Still no snow has fallen and it's nearing the end of February. Today the temps have hit right around 52 degrees which is seriously abnormal around here. I am not complaining, however. It was a great chance to get out with the kids to burn off some energy. Anybody who has kids know how important it really is to keep kids busy and to let them wear themselves out. Whenever I'm off and I have the kids with me for the day we try to get out and do something active. Normally it's just my daughter as the boy is in school, but he was off today so we all got a chance to get out. We were originally going to take a walk at the forest preserve and play at the park afterward, but there turned out to be no swings and the kids weren't happy. We turned around and went to a different park where we knew they had swings. While I didn't get a walk in, it was really a good thing for me. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. My daughter, Gwen, is so full of energy it's unreal. She took off running from one thing to the other with some crazy determination. She was in the swing, down the slides, hanging off the monkey bars...i couldn't keep up with her. Her innocent elation is what brought so much happiness and smiling. The boy, my son Isaac, is more like me in the sense that he doesn't show the all of his emotions and he's a lot more calm and reserved. He didn't even want to let me take a picture of him. I'm still dad though, so I didn't give him a choice. He had a good time as well. We all had a good time.
My kids are everything to me. I love them both more than they'll ever know. They've brought a balance into my life that had been needed for a very long time. Without getting too much into it at this time, my childhood wasn't exactly picture perfect. I wasn't really allowed to act like a child and just be a kid. I had to grow up way beyond my years just to survive. My kids don't fear me, but I've got some of the most well behaved kids you can imagine. They're respectful and kind and really good hearted. I don't hit my kids or yell at my kids or make the feel stupid about sharing what's on their minds. I don't say any of this for sympathy or a pat on the back, simply to fill you in a little on why I tick, what makes me work. And hopefully to show people there's no need to abuse your kids in order for them to be "good." It doesn't work like that, and the damage from any kind of abuse is long lasting. I think I'm rather lucky that I've been able to grow enough to let go of the past. I've seen that shit literally kill people and the odds of changing are definitely against you.
Ok, enough of that sad stuff. These are my beautiful kids on our adventure to the park today. This is what brings me joy.