When I heard that the Clinton family had added a baby girl as a new addition to their family, I remembered when I first became a father.
Those were the days of anticipation and what the future would bring when starting a new family. Our first child brought pleasure and excitement to our families. I was the first of three to deliver a grandchild to our parents. Those were the days. The sleepless nights, diaper changes, and the most fun initially was the daily bath. My wife was not fond of water so playtime with my infant was bath time. After the bath it was bedtime and I would sing a few repetitive songs as my little sweetheart faded into sleep.
Eventually, we moved into solid baby food and feeding was a messy challenge that continued until she could feed herself.
Since we both worked, we were able to hire a nanny to take responsibility for the child while we were away. Those were the days. When our first daughter was almost four, we had our second daughter. By this time my wife got used to bathing the new baby and we were sharing the tasks of raising two lovely daughters.
As they grew older we put them into daycare. When they were of school age they started at daycare and were delivered and picked up from school by the daycare. When we finished work, we picked up the girls from the daycare. Both girls developed good social and communication skills at an early age. I commend the daycare and elementary school for this development.
In 1992 with a 7 year old and a 4 year old my marriage collapsed. As a divorced father, I now only saw my girls weekly.
If you read my earlier blogs you would see that I became a terrible father. I would miss my day with the girls regularly. The tears in their eyes would leave a lasting impression of the lousy father they had.
I regret those days, but fortunately they had a strong mother and the girls made it through middle school, and then completed high school at the University of Winnipeg. My oldest girl graduated from the U of W’s Public Relations and Management program. She has since moved to British Columbia. My youngest just completed her Masters in Social Work at U of T and calls Toronto home.
I’ve tried to patch my wrongs with the girls and maybe I have…..or maybe I haven’t. I’m still there for them after all these years, and the communication is positive. They do know who their father is.
If I would have to do it all over again, divorce would be out of the question. After all, I am a father.
I don’t know who wrote the IF CHILDREN (written below) however, I wish I had the chance to read it 30 years ago. In closing, I will share it with you:
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
After my rehabilitation for cocaine use the urge to inject with a needle remained. After work, I would socialize with the street people, who had yet to discover coke but were using an injectable drug.
That turned out to be a combination of Talwin and Ritalin. Mixed together correctly and injected , the high was a relaxing heroin type feeling.
Compared to coke, the T’s & R’s, as they were called, saved me a small fortune when compared to cocaine. For $40 I could remain high for several hours. I found a girl who was a lady of the night and a user of the T&R combination who eventually became my girlfriend.
It was 1992 when I decided that my young family shouldn’t see me this way, and that my wife shouldn’t have to suffer from my addiction.
I left my two young daughters and wife (who immediately divorced me). I left the jewelry business for that taxi cab industry, where I could work alongside my girlfriend. We continued to work together and feed our addiction to Talwin and Ritalin. I did this until 1996 when I could no longer find an injectable vein.
We both stopped using drugs for a while and our relationship faded . I just about hit bottom and had a bad slip and fall into a hotel room, where I lived alone. So, continued to work in the Taxi industry.
In the summer of 1996 I moved from the hotel into a rooming house and began to work with AT&T, developing the Internet and related billing systems. Later, the company sold my division to what would become Convergys and I was employed as a supervisor who was drug free. I thought I was clean.
I started to assemble what would become Broadband High Speed Internet. I remained working at Convergys until 2001 when I had another slip and fall. I discovered crack cocaine and, once again, it was back to drugs…..
Every Monday I will post a new blog post (the continuation of my story/the above post). Feel free to follow my blog and comment below.