Father’s Day 2015

This morning, as with many weekend mornings, I was awoken by my youngest son. “Hi Daddy! Boo!” It was 6:30am, and although it is a perfectly reasonable time for me to be awake, I was hoping to get at least a little bit of extra sleep.

He noticed that I didn’t have a shirt on. “Daddy, shirt!” (I’m not sure if it was because I normally sleep with one on, or if he is making a passive-aggressive attempt at calling me fat, but I digress…) He then proceeded to go over to the dresser, and open up my t-shirt drawer. He grabbed the first shirt he could, and brought it over to me. “Here Daddy! Come on! Downstairs!”

Although he woke me up early, I couldn’t be more proud of him. He’s learning so much, and he is such a polite boy. He always says thank you, and most times says please.

I’m sure I did similar things when I was a kid with my dad (probably not as gracious, however). Perhaps it was even worse for my dad. One thing is for sure — he’s proud of his grandson in two ways: 1) for being a polite, sweet, smart boy and 2) for waking his daddy up because it’s payback for the times that I did it to him!

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there, and most of all to the wonderful example that I have in my life. Love you, Dad!

New Things Coming

As of late, I have had a lot of things on my plate. Life has had its series of challenges for myself and my family, which has lead to neglect of several things in my life. I am the single biggest thing I neglect. As a part of that, I like writing. I’m not particularly great at it. But I don’t have to be. And that’s the point — I just need to do it. It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to be good. It just needs to be. So hopefully with the implementation of a few key things based on the suggestion of friends and family, I will be writing more about things I love, things I hate, and everything in between.(And if I can figure it all out, it will be on a new website – because it’s 2015 and I need something better than what I have.)

More to come…

And in that moment, everything changed…

One year ago1, my wife and I went to the hospital, hoping that after 2 false alarms, that this would be it. We would finally get to meet our baby boy for the first time, to hold him and love him. We had no idea what we were in for…

Long story [very] short, my wife was having steady contractions when we arrived. We were seen almost right away, and everything started to be on track. The staff noticed a few decelerations in his heartbeat, but nothing abnormal. Then it went lower. And lower again.

 "Time to be admitted; you're in this for the long haul."

Long haul. Unless you included all of the last 3 weeks of false labor contractions, this would be anything but long. As we waited to be fully admitted, his heart rate kept getting lower. Twenty minutes pass, and they come in to break her water so they can read his heart beat. Then it was time to go get him out2; it was too risky to do things the natural way, the way we had planned and practiced. We wanted to be calm, peaceful, and have him next to us from the start. But he, like his parents, was impatient had other plans.

From the time they said they were going to admit us to the time that he was born was 32 minutes. They allowed me to see him 15 min later, after knowing that my wife was ok, and that we had a healthy baby boy.

I cannot tell you the plethora of emotions that flowed through me those first moments of meeting him. He seemed so small (7lbs 1oz), so fragile, yet so full of potential. I knew what loving another person on this earth meant, but I had no idea how it was going to affect me. (After all, that is how we got to this point…) I was in awe of him, and new that I completely loved this child.

And in that moment, everything changed…

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1This post is going up 2 weeks late. As it turns out, for his 1st birthday, he ended up getting sick a double-ear and a sinus infection (we have been looking for the gift receipt so that it can be returned). So it’s been a hell of a couple weeks, and we are finally getting back to normal, and therefore a small bit of time to finish this post. Hope you can be ok with that, son…

2I’m skipping a lot. This was seriously the scariest 30 min of our lives. It took a lot from both of us not to lose our minds. All of it happened quickly, so it is too much to go through.

Diaper Changes Man

When the actuality of having my son happened, I’m not sure if I was ready. As my parents would say: you’re never ready. And then there are the diaper changes. Lots of them. And as time go on, they say it gets fun. But they are full of shit. They are a workout, a martial art (BJJ – Baby Jujitsu), and often very difficult. But they can also be great bonding times with your kid, your other kids who help, your wife, etc. And given a nice changing area, all ends well hopefully without many messes other than in the diaper…

Since having my youngest, I have noticed something that infuriates me. I have become aware of something that though small, shape our culture and how it perceives men.

Many times my family & I have gone out, be it to a store or a restaurant, and have had the need to change our son. This is a common occurrence, as it is for many others in that situation. A majority of the time, I see the child passed to the mom, and then the mom whisks the child away to get changed. But why is it always the mom?

Men have that responsibility too, as they should. We don’t live in a world where dads are the “head of household”. It is not beneath a man to be a parent. So it goes without saying that a man should change their child from time to time. And this should be easy, except for one thing:

There is hardly ever a changing station for men.

I can recall twice when there has been one. Most times there isn’t one. And after my last experience with the “golden arches”, sometimes there are NONE. Changing stations not only make it easier for the parents, but it makes it easier for everyone else around. It gives them the privacy to not have to look at that crap. (Yes, pun intended…) I have a few times now spoken to the managers of establishments, urging them to have a station installed. The responses vary from “there’s one in the ladies restroom” to “it isn’t my decision”. These answers are both unacceptable.

What about single dads? What about dads that are taking care of their kids while out? What if the dads out there are giving their wives a fun day out while they take the kids? There is no option for them. There is only the grass, the car, the floor, etc. No matter how you look at it, there isn’t thought put in for fathers, and that is a shame.

So to the store & restaurant owners out there, spend the money and think of a dad’s need. Make it so that we can care for our children. Make it so that we have the same access to conveniences. Don’t give us places to change diapers, but rather a place that we can help change the perception of men. Help men be better fathers. Help men change diapers, so diapers can change men.