Feb 16, 2011

Double down - 3, beating the odds

1, an icy lake
2, the thaw

Double down - an option in blackjack to double your bet after the initial two cards are dealt.  The value of the third card flipped determines your fate.  Either a double win or a double loss. 

When you lose a spouse, it forces you into a double down gamble.  Risk increases, stakes double and you have one flip of the card to get it right.  

You must play to beat the odds.  The game can be won.  

I'll share how I'm managing my double down round and tackling the challenges that pile with being a lone wolf.  The game's still on, but this is working well so far: 

  • Don’t be ashamed.  It’s not my choice that I’m a single dad and there’s nothing I can do about it right now.  I do the best I can to make it work.
  • Be smart with time and money.  I place all the bets and win or lose accordingly.  Plan, ponder, then execute and get it done.

See, she's turning out perfectly normal.  Right?
  • Help your rug rat live as normal a life as possible.  Ride bikes, bat the ball, don a tiara while sipping tea and paint her nails.  I do not recommend caving in and letting her paint your man-nails.  Pigtails likely doesn't realize she’s being raised any differently than the neighbor kids living 20 feet away under the loving hug of a mom and dad.  This is good.
  • Ask for help.  Early on, I was overwhelmed, beat down and felt locked down in solitary confinement.  On the rewind, I realize I should have asked for help from family and friends, rather than secretly wishing they would offer to assist when I was reeling.

  • Exercise until deep muscle tissue shreds (my workouts are cruel), slide spinach through your pie hole, slumber six hours a night and pray.  This will clear the mind, body and soul, while curtailing cottage cheese buildup.  You are all that your child has, live long for them.
          • God listens if you pray and ask for help.  He created oceans and flesh by speaking them into existence.  He can surely help you conquer hardship and bear the weight.  When it seems no one is around, Christ is. 
            • Don’t spoil.  A spoiled child will sour into a spoiled adult.  Disciple and consistency are critical.  Kids yearn for your time more than toys.
            • Don’t put son or daughter in the middle.  Using your little koala bear as an instrument of revenge against their mom or dad will ferment into resentment.  If the other parent is open to it, encourage junior to spend time with them.  I speak only positive things to Pigtails about her mother.
            • Be thankful and content.  You have a child, crafted in your image, a great blessing!  Enjoy the flexible independence that comes with living without a mate.

            I'll shut it down with a short story from a couple years ago:

            Raffi digs into Down by the Bay as I lock Pigtails' tiny wrists and twirl her like a helicopter.  Dizzy, I glide her down for a landing and wobble to the beat as she recoils her hands and bellows, 

            OUCH!!  DADDY, YOU HURTED MY ANKLES!!”  

            I smile and point down, “Ankles?  Those are down there.”  

            She angles her brow, glues hands to hips and scolds, 


            Like, duh.  Obviously, the word "wrist"  had not yet been spliced into her swiftly expanding six-year-old vocabulary.

            Single mom or dad, I’m cheering for you.  Be strong, you can do it!  When you are thrashing alone in that icy lake, plant your little one on your lap and look into their eyes.  He needs you.  She loves you.  

            Even if you do chafe her arm ankles.

            1 comment:

            1. Thank you for this. You are doing a wonderful job.


            Thanks for the note, check back for my response!