Sunday, June 28, 2009

Because Father's Day is every day!

Thank you Chris, for giving our children the most precious gift... LOVE

published today in The Redland's Daily Facts...

Being a father to my two children has been the greatest accomplishment
of my life. Every day I wake up I try to both realize and carry out my
role in helping them to develop into two beautiful human beings. I
often joke that I fought in a war in the Marines and that I have "done
it all," but nothing could compare to just how challenging it is
sometimes to be a parent.

My daughter was a unique birthday gift six years ago. It was the day
before my birthday when my wife went into labor. Twenty-seven hours
later she turns to me and says, "I'm sorry but I didn't get you
anything for your birthday."

I told her the gift of bringing a little girl into this world would be
just fine. That day my life changed forever, as I’m sure it does for
so many other fathers. Sharing the tears with my wife as they held our
daughter up was like nothing I had ever experienced. It was in that
moment, though, as I waited to hear her first sound, that I realized
just how important it is to be a parent. I realized just how beautiful
life actually is, and that it was something that we should never take
for granted. It’s just too short.

And then the fear of fatherhood settled in.

What if I fail as a father? What if I accidentally leave her in the
shopping basket at the store and drive away? What if I leave a hammer
out and she smashes her finger? And how will I keep boys away from
her? Will she get mad at me when she catches me hiding in the bushes
spying on her on her first date? What if I can’t always provide for her?

Of course, my fears lessened over time (even though I am still pushing
to be her date for senior prom). Through it all, I am realizing that
all I can do is my best. My father and I didn’t have the best of
relationships, but now that I’m older, I can see that he did the best
he could for me, and while he never sat me down to teach me that
lesson, I see it now.

I wonder if he had the same fears as me. Probably so, because I
suspect it is a virus that all fathers catch when they see their first
born come into this world, and unfortunately, it doesn’t get any
easier with the second child.

When my son joined our family, it was just as special. Just as
powerful. At first, he didn’t want to breathe on his own, so they
whisked him away to another room and had to hook him up to some
breathing contraption. I kissed my wife, told her everything would be
just fine, and then ran after my son.

Thirteen hours later, the doctors had to perform one more breathing
test to see if they had to transfer him from Redlands Community to an
available specialist at Loma Linda University. My wife hadn’t even had
a chance to hold him or see him yet. I had been with him the entire
time, holding him. Cheering him on. How could this be? I told her
everything would be just fine. He just had to get better.

As the nurse administered the breathing test, all I recall is
squeezing him so tight and just praying. He just had to see his mom.
What if the worst happened and he never had the chance to be held by
his mother. He had to breathe on his own, and as I wrestled with my
faith, the nurse removed the device over his mouth. As we sat there
watching to see if he would make it on his own, I realized that no
matter what happened, he would always be my son. My little man. He
would still know to hold the door open for women. He would be a
gentleman at all times. He would learn the importance of education and
have the opportunity to seek out his passions in life.

A few moments later, he started to breathe on his own, and the room
turned to celebration. Just like that, he was perfectly okay. Dare I
say miracle? Twenty minutes later he got to see his mom, and our
family was complete, and the lessons of fatherhood continued on for me.

The biggest lesson, though, is that I never take my time with my
children for granted. Whether it’s building a multi-complex, high
rise, blanket fort for Friday Fort Night in our house, setting up
Christmas lights or chasing trains in the Cajon Pass, I have been
blessed with two beautiful gifts, and it is my job to ensure they have
access to all that life has to offer—even if it means having to hide
in a few bushes and spy on them.

~I love you Chris...


Anonymous said...

so beautiful...he knows the true meaning of life, kids and family!! I only wish more dads knew it..Luckily, our little group of men golden are we? Jeffra

Alison Douglass Photography said...

This could not have come at a more appropriate time for me to read. Thank you for sharing it and thank you to your husband for so eloquently putting into words something so very importand.

Googies Girl said...

Beautiful! Simply beautiful!

Judy said...

My make up is all messed up now. That was beautiful. I'm going to forward this to my husband. Thank your husband for me for writing this beautiful story.