I love my two kids to death, even if I have to do this from halfway around the world and despite adversity. Caira is wild, smart, shy and her own person. She has her birth dad’s wit and grotesque humor, and her mum’s love of the natural world. Garrett is a stubborn sweetheart, full of the Grealish temper. He’s quick to get mad, quick to forgive and a lady’s man by all accounts
But, you know, I still have to love from halfway around the world. I see little and hear less of either. Sure, I can put down “I’m a loving father” on my life resume, but in practice it is three hours of Skype calls and flurry of birthday cards out of the year. The last time I actually felt like a parent doing parent things was years ago, and the number of facts I can rattle off about either is pitiful.
Okay, enough self-pity (I’ll save it for the court on Tuesday coming).
Garrett turned six on Monday. It was the first birthday since 2011 where I got to wish him a happy one on the day itself. Garrett was super excited oh my god dad about his presents. He showed off his pet tortoise, his toy vacuum cleaner and his giant turtle cake. He introduced me to his baby brother Corbin (not sure; it’s that or Corbett), stuck the phone in Caira’s face, then dropped it in the kitchen and ran off to get his grandma.
At this point I had no idea what the hell was up, until Garrett came back coaxing his grandma to light candles on the cake. Garrett wanted to blow out candles for me while I sang him happy birthday, all of his own doing I think.
That’s the first time in years I’ve felt anything like a parent to Garrett. It’s so hard for me to connect with my kids when I don’t know anything about them or barely see them, so I came away with a happy buzz. I’m deeply proud of Garrett if this was his own doing.