07 November 2007


This is my wonderful son August at 20 months ~ cute, sensitive, curious, good-natured, full of life. I spent much of last week visiting with him on the West Coast where his mother has relocated him for reasons solely her own. August spent the first day or two of our visit recalling, despite his Mom's best efforts, that he has two parents. August and I did all sorts of good stuff together. We swam and went to the park and played with a new yellow ball and tried out one of the skateboards his older brother Jeff left behind and learned how to say new words like 'boogers.' We had a really nice time.

According to the court papers August and I are entitled to precisely two such visits each year. August's Mother fought tooth and nail to prevent our seeing one another more regularly or for more extended periods. It is funny what parents will do to their kids. It is pathetic what judges will allow parents to do to their kids. The judge in this case essentially contributed a big portion of enforceable ignorance to a perverse state of affairs.

The spiffy new purple tee-shirt August is wearing in this photo is from the college here in Rochester where his brother goes. Of course, Doug has no standing in the court decision. Nor do August's grandparents. Who knows how and when this terrific little boy will get to know them? Neither August's Mother nor the Judge gave that any thought. All that mattered was that his Mom decided to run away from a collapsed relationship and re-create her own fatherless childhood for her son. That is quite an inheritance. I am hardly blameless in the collapsed relationship. Far from it. But I do think it is important for parents to at least try to work on their own stunted emotional repertoires for the sake of their children. And so, I plan to take full advantage of every opportunity to see August, to remind him that I love and miss him. I lost one son this past year and do not plan to lose another. So, please don't read this post as cynical or despairing. It is an expression optimism and hope.

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