, "Dad, let's play fly-like-a-bird." (Everything is a game with him.)

To be honest he seems more interested in the swinging and having me catch him .. than in my displays-of-affection or oaths-of-devotion. (The other little kids seem more interested in those things.)

Speaking of affection & devotion .. a new Pooh movie is coming to theaters today. We'll definitely have to go see that. We're both big fans of Pooh & the Hundred-Acre gang. Reviews » here.

[ Today's entry feels like one of the more intimate. Maybe cuz it comes from a place of vulnerability. Cuz important things are out of my hands. ]

If I could leave the world but one legacy .. it would be fly-like-a-bird .. for dads who share our predicament. ■


There's something surprisingly primal about parenting. As if it came from our deepest instincts. And instincts, you know, can be very powerful.

Volcanos, for example, are things considered very powerful. (I happen to be more familiar with reactors.) So it can mess with you .. if you dont deal with the stress, the pressure.

This has been my observation. I can definitely feel the rumbing.

Charlie Sheen cracked, melted down. I am not surprised. I'm sure he is not accustomed to being denied things he considers precious. But he *does* have lawyers.

Need to vent the volcano from time to time. This is (part of) how I vent mine. Running is probably the easiest. Deallifts are the single most effective method I know of. I've recently started with yoga. So far, so good.

Most important thing (top of the list) » dont let the stress affect your children. They teach in co-parenting classes that kids are sensitive to, and that they pick up on, stress & tension, and that they are affected by it. When you cant see them very much, the last thing you want .. is for their time with you to be stressful.

Of course, you try to compensate .. usually cuz you feel guilty .. about (among other things) not being able to make it work with his mom .. which he wants badly, and told you that he wants.

And compensating leads to over-compensating. Boy, I could really get off on a tangent here. (But I wont.)

The biggest thing I feel guilty about is .. leaving him with no brothers or sisters. An only child. Seems cruel. (Not everybody shares my feelings on this point.) This thing is obviously related to the other.

We can always be better parents. There's no limit .. no gradepoint of A notifying us we've arrived .. at Parenting nirvana. Tho a child's laughter and squeals-of-delight makes my whole world seem okay .. perfect and entire, lacking nothing.

The sense of responsibility -- for caring for someone who cannot yet care for himself -- feels somewhat awesome and even intimidating at times. "Dear God, please dont let me screw this up."

Much parenting is out of my hands. Feels like I have a huge job, but one arm has been tied behind my back. And sometimes my legs even my legs get knocked out from under me. You'd rather not, but you have to keep getting up .. cuz you have no choice. =)

Feel like I (as a dad) am at a severe (parenting) disadvantage.

If I were to put a positive spin on this living hell, I might say it has been » very energizing. =) Or I might say that being forced to operate with severe limitations has caused me to reach deep within. ■■

For more along these lines, here's a Google search preconfigured for the query » parenting love affection visitation vacation

Radified home

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rad published on July 15, 2011 7:15 AM.

Summer in Corona del Mar, Newport Beach | CdM Photos was the previous entry in this blog.

The Bug's First Roller Coaster Ride is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.