Posts Tagged ‘dad’

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One love

April 19, 2011

My son turned one today and I am amazed at how fast the year has gone. This time last year, my wife went into labor, we believe, due to the smoked ribs my friend Tad made for us the night before. Jill headed home and I stayed for drinks. It didn’t hit me until the next day that it was the last time it would just be my wife, daughter, and me at our home.

Since the first time I saw his face until now he obviously has changed. He started out with jet-black greasy hair to now stick straight blonde hair like his mother. He is almost walking and is showing signs of his dad’s impatience, temper, and sense of humor (especially bathroom jokes.) And as he has changed, I am constantly changing and learning lessons too.

Just this past weekend, we had a baby shower for a fraternity brother and his wife expecting a son themselves here soon. And upon arriving at the party, hugs, handshakes, and hi-fives gave way to conversations, laughing, and advice for the new parents. I love those guys. They are really more family than friends, and we pick up quickly from the last time we saw each other, even if it was a year ago. So Cam, lesson one that I have learned is you will never be alone, never be lost, and never without a smile with great friends.

After the party we all went back and got our kids and brought them together at the expecting parents house. What a torturous thing to do for two people waiting to have their first child…fill their house with six kids all under the age of five. (No turning back now, Mr. and Mrs. Benson.) Within five minutes our daughters and sons were playing, laughing, and having a good time with each other. And for some, they just met. Our kids know no prejudice; they don’t care about money, religion, or politics. The girls like big girl shoes and candy necklaces, the boys popping balloons with their mouths and throwing things. Cam, lesson number two. Be open, honest, and respectful to each person you meet.  Don’t ever lose the gift of seeing people for what we really are…people.

And yesterday we had our big first birthday party. Family and friends joined us and watched as Cam decorated himself in cake and blue frosting. All the while, he just laughed, half-naked and all. Cam, here comes lesson three. Never take yourself too serious. I sure as hell don’t. I’m not perfect and never will be. That doesn’t stop me from trying to be great, rather knowing that mistakes are part of the game makes the score easier to tolerate when we don’t win. Keep smiling and give it all you have.

And the last lesson goes without saying. Your dad loves you and always will. You’ll never know how strong that love is until you have kids of your own; so for now trust me and thank you. Thank you for being my little man.

Happy birthday son.

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Having two kids is not that far from living back in the fraternity house

August 31, 2010

I have been blessed with two beautiful kids — two kids who are already throwing me back to the days of Delta Tau Delta at Ball State.

There is always a body function happening
At first there is the innocent and often, “I can’t control my gas” infant stage. People laugh and think it is cute because it is a baby. This is not the case when a guy, nicknamed “Dirt”, breaks wind after drinking malt liquor all night and eating a burrito the size of your head.

Spitting up is so common I now have no sense of smell or a desire to eat. I have a burp cloth on my body at all times because I never know when Mt. Cam will erupt and spew whatever he just ate all over the place. In the fraternity house the only thing funny about spewing was the occasional dry heave. I still don’t why that is funny. Maybe the eyes welling up with tears or the fact I always think of Jim Carey.

Streaking
Yes, sometimes it is nice to set yourself free. My three year old finds great delight in streaking around the house after a bath. You can see the sheer joy of being clothes- and worry-free on her face. This look was also found many a night when someone would casually walk through the house sans pants, sit down on your couch, and act as if this was normal. Thank you creator of the slipcover.

Nose picking is an Olympic sport
I guess until now I thought the nose pick was merely done out of necessity. Nope. I am not sure what the fascination is with having your finger two knuckles into your nose, but the kids dig it. Yes, pun intended. I am worried more about them being able to hide a grapefruit in their nostril than do it in public. And at the old Delt house you had guys who were the Michael Phelps of nose picking. After each victory they always wanted to show you their medals. Remember the dry heave part? My eyes are still watering.

Being tired is the norm
I am up at all hours, I don’t ever feel like I sleep through a whole night, and when I am up, I have to be on. There is always something to clean up (see above), someone to entertain, and someone getting into something they shouldn’t. Hmmm…this one didn’t change.

Time for me to go, I think someone just made his underwear into a headband.

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What really matters…and it isn’t work.

July 2, 2010

There are some days when I certainly need an escape and a release from the stress of work, professional headaches, and constant pressure of things that I really have no control over.

And it all goes away when I get home and see my children. I am blessed to have a three-year-old daughter and two month old son whose innocence and amazement of life is refreshing and inspiring.

They laugh at simply seeing someone smile back at them. They have no embarrassment when asking for help. They experience new things every day and learn at an unbelievable pace. And all of this comes natural and instinctual.

It makes me wonder what happens to those driving factors that we are born with as we progress into our adult working lives. Can we not appreciate the little things, say and then actually do the right thing, and elevate people around us opposed to tearing them down?

And then I let those thoughts go, because when it is all said and done, my work will not define me. My career will not fulfill my being. And when I am the smile that gets a laugh from my kids, I realize my life’s work is to be the finest father and husband I can be.

At the end of the day, I don’t dream of a C-level title, rather I relish one that starts with D…for Dad.