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A House Divided: I’m Missing Out on My Daughter’s Life

This kid of mine with the bouncy curly hair and the infectious smile running from place to place is one special kid. The more and more I’ve been able to be around her these past few days, the more I realize how much of her life I’m missing, and that my opportunity to be her father is quietly slipping away.

Casey’s written several posts about how special Addie is and I’ve known she’s special, but here lately it seems to be shining through even more than usual. Either that or I’m just far more conscious of how quickly time flies as a parent.  It wasn’t too long ago when we were in Chicago and Addie was only two-years-old and in the middle of putting her swimsuit on she pressed ham against the hotel window for all of Chicago to see.

Those days are gone and now Addie is all legs and arms running around, walking dogs, playing in the snow, helping her sister, drawing pictures, and being her eight-year-old self.

This family has become a house divided of sorts. Whenever Casey has something interesting going on that she wants Addie to be a part of, Vivi ends up staying home with me. It’s not that Casey doesn’t want Vivi to go along, it’s just that Vivi is still too young to do a lot of the things Casey wants her to do. I could go to some of these things with Addie instead of Casey, but I’m kind of lame when it comes to doing some of these cool things. I’m the kind of person who prefers to be in my own environment with all of the comforts of my home. So I always volunteer to stay home with Vivi.

That trend has happened so often that a few nights ago Casey said, “I don’t like how divided our family is.” Knowing exactly what she meant, I  still asked her to explain, and she said, “It’s like you have your child and I have my child and it shouldn’t be that way.” But that’s how it is in our house. Vivi hangs out with me whenever I’m around and she won’t let it be any other way. When I go to the gym on Saturdays or at night, Vivi demands to go to the gym with me and Addie demands to stay home with Casey.

When we watch our Sunday evening family movie, Addie curls up on the couch with Casey and Vivi curls up on the couch with me. On our plane ride to Utah the other day, with the exception of three minutes, Vivi sat on my lap the entire time.

I’ve really enjoyed the bond I’ve shared with Vivi. It’s special that I’m her favorite person, but spending as much time focused on Vivi as I do has meant that I’ve missed an awful lot of Addie the past two years. Those are two years I won’t get back, and from what I keep hearing from so many people who have had the opportunity to be around Addie, I’m missing out on spending time with one very special girl.

Read more about my family on Moosh in Indy or follow me on Twitter!

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