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Breakfast with Kaleb

I took my son-in-law Kaleb out to breakfast before dropping him off for work. While being home we've had to negotiate the car situation of two vehicles and three adults. It's hasn't been too much of a problem, but requires a bit of communication.

Kaleb and I had a good talk. We share some things in common than he may not have realized. Neither of us have had ideal father situations. Mine was largely absent from my childhood and his dad has struggled with some vices, particularly alcohol. I think my dad wouldn't have minded being a larger part of my life, but divorce can make things tough for all parties. I see that now being a few years removed from it. I have no desire to be around my ex, and I'm sure he felt the same way. Kaleb and I talked about being a dad and I let him know I believe he's doing much better than I did. He loves Arthur. He loves Moira. His actions and words make it obvious. I emptied my soul a bit and told him my story. The good and the bad. I let him know what I thought he was doing well and also what I think he needs to work on. He was receptive and didn't get defensive. It was a good breakfast.

We also talked about trading cards. He recently sold off his Yugioh collection ($3000) because he saw the financial need for his family. I'm happy to report he has his priorities in line. This next fall will be tough for him going to school full time in the electricians program at Bellingham Technical School. I'm glad he and Moira have their eyes on the larger long term picture. My two years in China is giving them an opportunity to live rent free and they are taking advantage of the situation. I have to admit it gives me a warm fuzzy knowing I can offer them this sort of help. However, I'm no angel and I know it. Being an actively involved father is something that has never come naturally to me. Throwing money at a problem has always been an out for me, and part of this story feels a lot like that. Being on the other side of the world keeps me from having to be actively engaged. I never got the "how to be a good father" manual. I'm trying. I find that I tell Moira I love her more often now. I hug her more often now. Live. Learn. Grow.

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