I have been asked to contribute a weekly column to our local newspaper, The Nebraska City NewsPress, my goal is that people are reminded that they are loved, they are not alone, and that we can do positive things together as a community. Here is this week’s column, it’s called “Being a Daddy”.
I love being a dad.
Since I graduated college I’ve wanted to be a dad. I couldn’t wait to find a partner, create a life with them, and share it with a child. I have a great dad; he showed me what it means to be a role model, teacher, protector, provider, and disciplinarian, what it means to be a father. I was so excited to hold that little child and watch them grow into a little person with their own desires and dreams. I always saw myself as helping them to guide them, being with them through thick and thin, through laughter and tears, through smiles and screams.
It took me a while, but I finally found someone to share my life with and we have been blessed with two amazing kids. They aren’t perfect but they are amazing. As we were preparing for our first child, going to doctor’s appointments, reading parenting books, scouring the Internet for information, I was reminded of a cross-stitched sign that hung in my parent’s bathroom when I was growing up. It said,
“Any one can be a father, it takes someone special to be a ‘Daddy’!”
Which got me to thinking, was I going to be a father or a daddy?
I had always dreamed of little kids running into my arms shouting, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy.” So I decided I want to try to be the best Daddy, I could be. I’m certainly not perfect but I wanted to do my best.
For me, that means being there, always. I missed a total of two doctor’s appointments during my wife’s pregnancies; I’ve been at almost all of the doctor’s appointments since they were born. I’ve taken my kids to library reading times; I’ve picked them up from school, taken them to school; I’ve turned off my beloved West Virginia University games to play with them (that only happens when I can record the games, if I’m being honest); the other day I took my daughter out to lunch. I also, change diapers, wipe noses, cook dinner, give baths, wipe tears, wrestle with them on the floor, play trucks, play dolls, and put them in timeout. I try to be there for everything because I think it’s an important way for me to be the best daddy I can be.
Here’s the thing, I’m not alone, I’m not special.
I know dads who are stay at home dads while their wife or partner work. I know dads who are single dads doing the work of both parents. I know a ton of dads who are just as or more involved with their child’s everyday life than I am. There are certainly fathers out there that in my opinion are living up to the title daddy, but by and large we, dads, are doing the best we can. Trying to be there for our kids, trying to provide, trying to model what it means to make a positive impact on society, and hopefully passing on love and devotion to their kids.
Last week, I was gone for a week on a business trip. When I flew back into Omaha I was expecting to get my bags, get my car, and drive home, but instead I came around the corner and heard my daughter screaming, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!” Then I saw her. Her brother was right behind me. I squatted down and gave her a hug, while my son ran full speed into me knocking us all over in the middle of the airport. It was the best dog pile I’ve ever been a part of. It reminded me that I must be doing something right, and how thankful I am to have had a good model in my dad.
If you are a father, and don’t feel like a daddy I encourage you to find other dads and talk to them about how they do what they do, I’ve found talking to others about my frustrations and my joys about being a parent helps me to be the best dad I can be. Someone once said, “It takes a village.” I believe it; we need to stick together so we can help our kids become the people that God has called them to be.
If you want to talk to me connect with me on social media or call First Presbyterian Church.
At dinner every night, my family goes around the table and shares their high points and low points of the day. We call it “Favorite” and “Not Favorite”. Here are my “Favorites” and “Not Favorites” of the week.
Favorite: Getting surprised by my wife and kids at the airport.
Not Favorite: This was a pretty good week. I don’t have a not favorite.