Dear Sons, as you continue to grow up and develop into men, I think of you everyday. The separation of distance between us, makes life very complicated, while we still live in the same country, but in different towns, hours apart. I find this situation quite unsettling for us being a family. Unfortunately due to the impartial custody arrangement I sometimes see it as a hindrance, to our closeness as father and son’s, to build a strong relationship between us
It is important that you know; that every waking day and night, you are in my deepest thoughts and subconscious mind. There is never a time that you are not there. I miss you… I miss your hugs, voices and your smiles, the private conversations, the trust and love we’ve established together. I miss all 4 of you. All the time… I miss the natural connectedness of everyday, a family love. Every second, minute, hour, day, month, years that passes. Time is of essence, in my mind the separation of time cannot transcend the love I have for you, as your father.
The Ship we sailed with to Denmark
In this very complex, challenging, competitive world I understand the importance to share my wisdom and knowledge, as an elder in supporting your challenges, education, social, emotional needs, from being boys and developing into whole healthy young men. You are all four very different versions, uniquely talented, bright, intelligent, ambitious, in your youth and you are an undeniable part of me; it is our Dna that connects us. No nation, flag, societal discourse can argue or refute the genes we share. In fact; it is the glue that makes you who you are, your identity. I am you, and you are me, we are Family. When we meet, I see your changes. It is difficult being a complete part of your experience growing; so I try the best way possible to find the joy of your presence, in the preciously little time we have together.
Copenhagen Railway Station
While coming from New York City, there is a strong desire to succeed for me, maybe it`s a trait given my history and where I grew up. Sometimes against odds when addressing injustices, may even be unpopular, when you are not allowed to criticise; has the connotation of being negative, even upsetting the status quo (Jante Loven). In a place where codes and laws are written, by and for the majority. I hope that you one day will understand that these experiences I went through, since I moved here, it was all for you. I gave it all up, my family and friends in US. My life experiences, education, accomplishments and failures, because I felt the urgency, the importance of being here, it became my priority to be present as a Real Dad, opposed to having a long distance relationship that I saw as impossible and illogical. I just wanted to do the right thing, and be the father I could, knowing that I didn`t want you experience what I had, having a father, who worked in the military and who wasn’t always there when I needed him. And that’s why I did what I had to. Some might say in hindsight that I made a big sacrifice, still I did it all out of love. Everybody makes mistakes, but love conquerors all. I love you guys so much, you mean the world to me.
A street in Copenhagen
For the first time, I travelled abroad for 5 days alone with my 15 year old son to Denmark and Sweden. We sailed with Fjord Line, a regular cruise line connecting Bergen in Norway, with Denmark. In Copenhagen, we camped, rented bikes, and went all around in the city, and met a lot of interesting people. Then later we travelled by railway from Copenhagen to Stockholm and then onwards to Oslo in overnight sleeping train, we even had a shower in our sleeping car and Wi -fi. We were so happy, laughing, smiling all the way to Oslo and back to Bergen. A roundabout train ride for 22 hours. Travel is a great learning experience. Your intellectual antenna heightens, your abilities to learn and interpret new information builds confidence, personal growth and development in a young person . Being in new places, learning new things about life is what I saw for in him for the first time, traveling with my son. He was so engaged, he had never had Dunkin donuts or Kentucky Fried Chicken, so it was some of the fun things that made his experience so special. We both were experiencing the excitement of having a real holiday outside the parameters of home visits.
The plan this summer was to travel with my two youngest sons to the U.S. I wanted them to visit their grandmother who is in her mid-eighties, who has never seen them except from in photos. Their Uncles, Aunts, Cousins and extended family and friends, was hoping to see them too. “Unfortunately” that was denied by the mother; again…like last summer. Sadly their grandfather died last fall… Thinking about it, brings tears to my eyes.
Still he told me, that this trip was the most amazing experience he had ever had, a memory of a lifetime. His eye’s told the story, he was shining. For the very first time, in a very long time, I felt like a whole normal father with my son, having a real summer vacation…