Morning by Morning (6/19/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Two random Fathers Day gifts on my desk yesterday! How sweet and encouraging that I have great people around me!
  2. Ryan going #2 in the toilet for the first time on his own initiative!!!! I couldn’t believe it…he just yelled out he needed to, went and waited on the toilet, and even told me he wasn’t finished when I thought he was. I was so proud and he was so proud of himself.
  3. The folks in TCH Badge Security who are kind and fun and interactive when I was getting a replacement badge yesterday.
  4. Really good peaches.
  5. My own desires, which I often haven’t claimed but reflect who I am and what I want and drive me now.
  6. Stress over finances, which is not fun but I am grateful as a reflection of one way I love Ryan- managing and providing for my family.

Morning by Morning (6/18/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. A good Fathers Day weekend with Ryan while also missing Aiden.
  2. Trips to Kickin Kombucha with Bell and Ben every week. They are so encouraging and present to me.
  3. Wishing everyone Happy Father’s Day to everyone. I love the many fathers I get to learn from, including Steve, Caleb, Bell, Dave, Mark W, Tom S, Naguib, Adam J, Adam B, Chris, Sandifer, Mike Moore, Josh Denham, Fred Goldy, and of course my Dad.
  4. The fun of having friends who are setting me up on dates and introducing me to people. What fun!
  5. Falling asleep on the couch at night. Seems so natural and peaceful.
  6. Having needed rain through the weekend that provides such important nourishment to our plants and flowers.
  7. Cool showers on warm days.

Morning by Morning (6/16/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. That feeling that I won’t be beaten, and moreover that Gods peace will remain, no matter what happens. Gods love endures when bad days and rough weeks and long months and tough times end at some point.
  2. Walking in the rain.
  3. Being a teacher to Ryan.
  4. Saturday morning donuts with Ryan, as he was not able to join me for Dads and Donuts at school for Fathers Day.
  5. Zoo time! I love taking Ryan, love walking around myself, and love taking others like King! (see the lion in the background)

Morning by Morning (6/15/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The amazing tech of being a me to anything from my phone, including taking pics, texting friends, calling, filing claims, resetting passwords, managing work, etc. I have needed to use my phone for so much this morning for my car being broken into without my laptop (since it was stolen), and I have appreciated it so much.
  2. Hanging with King today for lunch!
  3. Laughing and having a blast at a dinner date last night at El Tiempo and then at Cafe Brasil.
  4. Sleeping past 7am.
  5. Antonio, our maintenance man at church and really good friend. I love seeing him!
  6. Finding a cheap and good replacement window for my car.
  7. Listening to rap with King.
  8. All the trees in Houston, which makes it a beautiful city too.

Morning by Morning (6/14/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Helping a kid here in the hospital go to sleep by praying with them. What a fantastic feeling of being used by God!
  2. Seeing Ryan be more responsible with potty training. He’s not there yet, but he shows improvement often.
  3. Our Ecclesia small group which has some excellent people, great parents, and lots of compassion.
  4. Back pain, which has been terrible the last two days. Not a normal thing to be grateful for, but it has made me slow down, at least a bit, and that has been needed.
  5. Hugs.
  6. The starting of the World Cup. Loving soccer more and more every year of my life.
  7. Getting to talk up Texas Childrens.

Morning by Morning (6/13/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My dad, John Denham, who is both a good man and good father. I love his selflessness and desire to serve, and I have learned so much from his resilience and commitment and fully investing himself in whatever he is doing. I love my dad, and I am so thankful on this his birthday! Happy birthday Dad!
  2. All the technical people that work on my apartment complex, including the electricians, plumbers, and mechanics who all so such great work for little fanfare.
  3. Lounging with Ryan.
  4. Encouraging Ryan’s imaginative play.
  5. Having the damn nurses in the world as friends and support.
  6. Lifeline Chaplaincy.
  7. The flowers in our apartment complex that Ryan always complements.
  8. Good kids shows, and Ryan not being into any Spongebob yet!

Morning by Morning (6/11/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The growth in myself to name and face tough emotions in this divorce, like anger, fear and loneliness and having God’s grace to help me deal with them in mature ways.
  2. Having good friends.
  3. Calm quiet mornings before work.
  4. Making great connections with new friends this weekend!
  5. Dynamo games and having good people around to watch with.
  6. Engineers without Borders.

My Single Parents Tale, Part 3

It’s hard enough to be a single parent. School pickups, sick nights, managing finicky eating, tight work schedules, etc. You know what I am saying. It’s hard enough to be a single parent. But its hard to be a single parent on the weekends I don’t have Ryan.

I feel strange that he lives just miles from me but he is not here. Yeah, of course it is fun to have a weekend where I can fill it up with activities and enjoy a doing things that I enjoy without the worry of managing the child. Of course it is. But…but…I would trade my weekends without for having him all the time. I want my son around, and when he is not, life feels less fun.

What I can take from this feeling is seeing just how much Ryan is a part of my identity. He gives me strength and joy that right now I really turn into energy and purpose. He makes my home feel like home because of that energy. I remember when Elana and I had bought a house, the reason it felt like home was the presence of the children that gave it life, a life I see now that was lacking in our (Elana and me) life. Home is home because Ryan laughs and smiles and even gets sick here. It’s home because I have an endless stream of his clothes that I have to wash, and my routines here at home revolve around his bedtime schedules and school schedules. I notice when his energy is missing as it has such a place with me as an extroverted parent. On these weekends, I both love life and miss life, and my home is not the same.

Don’t get me wrong: I am using this time to focus on developing myself and deepening my identity and having the fun and joy I want. I am trying to learn how to skateboard, going to Dynamo games, playing disc golf, camping, beach tripping, reading, knocking things off my bucket list. Yep, doing those things and more. I am not a person who has no identity outside of my kid. But hear this. On these weekends without Ryan, I am still a parent. I still am the dad of an almost 4 year old and tell stories to people about my son and laugh about him. But I am the parent without my child nonetheless. The temptation on these weekends is to become something I am not: the single dude who has tons of fun and never talks about my kid to the point you have no idea unless he is with me. But I choose to be the person whose identity fundamentally includes my parenthood as it did my spousal relationship and friendships and my interests and hobbies. I love being me, and me includes Ryan as much as it does Texas Children’s Hospital and chaplaincy and Southwest Central Church of Christ and Teresa Denham and Joe Denham among others, if not more so.

I’m writing this as my way to vent some of how I have been feeling and name the anxiety. I suppose, no, I know its normal. It’s the beginning of living into single parenthood and feeling deeply the pressures of love, protection, and care for a child primarily (I have him mostly, with him being at his moms every other weekend for 3.5 days). But I can say I miss him, even if its only a couple days in between. I can say it because it is good coping to do so on this journey of single parenting post divorce. And I can say it because I know its going to be okay, as it always is.

So here you go. I miss my boy Ryan. Love you Ry-guy.

Morning by Morning (6/9/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Hearing a PICU family share appreciation for my support. Feedback from families is often the most satisfying part of my job. It was a blessing to at our Critical Care Remembrance Breakfast this morning and being encouraged from the families who attended.
  2. Margaritas with friends after lunch. The laughter and comraderie were very special.
  3. FaceTime phone calls with Ryan so I can see him smile.
  4. Board game playing with Stephen Lucas.
  5. Having a church that welcomes and supports outside ministries and welcomed our PICU Remembrance Breakfast as a host after an unforeseen issue required us changing location last minute.

Morning by Morning (6/8/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryan’s smile.
  2. Having a good breakfast, and having the ability to choose from many options. Not everyone has that ability!
  3. Good restful sleep.
  4. Cold meds. Boy do I need them today too.
  5. Disconnecting from tech for short amounts of time to help hear God’s voice and keep my head in order.
  6. My divorce process being done. Relief!