Ben explains why he was hesitant to sit down with his kids and talk about past issues.
I heard someone say that an excuse is an acceptable reason to fail. I will take it one step further and say that I believe that an excuse is a passport to mediocrity and will leave you potentially homeless. How do I know these things? From painful life experiences. I thought child rearing ended at 18, but in the case of my adult children Brooklyn, Britney, Benji, and Marcus, child rearing is just starting, because they are just getting to know their father(and themselves). Marcus' mom and I were never an item--he was conceived while I was in college. My first marriage produced Brook, Britney, and Benji. Their mom and I divorced when they were very young, therefore they did not grow up in my house. But rather than be an excuse factory and come up with good reasons why I was not heavily involved my children's early life, I decided to step up and make new memories. When Jewel and I married 15 years ago, her kid Cyrene was only three, and and we began this incredible journey to blend these awesome juveniles together as a family.
I take full responsibility for not being on post to be the protector I could have been.
It warmed my heart to spend special time with Britney. She has always been Super Snuggles. I went rock climbing ONLY to be with her, because that is not my cup of tea, but when you love someone, you should sacrifice your own desires and comfort. That is what I THOUGHT I was doing by being on the road all these years as a recording artist, but I should have had a better balance of my time away and time spent with the children. In our talk, Britney expressed her thoughts on Marcus, and I was very glad she agreed to a meeting with him. I was glad when they all met and hashed out their emotions. Love always wins. I was a little nervous about meeting with the kids on such a delicate matter as their childhood bullying issues, but excuses are not what they needed, and I take full responsibility for not being on post to be the protector I could have been. I am honored to be their father and very proud of their ability to forgive and move on. With God's help, I know their best days are ahead.
As I mentioned in this week's episode, Jewel is the key ingredient or the glue that makes us all stick. She loves my kids as if they were hers and has always encouraged me to pursue a relationship with the children, despite the fact that divorce, living in different cities, and my music tour schedule had kept us separated for years. I am still a work in progress. In an effort to make up for lost time, I find myself a victim of the " Santa Claus Syndrome," where you think gifts speed up healing. Jewel thinks I am sometimes motivated by guilt, but I think I do a good job of guilt management. I was raised in a poor environment and my loving parents taught me to be grateful. I have always been a generous person, so being more successful only magnifies my gratitude and generousity (contrary to popular belief, money does not change you, it only magnifies who you already are).
That being said, I could not have been more proud of Benji asking me to help him move into their own first home: a condo. I knew Jewel would give him (and me) a little run around about it, but isn't anything that is worth having worth fighting for? If Benji thinks Jewel is tough during the "application" process, then he should see what happens when a real loan goes into "underwriting." Whew! Talk about the third degree! He is growing up in front of my eyes and becoming his own man, and I am super proud.
No excuses--just results.
Until next time...Be well!