Time, please stop.

Dear time, please stop and let me enjoy this moment!

That’s exactly what I was thinking as I was sitting in church on Sunday, halfway through our pastor’s sermon. The church service was great. The pews were full of people, mostly in red, on this first Sunday of Advent. The music was incredible, as always, and the sermon was a good one, titled “Light in the Darkness.”

The service, the music, nor the sermon, all great, but none having anything to do with my desire to ask time to stop.

During the past year, being separated from my wife, I have struggled with many emotions, but none more so than worrying about the kids and how their little minds and hearts are handling it all. I worry about how divorce will impact their future, and selfishly, how it is affecting their relationship with me as their dad.

As their father, I want my children to know that I am always there for them, that I am strong, dependable and that my love for them is unwavering and that they should never, ever, doubt my love for them. I want them to know that while the relationship between their mom and dad has changed, the relationship between them and their parents has not changed one bit.

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Going through separation and divorce, however, has made it difficult for me to remain confident that my children know that I am still their rock, that I am still there for them no matter what is going on in their lives.

I believe it has been difficult for me to remain confident in that because I can’t be with them, physically, all the time, anymore. I can’t always be there for them when they get hurt, or if they just want to hop up in my lap and snuggle like they previously could do.

The separation from my kids, when they aren’t with me, seems to allow doubt to creep into my mind, making me believe that their confidence in me, as their dad, has diminished for some reason. My mind goes into overdrive wondering, do they know that I will always be there for them, that I will always be the rock that they can lean on when they need me.

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Sitting in the pew at church on Sunday, those doubts disappeared. Halfway through the sermon, Christopher laid his head in my lap and Hannah, my teenage daughter, gently laid her head on my shoulder.

For ten minutes, I could not think about anything else, other than the overwhelming feeling of affirmation that my kids knew their daddy was there for them, that I was their rock to lean on and they knew I would always be there for them!

We can’t stop time, but we can forever hold on to, and cherish, those special moments that make us wish we could.

As a footnote…. I wrote this draft sitting in the Barnes and Noble Sunday afternoon when tears started rolling down my cheek. A guy across the way noticed. At one point in my life I would have “manned up” and held in those tears…”men don’t cry.” But, Im not that man and I didn’t care what he thought may be going on in my life. I’m a dad and dads can cry.

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