Last night after his bath and just before bed time, we played my favorite game with James: Lynette and I sit on the living room floor about four feet apart and James runs back and forth into our arms to be scooped up and put back down on the floor laughing all the way. I don't remember how long this bout went on, but I'm pretty sure I won.
It's difficult for me to opine on the value of fathers. You don't need to hear it from me that divorce is a plague which ravishes too many families. Too many kids grow up confused and oblivious about (unfortunately) nuanced relationships in their young lives. Relationships that are supposed to be iron-clad and water-tight. I love the people who raised me. I love them with all my heart. But I swear to God and Lynette and all that is holy and eternal in this world, I will never, ever make James have to grow up with a different last name than his parents.
I am the only male in my family who has not been divorced. I wear that fact on my sleeve with honor and Lynette thinks it's only a matter of time before I walk out on her and James like my father before me, fleeing into the backwoods of the Appalachian hill country. Though I would enjoy some time fishing on some lake in the middle of a secluded forest somewhere, I cannot imagine doing it without Lynette and James.
I'm not overly religious, and I stand as far away from Conservatism as I can, but there is nothing more important in our lives than family. Nothing.