So, I woke up this morning and had a thought. “I have that blog that I used for a class a few years ago. I am on summer break from teaching. I no longer have a large audience of sponges to spew my thoughts to…” I figured I might as well dust off the old educational blog and use it record my musings… I told Jess this morning that I was thinking about restarting my blog and she just laughed. Now that I have her full support, here we go.
This blog was originally written to share my thoughts on various aspects of education. Feel free to go back and read some of the earlier posts. I am sure you can find something to disagree with me about. However, today’s entry is going to be about what being a dad has meant to me and what I have learned and what I still need to conquer. Here are my top 10 (in no particular order):
1. I love my wife deeply. However, I never knew how much I could love someone until my daughter, Sophia, was born in May of 2008. Along with Jess, Sophia and my son Luke are THE most important things in my life. I would do anything for any of them; especially my children.
2. My Parents were huge influences in my life. I always knew that my parents were wonderful in the way that they raised my brother and me. I truly thank them for the morals and values that I have today. With two wonderful role models, I can pass what they taught me about life onto my children. The best part is…both of my kids are nuts over their grandparents!
3. Being a dad is not easy. With one kid, both parents have to sacrifice some things they enjoyed in the past. However, with two, the ballgame changed completely. Most notably, I have given up leisure activities that I had enjoyed so frequently in the past. I no longer golf as much as I used too. I haven’t been out in my kayak in over a year. I am not complaining. With the infrequency of these things, I have gained so much more time with my kids.
4. I could never be a mom. Jess is an incredible woman. She manages to raise our kids during the school day by herself. When I walk in the door, she leaves for work three days a week from 3-6PM. How she can keep her sanity from one strenuous job to the next is amazing. The kids are constantly demanding of her and she never complains about it. When I am at school, I have coworkers to talk to and destress and vent. She works as a secretary at a church. When she is there in the evening she is there by herself. She can’t vent. It amazes me.
5. Boys and girls are totally different. When Sophia was a toddler, she was quiet and enjoyed playing by herself. She would eat at meal times and have a snack here and there throughout the day. Luke, on the other hand, is a beast. That boy eats CONSTANTLY. He devours bananas like I’ve never seen. When he doesn’t want something, he will throw it on the floor. He can laugh and cry at the same time. He loves his sister and she loves him. He is already into trucks, playing ball, and dancing while she loves princesses, dresses, and being beautiful. I love it!
6. Moms and dads need to get out without kids every once in a while. Last week, Jess, the kids, and I were at the beach with her family. We were lucky enough to have Jess’ parents there to watch the kids while we went to Atlantic City to see Phish (I am sure there will be a future post about them). We met up with Craig Day, Jeff Cunningham, Jimmy and Laura Kalp, and Tom and Kara Patty. Craig and Jimmy are my great friends from high school. Jeff was our roommate in college and Tom and Kara are close friends of the Kalps (and we love them too). This was the first time we have all been together since 2004. It was truly a great experience. It was Father’s Day. We all missed our kids but it was great sharing stories about how wonderful they all are. Oh yeah, the band killed it that night and we all had three hours to dance our asses off and relax!
7. It is hard to imagine what my life was like before I became a dad. Frequently, Jess and I ask each other what we did before kids. Both of us agree that it is very difficult to remember. I must have been a knucklehead…
8. No matter how bad of a day I had at work, nothing can take away the feeling of opening the door when I get home and having my two kids run to me for a hug! All the stress that I had that day disappears. Nothing matters at that point except that we are all home and together.
9. Patience is something that I need to work on. I tend to get short with Sophia every once in a while. She acts so mature and grown up, that I sometimes forget she is only 4. She is just a little kid.
10. Every kid needs a dog. We had to put Jake the Dog down last December. It was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make. All of us were having a tough time dealing with his loss. We still talk about him as a member of the family. Luke has fallen in love with dogs. Every time he sees one, we have to go pet it. Sophie loves them too. They both light up around them. We will have one sometime in the near future. I grew up with dogs and so did Jess. Our kids will too.
There you have it…feel free to share your lessons learned!