That Was Then
It's pretty amazing when I think about it.
Just 12 short years ago I was the only one I had to concern myself with. No one was begging for attention. No one was asking me questions. No one was relying on me to do so much as one single thing for them. Then my daughter came. The next thing I know I'm all over the place in the best possible way. I have someone who needs attention. I have someone who asks questions (possibly too many). I have someone who relies on me for everything.
It was me and her, her and me for a few years before I met the woman who is now my wife. Before too long we were expecting and we got married (not mutually exclusive events...or so I thought). Then two other kids came.
For those keeping score at home that's four kids and a wife. Each depends on me for one thing or another. They are all autonomous people for the most part but the kids need my paycheck, house and car. My wife needs the house. Obviously there is no blame to lay for any of this. In fact, this is how it should be. When you have a family you take care of them. But what happens when focus is shifted and things begin to...alter?
There are feelings and truths that once seemed so certain that to even contemplate the contrary would be grounds enough for admission to the best of mental institutions. These can no longer rightly be called true. And the word "feeling" no longer applies. There is so little the same as it once was that what once was seems to be a totally fabricated time that never existed anywhere but the darker corners of my mind.
The corners weren't always dark. They began that way, and to an extent they have returned to darkness but for a glorious few years there was no darkness. There was us. There was love. There was family. There was everything that should be expected and nurtured and enjoyed.
That was then.