Mark McGrath’s Blog: Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
|Lydon and Hartley — Courtesy Denise Miles|
You may recognize his voice and presence on your TV screen, but our celebrity blogger Mark McGrath has a new role — dad.
The Sugar Ray frontman is proud papa to 6-month-old twins Lydon Edward and Hartley Grace, his children with fiancée Carin Kingsland, as well as the new host of Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, airing weekdays on VH1 and in syndication.
Man oh man, do I miss my little ones! It’s not a kind of gentle longing or casual observation, but a true soul-crushing ache that has reached new territories of my aging heart. In fact, the pain is so severe that my ever-changing career and future ability to earn are in serious jeopardy … I mean, if being in the entertainment industry requires such an extreme sacrifice of being away from my family for long stretches at a time, well then I guess I’m just not ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille!
Okay, so I’m being a bit overdramatic and exaggerating, but as I sit here on a gloomy Sunday night in N.Y.C., the loneliness is a powerful force. I have been in this beautiful city — though I love it, my favorite thing about it is that I don’t live here! — for two weeks now, and it’s the first extended stay away from my angelic little 6-month-old twins, Hartley and Lydon.
Now of course I knew I was going to miss them emotionally — I’ve been touring the world with Sugar Ray for 15 years now and have felt that pull with my friends, my dogs and my beloved Carin. This time, however, is a whole new sensory overload, for not only am I missing them, I’m missing moments of their lives and development that you just can’t get back.
You parents out there know what little moments I’m talking about … the “Lydon just rolled over,” “Hartley just had her first taste of banana!” moments that delight us to no end, but bore everyone outside of the immediate circle to tears!
|Hartley — Courtesy Denise Miles|
Now the advancements in technology are incredible, and the immediacy of video, pictures and Skype almost make it tolerable, but there just ain’t no substitute for holding your baby in your arms. When I’m at home, I can put Lydon or Hartley on my lap and just stare into their precious faces for hours like a crazy person. I think about how far Carin and I have come to get to that perfect moment, and I’m so thankful for and humbled by these two blessings.
I can’t help but think about the men and women in the U.S. military who have children, and the anguish and anxiety they must feel when they are deployed and away from their families. Yes I am lonely, and yes I desperately miss my babies and Carin, but no one is shooting at me. I’m not going to enter any hot zones in SoHo, unsure of whether or not I’m going to make it back home to see my family again. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice, and to those men and women, on behalf of Carin, Lydon, Hartley and I, we thank and honor you.
Look at what this blog is making me do, actually explore my feelings! That is torture to an Irishman, and nothing a bottle of Jameson couldn’t cure. But wait a minute, I have to go to work at 6 a.m. tomorrow and provide for the only thing that really matters in my life anymore … family. Uh-oh, I think I’m growing up!
This being my last blog, I wanted to thank everyone for their lovely comments. I really enjoyed reading all of your stories and advice, so much so that it motivated me to dig deep and write a personal blog. I am working on my Web site, MarkMcGrath.com, which will be up in early 2011, and I will continue to write about my experiences as a dad. I would love for you guys to come along … there are plenty more stages to go through, and I won’t be able to make it without your support!
|Lydon — Courtesy Denise Miles|
Much love to all,
– Mark McGrath