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neodinnersSo tonight I thought I would do something I have done rarely for the past few years and that is to go for some fast food. If you have been around reading for a while you know that I love to cook. When I was married I did the food shopping and most of the cooking and setup the meal plans. While some women see the kitchen as a chore, for me it has always been a joy to be able to make something as good or better than in the restaurant and to save money doing it.

I remember the first time my assistant brought her girls over after I decided to make them my spiritually adopted daughters. When they saw the table setting, the candles, the different glasses, and the different courses I made to be served, their eyes bugged out. They couldn’t believe it was for them and immediately started taking pictures to text their friends. Of course they are pretty spoiled now, as with all my friends who visit more than once, but they have learned to set a table and I have been letting them assist me with some of the preparation. Their mom said to me “you know you are setting the bar pretty high for any man who tries to get with them.” My only reply was “good.”

It’s the same bar I tried to set with my own children before my ex severely damaged those relationships. For years it pained me so bad that I stayed away from helping people because it was too deeply emotional to look into a child’s eyes without missing my relationship with my own. But when my spirit warned me that those girls were headed for trouble, I sat my assistant down and told her I simply had to intervene. It wasn’t just for their sake, but also for my own because I was dying inside everyday I could not show the love I was used to showing as a father from the moment my children were born.

For a while it was strange to people that I am not involved with their mother in any way but whether the girls are excited, sick, hurting, or need advice they can call me any time and their mother understands it to be their privilege but not hers. We are friends but we keep our private lives separate. We actually have the kind of friendship that most divorced people only wish they had except we have never been involved. When she and the girls battle and they call me, I can say the same thing their mother already spent hours telling them and they will accept it without question. Everyone notices the difference. Needless to say some are looking for applications to send their kids. lol.

But at the end of the day, I know in my heart I needed to fulfill my purpose to love and make a difference in the life of a child. The greatest gift I have been given was that their mom allowed me be a dad. With one headed to middle school and the other graduating when I met them, even I thought they were too old for me to make a difference. The older one, home from college, called this week in the middle of the night sick and crying in pain. Her mom was beside herself not knowing what to do and didn’t even know that she grabbed the phone, went to her room and called me. Almost 20 years old, I heard a little girl just needing the comfort of a father. When we spoke briefly and she settled down to rest. I hung up the phone and cried a good cry.

What got me to thinking about all this was the fast food place messed up my order. The poor manager was dealing with all these young people who were not showing up for their shift and not prepared to be dedicated to their work when they were on the clock. My first job was fast food making 2.38 an hour. The difference in my commitment even with such horrible wages was the expectations from my father that if I took on a job, that I kept my word. Even in the middle of all her pain, my baby was worried about missing work and was determined to go, until I said no. Their mom constantly worries that the girls will get on my nerves and wear out their welcome. What she doesn’t understand is how unwelcoming my life would be, without them in it. -NEO BLAQNESS