This weekend, it’s three years since my kids came to live with me.
One morning, I got out of bed as a single guy with a dog. That night, I went to bed as single guy with a dog, and three kids. The three years between then and now have been tough.
There’s been a lot of hard work. Partly me, mostly the kids.
There’s been a lot of tears. Partly the kids, mostly me.
And there’s been a lot love. All of us, dog included.
It has, without doubt, been the most wonderful thing I have ever done.
Along the way, I’ve learned a lot. It’s opened me eyes.
It revealed a strength I never knew I had.
I’ve been appalled by the systems that should primarily exist to support kids (mainly the education system). The energy that could’ve been spent on being there for my kids was instead spent on fighting for basic human rights. I’ve spent hours on the phone and in meetings, begging for help. Demanding something be done.
At the same time, I’ve been left speechless by the kindess of others (the education system often playing a positve role here). When I’ve been desperate, people have helped in any way they could. Those around me have kept me going, checking in, making sure we’re all OK. I wouldn’t have got this far if it wasn’t for my parents.
In reality, I’ve given up a lot. My friends. Any recongisable form of social life. A full head of hair.
It doesn’t matter. What I got in exchange was more than worth it.
When I started this journey I was a 30 year-old guy.
What I was doing wasn’t normal. It’s just not really the sort of thing you do.
Fortunately, I was used to doing things that weren’t all that normal. I had surrounded myself with people who wouldn’t talk me out of it, and instead would say:
“You should do this.”
For many right now, life has changed. There’s likely to be more change coming.
Don’t be scared by it. Embrace it. Run toward it.
Do something that others may think is crazy. Do it because you care. Do it because you know, deep down, that… you should do this.