The trip the Vietnam marks the longest time I will be away from the kids. Last night before bedtime, Đạo asked me the reason for going. I told him that I will be visiting my dad and we haven’t seen each other for sixteen years. His response was that it was longer than the day he was born. He held my right arm and said that he would hold on to me all night long because he’s going to miss me for fourteen days. What a sweet little kid.

Although I kind of feel bad being away for two weeks, it allows me the break to think and reflect on being a father. It has been a tough job and I am not too good at it. I have to thank my wife for carrying the burden with our third boy. I haven’t had to deal with the late-night shift.

My bigger challenge is Đạo and Đán. They are constantly fighting and shouting at each other no matter when and where. Without hitting and spanking, disciplining them has become quite frustrating. My words simply don’t register until I have to raise my voice. I don’t like yelling, but I cannot get their attention otherwise.

Despite all of that, they still love me at the end of the day. They are such good kids when they decided to be. Unfortunately, it is not always the case. I wake every morning telling myself to just stay cool, but it is too damn hard. I am working on staying calm.