I want the world to know how I feel. I love my children. I love being a father.
I profess to many that being a parent is the best thing I have ever done. I believe being a parent is the most grounding, humbling, rewarding, and satisfying experience a human can partake in.
I have had more moments than ever before while being a parent that make me happy to be alive.
In my time as a father I look to a diverse array of specific moments that truly shine through the mist of stress, work requirements, bills, politics, fatigue, and challenges of parenting.
I remember being a young man knowing I wanted to be a father someday. I wanted to foster my own child and share the world with them.
I remember my wife telling me for the first time she was pregnant. I remember 1.25 years after our oldest son was born, my wife telling me in my work’s parking lot with tears in her eyes that she was pregnant with twins.
I remember holding my wife with our son on her chest crying my eyes out seconds after he was born. I felt the greatest sense of euphoria, and thankfulness I have ever felt.
I remember holding my twins minutes after they were born, one in each arm and being able to hand them to my beautiful wife.
The countless hours of baby snuggling, or consoling them, listening to that tiny breath go in and out so rapidly. The many nights/mornings of holding a tiny being with eyes wide open staring back at me.
Watching my children in moments of quiet or loud play. Watching their eyes work with their hands to complete the most basic tasks and yet having so much joy found in them.
My wife states it best. Being a parent is a wonderful experience because you get to live through someone doing, trying, experiencing something for the first time. First step, first words, taste, first laugh. A sea of firsts that swirl into your baby being a full grown person.
It is not everyday that a long term memory occurs, but it is every day that I have a chance to show them how much I love them. I want to be a constant in my children’s life. A constant of positivity and a presence of unwavering love.
I will remember watching my middle son sit by himself and play with large quantities of lake mud in the September sun without a care in the world. Watching my daughter hunch down in a tiny little ball of girl playing with her fairy garden, singing to herself on a cool spring morning. Watching my oldest son run down the lane with his curly blonde head reflecting brightly, solely to give me one more hug before I go to work.
Holding my children to me gives elation I didn’t know I could feel. I love them.
Watching my middle son listen to his first (and three thousandth) 80’s rock and roll song makes me laugh loud and long. Watching my daughter bring a stack of 17 books for us to read on the big chair makes me smile through my soul. Watching my oldest son build block-lego-science creations, seeing his eyes light up, and the biggest gap tooth smile a 7 yr old can offer when he finishes, makes me want to hug him so very tightly.
There are thousands upon thousands of these moments. My wife and I tell each other we are living in a dream more times than I can count. I am so very blessed.
They are me. They are my wife. They are their very own person devoid of what I am. I want to give them everything good I have. I want them to learn from my mistakes. I want them to learn lessons, experience hardships, only to understand more about the world. Then they can navigate it successfully and avoid the pitfalls that so many come to. I want to impart so much knowledge into them. I want to mold them into a good individual that has the capacity for great things. I want to protect them from all that is bad in this existence. I want to give them a world they can enjoy, that they can thrive in.
I do not ever want the doldrums of “regular life” lulling me into reducing the gift of my children.
I fail these wants in repetition. I am not patient enough, I am not involved enough, I am tired, I need a break, I am frustrated with repetition and I want them to just leave me alone sometimes. The amount of questions I receive in a rapid form can be excessive.
I serve people everyday in my job, it is hard to serve three eager little minds and bodies as soon as I step in the door of my home.
Their weight, their constant presence; their desire for my time, my eyes, my presence, my voice can be tremendous.
Don’t give up, gentlemen.
I am not able to fulfill my mission of being a perfect father every day. I fail, but my wife and I dedicate ourselves to one another in our mission of being better than we were the day before. I have a chance to learn from my mistakes, advance myself to be better for my children.
I need to be the parent, I need to be more mature, I need to be the calm one in an emotional situation, I need to guide them.
I want to do this. I demand of myself to do this. It is a livelihood I swore an oath to when I assisted in their creation.
I believe if you love someone you will go to the ends of the earth for them. It is simple as a parent. As a father that means waking up, being better than you were. Before you enter a room with your children on any given day, especially on the hard days, think of a memory that truly makes you grateful to be a father.
Dedicate your best self to your children. Be present. Chad says it perfectly, be intentional.
Love them, and I promise the return will bear more positive consequences than any other act in the universe.
Stay the course gents.