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Four Day Weekend

Since I'm off Monday and Tuesday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I chose to keep Amara for an extra two days. As soon as I realized that I had a long weekend I knew I was going to want to be in her face for extra time. Our relationship is growing everyday, just like she is. The other day she walked across the living room and kitchen to get to me, and when she almost fell she caught herself and kept going.

I think she's realizing how much freedom she has when walking around rather than being in someone's arms. She isn't a fast walker yet, a lot of the times she'll stumble half the way then do her quick scoot. She uses her right leg to propel her forward while sliding on her left leg and bottom. She is really fast too, might be faster than her regular crawl.

I can't name an experience like fatherhood, especially with daughters, even though it's all I have to go on. The love in genuine, she always wants my attention, and any time she sees me she holds her cute little arms out saying my name hoping that I will come pick her up. When I do pick her up she gives me a massive hug which sometimes ends in a sloppy kiss, I hate when she tries to kiss me on the lips. I feel like I'm too grown to be kissing my babies on their lips.

Amara loves when I lift her as if she were dumbbells, doing curls, shoulder presses, triceps. If I do enough it becomes a real workout, she is so light I have to do upwards of 20 reps. A major difference between her and her sister, Amelia was a back breaker. Literally had to pass her from arm to arm or sit down with her, she would easily cause your arm to fall asleep.

I used to lift her as well, toss her in the air and everything, just didn't need as many reps. I think I was stronger back then also, I was just leaving college and still had the physique I carried on the court. At some point during that time I did lose a lot of weight, so much so that I was working concessions for The Citadel and an Alumni invited me to his house to feed me because of how emaciated I looked.

That was some rough times, I was actually thinking back on it the other day. I can't remember what triggered the memory but as I started to go down a familiar thought path I was able to look at Amara and focus on all the good that's come from having kids.

I realized I can focus on the bad all day but that won't change a thing. The lawyer that I reached out to last week called on last Monday asking if I called him on Saturday. Which didn't make sense because the plan we made on the Friday before was for him to call and us to reconvene. This further turned me off knowing I made the right decision in not following up with him.

It's almost as if none of the lawyers I contact are concerned about me being in my daughter's life, more about the money. Looking at his reviews they almost mirrored that of the first lawyer, which I never checked out the first time. I learned my lesson on that, my mother and I were looking while I was waiting to hear back from this new lawyer.

After searching and talking to people who had similar experiences, their advice was to get the best female lawyer I could find. Taking that advice, I found a lady online with good reviews and an immaculate website. I reached out to her leaving a message, to this day, I still haven't received a call back.

Why doesn't anybody care?

Every time I get denied or my efforts come back fruitless, it makes me feel as if I'm a bad father. If I was better I would've already found adequate representation and have time solidified with my daughter. I keep thinking about 2019 when Amelia's mother and I almost came to an agreement, she was being unfair in my eyes but my lawyer told me to take the deal even though it wasn't exactly what I drew up.

I often wonder if the lawyer took off because I was being "difficult" and not listening to his advice, but she had been keeping her away for so long I felt I deserved more time. I wish now, that I had taken it which was spend less time with her but dole out more money. At least, I would have my oldest in my life and able to maintain the relationship that we both desire.

Undoubtedly, I wouldn't be where I am mentally or in my relationship with God without this situation. It's important to focus on the good and rejoice in afflictions because it produces courage, perseverance, and hope. According to Romans 5:3 at least, which has been my anchor verse for all of 2020 and most likely 2021 as well. I am actively choosing not to let this situation get the best of me like I did in 2019.

It's almost like I'm in an identical situation, battling playing basketball and working a salary job. Trying to find balance missing workouts because I have to teach, or missing work to make it to the courts. Also facing the possibility of creating another family but at my expense. The same decision I made two years ago, sacrificing my happiness so that my kids will think highly of me.

It's hard not to follow up on these feelings because I have so much love for my kids, and the experience with my oldest has caused a lot of trauma going forward. I don't want to make decisions out of fear or worry of what the future might hold. Just like with Amelia, I haven't the slightest idea what will happen down the line but there isn't any good in imagining the worst.

Even though, it's hard to imagine anything less.

I'm slowly starting to find my groove on the court, of course Coronavirus has limited my ability to get personal gym time. Since school is virtual until the middle of February, I'm going to see if they'll allow me to come into the gym and get a workout in everyday.

We were supposed to start sports on Thursday, but that was when everybody was planning on coming back to school. Since the extension, sports has been up in the air, which it should be. I'm glad that we are having it because I love pouring my love of the game into a young hungry player, but at the same time it's hard to see a safe way to play.

I miss the game more than anybody, but they need to just rest this year on sports and maybe do something over the summer if the virus clears. Also they need to stay virtual until the end of the school year, there really isn't a point in forcing kids to come back. All it takes is for a kid to pass away due to exposure and the whole county could get sued, I see teachers and principals getting fired and more families going hungry applying for unemployment.

We truly are living in unprecedented times, living in a time where we will watch our kids learn about in the future. We'll be like our parents, who uprooted the lies told throughout history. The only problem is our history is word of mouth, theirs is written in stone.

I'm always pondering how I can make an effective change in my community, I'll have the answer soon enough.

Amelia and Amara, daddy loves you.

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