16 January 2014
Issues identified so far:
1. I really enjoyed my time on Tuesday nights with the boys, especially with Ax because of the problems we've had getting along. I enjoyed the laughing and sharing in the car, letting him drive and showing him trust. I enjoyed watching them both with the unit and the other cadets. I was looking forward to not only many Tuesday nights together, but possibly other activities, including maybe even encampment. Given how difficult the relationship has been with Ax, and the tense environment at home, I was not just looking forward to this connection, but relying on it.
2. I'm worried that Ax is a quitter. He recently left the swim/dive team, too. He does the minimum amount necessary in each class, with a few notable exceptions. He has no drive to succeed. This is a critical time in his young life, as the next few years will determine his options for the following 10+, so naturally I'm worried that his apathy for life now will doom the rest of it to not only limited options, but cap his belief in himself and what he's capable of achieving.
3. I wanted both boys to be able to see me in a new light. My past experience in CAP put me in a unique position to show them and others some of the things I'm able to do, and use talents that have gone un- or underutilized in 15 years. I wanted to demonstrate things to my boys that would never have shown up in family life. I wanted a chance to show them that I'm not just the guy pushing them to get their homework done or take a shower or get to bed on time or put the garbage out, but I'm also a guy with real interests and talents, I'm an interesting and worthwhile man, and I'm worth their interest and time and attention. I get so little of that when I'm just being the dad who pushes them not to slack around the house all day.
4. CAP was the only outlet I had at Ax's and Bx's ages, and beyond, to deal with the shit going on at home. CAP was the only place I could go where the expectations were clear on both sides, and if I couldn't meet them for one reason or another, I wasn't shamed, I was helped. I know there's shit going on in our house that both boys are struggling with, whether they know it or not, and I'm worried that they could be missing out on not only the amazing opportunities CAP has to offer, but a valuable outlet from which to escape the chaos of our house and the marriage. Maybe I should ask if Ax would be more wiling to join if I didn't, or if I joined another unit.
5. On joining again myself, without the boys: I've already been accused, rightfully so in some respects, of starting to separate myself from the family by doing things without/away from them. I don't want CAP to become yet another way to distance myself, yet I know it could be very good for me. This particular conflict is unique because it's the only one identified so far that has nothing to do with the boys.