I guess you’ve figured out by now that I’m not perfect. As a little boy, I had dreams, big dreams. I was told it was “not likely”. They didn’t say “not possible”. I guess that was the opening I looked for later on in life for validation. I always wanted so much better for you. One of your sisters recently said “I wish you wouldn’t have kept us so sheltered” It’s a fathers intuition to want to keep his kids safe even if that meant living in the place where they told me “not likely”. It was a good place to raise a family. My only regret there is I could have offered you more diversity sooner. As you went out into the world, you started to realize there was a lot more to it than those 7 miles of beach.
The kid that was termed not likely went through some tough and dark times. This is part of my need to always be protective, perhaps over protective at times. It was and has always been that I want a better life for my kids than I had. You know some of the stories. We don’t need to rehash them here. As that kid stumbled into adulthood and began having children, it was important to me to be the best father I could be. There was a conflict though. The conflict was between not likely and spending time with you. Eventually, one would be victorious but it would go on to be a constant battle. Not likely achieved what he wanted in life and so much more. I was able to provide you with such a good life, some laughs and so many memories. Then one day the lights went out, Carmen died. Not so likely went on to outdo even what he thought possible of himself because the focus became work. I made millions of dollars for a few companies. I was really good at my job. The price for being so good was you; the reward was I could give you a life that I never dreamed of having. When the lights came back on not only was not likely very much likely but somewhere in the darkness he fell short on being a dad. Maybe I didn’t tell you often enough or show you enough just how much I love you. I did the best I could to provide. I was never selfish except with my attention at times but you were always my first thought. The death of your aunt was hard on me. That is my burden to carry, not yours. I own my shortcomings and make no apologies but offer an explanation for missing the football, basketball, baseball, or soccer games. I had a choice, we had a choice. I love you with all my heart. If you are hurt, it wasn’t intentional. My choice was to be likely even if that meant sacrificing my time with you so you could have the things you needed and wanted.
Life will be filled with choices. You will have some tough ones to make but you need to be able to live with your choices, your actions and tell yourself that. I know, I did the best I could have. I sit here writing this with nothing else to offer but my love for you. I know you will better than I. That is my wish. Don’t be concerned about “not likely” because that will take away everything you have inside just trying to be likely.
Michelle and Martin Ervin have had the privilege of raising 11 amazing children. We will share #parenting advice, recipes and anything that has to do with our fantastic journey