My wife and I divorced when our son James was only 4 years old. We agreed all 4 of the kids would live with me. We also agreed that my ex-wife would be able to visit anytime. We called it our "open door policy." That was 16 years ago. It worked very well for us.
Although our divorce was tough on all the kids I think Jimmy felt it more than anyone else. I say this because he was the youngest. While many of his friends had their mom helping them get ready for school he had a baby sitter. As his siblings got older they were able to get themselves ready for school and helped Jimmy every morning.
I was home every night but not in the morning. Working as a morning show host means working long hours some days and many weekends. While his friends had their mom home every day he didn't. He learned to take responsibility for his homework, laundry, cook light snacks and make his own lunches for school at a very young age. He never complained but he knew his situation was different.
It was not easy for James but he knew he was loved and did what he had to do. Of all my kids he got the best grades. When it came time for college his choices were limited by my finances. We were a one income family. He started working as a bus boy when he was 14. As with my other kids he knew he had to help pay for his college. Together we paid as he went. Tonight he will graduate as an honor student from Sussex County Community College debt free.
One of his final requirements was completing an internship with a local police department. James finished his internship with the Port Jervis Police Department last week. He received a letter from the chief and certificate of appreciation from the department.
He would have had many excuses for making poor choices growing up. Instead he always made good choices. I will be a very proud dad tonight at S.C.C.C.
I love you James.