Tuesday, February 17, 2009

And So It Goes...

I liked my life again. I came to grips with the fact that the life I had was gone, and lamenting it would simply stop me from enjoying the days I still had coming.

That sounds like it was an easy choice. It wasn't. There were a lot of lonely nights out there waiting for me, but they were nights during which I did a lot of learning. And a lot of missing. I realized how much better my life was with the kids in it. I was determined not to be the "fun" Dad, who made every weekend a party. I was determined to be the kind of parent that I'd seen in every single Mom I'd ever admired. Those women weren't living a crusade. Those women were molding good children. I wanted to live that way too.

I firmly resisted the invitations to date, to have relationships with anyone other than my kids. I didn't want to be a boyfriend, a date, a husband, to anyone else. I wanted to be Daddy. And I wanted to be good at it.

I didn't strive to be "perfect," mind you. Being a perfect parent is something I believe is impossible, and striving to be the "perfect" parent has the side effect of making one forget to actually be the parent because perfection takes up too much attention. Make sense?

Somewhere in late 2003 I was set free by the counselors. I was given a virtual gold star rating. But the rating wasn't for being a perfect Dad. The rating was for being someone who was just trying as hard as he could, and staying committed to being the best parent I could be. I could expect a lot of mistakes in my "career", and I could either keep trying, or drop the ball completely.

I was ready to find out what the world was going to do to me. I was also ready to find out what the world was ready to do for me. Single Dads do get a lot of help, ya know.

It's been a good ride so far, at least as far as my relationship with my kids goes. The older two are teenagers now, and, believe it or not, they still talk to me. They don't tell me everything, (I'm not that naive), but they still talk out problems with me. And my nine year old girl still wants to hang out with me. She cooked dinner with me Sunday.

It's not perfect. It's cool, though. It feels good not to be a bad guy. It feels better being a good guy.

I think I'll keep trying to just be a good guy and let the chips fall where they may.

And now back to my regularly scheduled program. I hope this helps anyone who might want the unenviable task of trying to figure out what makes me tick.

Thanks to anyone who took this little side trip with me and still wants to come back to talk to me.


  1. This has definitely been an excellent 'Get to know, Lippy' leanring session. I've appreciated every entry. :)

  2. Thanks for sharing and letting us in to your world.

    I believe all of us are just trying to do the best we can at being parents...and I know you are. You're doing a great job.

    Take care

  3. Anonymous11:59 AM

    LYSM ,Cass

  4. It was good to read your story, as parts are applicable to me and Ken. I'm glad things have worked out for you, and I hope that they will for us one day, too.

  5. I love this post. striving to be the "perfect" parent has the side effect of making one forget to actually be the parent because perfection takes up too much attention. Make sense? That is nothing short of brilliance, my friend. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Thanks Lippy for sharing. You are one outstanding man and father. The children are very fortunate to have you, and your ex's lost--I would say! Wishing you all the best. LaVern

  7. I have a needlepoint saying framed and it hangs right below my livingroom mantle...I placed it there when we moved here over 20 years ago, when our kids were young...to honor Danny...I think this needlepoint saying; "Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy" applies to you too Jimmy.
    love ya,

  8. Thanks for letting it all hang out, so to speak. It all makes perfect sense to me how you came to be the incredible Lipster that you are. And ya know? I STILL like ya.


  9. As you may have figured out from some of my comments, I have not been as successful in my kids lives as you have been, but I blame that more on my ex.

  10. I read through all these entries about your life without commenting. Just followed the progress.
    Now I'm ready to comment. I think you've done the best you could with what you've experienced. Being human, you made mistakes, suffered, and learned. I think you're a pretty special human, who has lived his life to the best of his ability.

    :) Leigh

  11. It is so true that none of us can be perfect parents. The ones that try to be and think they can be get so burnt out in the end. So stressful. My teens always talked to me too but sadly this is my last year with a teen, the twins, my babies are 19 so next year its' over! Linda

  12. I read all of these, and didn't comment, either...it's nice to know more about you. It's also good to know that we're not perfect, and bad things can happen to the best of us--and that we can make the most of it anyway. We might have some battle scars, but we're still here. Hope to hear some typical Lippy again soon!


  13. I believe I was along for the ride in each entry. I loved getting to know this side of you Jimmy. It's been a delightful, sometimes sad journey balanced out by a really decent man and father. As I've said before, I'm not surprised in the least. (Hugs)Indigo

  14. I started reading your AOL blog as you were adjusting to that new life. I kept reading because of your desire to be a good dad. You are an amazing dad and friend. Keep up the good work!

  15. Hey, if your teenagers are still talking to you, you know that's a good sign.

    I've enjoyed getting to know Lippy better. ;-)

  16. I just want you to know that I read every single one of these posts. Your story was very heartbreaking at times, yet so inspiring because of your positive attitude. I'm so glad you have built such a good relationship with your children! Your love for them is very apparent...and wonderful! :)

  17. I think the fact that you knew you couldn't be a perfect parent but you could be the best dad you knew how to be is what speaks volumes about the parent you are now!


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