Abby’s language amazes me. It seems like she gets better at talking every day. I especially like her experimentation with modifiers. Recently she came across a bracelet that wasn’t hers and said “This might totally be Nessa’s.” She also strings a lot together; we went to the park recently and she informed me that we’re going to “magical wonderful fairy princess land.” Later, “princess musical land.”

I love my kids dearly, but I’m not a natural parent. I think I say that a lot. But it’s true. One indication of that to me is that I feel a slight sense of dread and depression when I’m watching them. And the source of that is a feeling that when I’m with the kids, we’re just trying to fill up time, make the time go by. I don’t feel a strong sense of purpose. Without vision, the people perish. Without purpose, I invariably get a little bit depressed. And I don’t feel purpose in watching the kids.

I think it was the worst in New Jersey. My sole job, my sole purpose, was to watch the kids. And it felt like all I was doing was trying to make the hours go by without them starving or getting hurt. Finding something to do, trying to fill up the time and make the day end. And that’s completely depressing to me. Maybe the problem is that I sometimes feel like kids prevent me from doing what I want to do, or more nobly, what I’m supposed to do. That they take me away from other things that give me purpose.

I can’t imagine that’s how natural parents feel. I think they suck the marrow out of their time with the kids, find purpose and meaning in spending time with them and raising them right. For some reason, I just can’t feel that. I deeply enjoy my time with the kids, and I try to raise them right, but nevertheless, I just don’t have that feeling of purpose. A lot of the time I’m with them, it still just feels like we’re trying to make the time go by. Passing the time until they go down. I like to do activities on the weekends because it makes the time go faster. And that feels empty to me. The feeling that we’re just trying to divert our attentions until we die.

To be honest, I think a lot of the world lives that way. Distracting themselves so they don’t have to think about how purposeless and empty they are until they die. But those distractions just aren’t enough for me. For whatever reason, purpose is vitally important to me; it always has been. Without it, I feel down. And I don’t know why, but I can’t find it in simply raising my kids. Some days I’m excited to go to work instead of being at home. I think a lot of parents resonate with that, and they have different reasons – just being able to get out, to do your own thing, or whatever. Jieun channeled William Wallace’s “FREEDOM” when she started tutoring again for reasons like that. But for me, it’s because work provides some small sense of purpose, one that I don’t get at home. Purpose is that important to me.

Don’t misunderstand me – I don’t think I’m a bad parent. I just don’t think I’m a natural one.

The bigger problem is that I haven’t felt a strong sense of purpose in anything for a while now, but that’s a different entry.

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