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I have never been away from my sons on Father's Day.

Luckily, as a new editor, you don't have a lot of time to miss anyone. Most of your time is spent at work, and any free time is spent thinking about work.

I drove about 1,000 miles last weekend to be able to start my new job at the Rapid City Journal. It has been an interesting first week, to say the least.

Apparently, water pumps in 2002 Chevy Silverados are good for about 216,900 miles. I only know this fact because at about 217,000 miles, I crossed the Nebraska-South Dakota border and mine failed. Luckily a store was open on Saturday in downtown Mission, S.D., so I was able to make it to Rapid City to get it fixed.

I was also worried about how long it would take to be able to move my family here with me. We had to sell our home to be able to do it. Apparently, if this newspaper career ever ends, I will be able to work as a home painter. I did such a good job painting the house that it sold in only two days on the market for full price. That was pleasant but unexpected news.

This silver lining came with a cloud, however, because now I have to be out of my Oklahoma home by July 9, and I'm not sure I will have anywhere for the moving company to unload all of my stuff.

Maybe this was all God's way of helping me not feel the stress of starting a new job. I have had so many other things to cause stress, the new job has been a real bright spot.

I have tried to be a good dad, even in absentia. I call when I can and check in. Luckily, I have a couple of pretty good kids. In fact, back in May when I came to Rapid City to interview, my 12-year old's indoor soccer team had its final regular season game. I wasn't just a dad. I was the coach. The assistant coach was my 15-year-old son.

I sent him ideas and advice while I was away, and he coached his brother's team to a 5-1 win. We only beat that team 4-2 when I was there. Don't think he hasn't reminded me about that since then.

The next week, I saw such a difference in him when he was helping me coach again. He was so much more assertive and confident. That experience was good for him. It must have been good for the team too, since we went on to beat a team in the league championship game that had beaten us twice earlier in the season. One son was scoring goals and the other was helping coach.

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It was a really good day for a dad.

Dawit is my 12-year-old who has lived with us for eight years. We adopted him from Ethiopia when he was only 4.

As I was getting ready to drive away last Friday, I thought he was going to share an emotional moment with me.

He realized I was going to be in South Dakota by myself today.

"You won't be here on Father's Day," he said with a matter of fact tone.

"That's right, buddy," I said.

"Good, I won't have to buy you a present," he said with a big laugh.

Our family isn't prone to big emotional moments. That is probably my fault.

I do miss the boys, and Father's Day won't be as fun without them. I have a little news for them, though. I am still expecting presents.

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Kent Bush is the editor of the Rapid City Journal. Reach him at kent.bush@lee.net

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