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What Being a Father Means to Me

FamilyTime to get personal, but that’s what you love about me, eh? I’ve known for a very, very long time that I’ve wanted to be a dad. I can pretty much do without a few of those growing up years that I’m not all that comfortable with, but that just goes with the territory. You can’t very well avoid the young teen years, can you?

Most of you know me well enough to know I wasn’t going to come across being a dad before marriage, but most of that problem was pretty sell taken care of for me by means of my genes anyway. No oops possible here. It’s always been pretty clear since I was only in the 4th or 5th grade that little kids (0-4) liked me. That never changed. Babies and little kids just love me, especially now that I have a beard – something new to most little ones.

All that love, and nothing to put it on

I’ve had my fair share of pity parties over the years still not having any kids of our own. We’re at that age where all of our friends are having kids, and some of my classmates have 7-10 yr olds already. I am always genuinely happy for them, but I am also always pained by my inability to just have kids when we were ready.

We obviously went into marriage knowing this, and it was something Beautiful was perfectly fine with, but we weren’t clear on how we’d end up with crumbsnatchers. We’ve been fielding people making comments of the nature of “you never know when you’ll get a surprise” or people responding to exclamations of having good news with “are you expecting?” while being completely ignorant of the nature of CF’s effects on the male probabilities of that happening. I know I’m being a bit sensitive, but it’s not like I go around expecting a diabetic to eat cake or someone with Crohn’s to eat my lasagna. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable to expect people to look CF up on Wikipedia, but perhaps I am. Just know, I look up your diseases.

Dad!

I think that’s what I’ll most look forward to, but it may be something that I have to wait a long, long time for. Obviously, a newborn won’t be saying that for a while, and it’s quite possible that we’ll have a 3-5 yr old who thinks we are ruining their lives for a long time. Who knows what we’ll be referred to. The instructors at MAPP class already had biological kids, so “mom” and “dad” were commonly spoken titles, so they said that all of the foster kids adopted that out of environmental habit. We won’t have that opportunity.

Leave a legacy

I’m not planning on leaving any time soon, but I will finally have the opportunity to leave a legacy to another generation, possibly many generations. I wouldn’t want to assume that I’ve done enough from living my life to leave a legacy in my community or among friends, so having young-ins will be a fantastic opportunity to watch my p’s and q’s and be sure that people are watching me. I intend on teaching every one of the kids we have the privilege of spending time with and loving on that they matter and have worth and that no matter what anyone tells them, they can make a difference in the world.

Things I’ve learned

My dad taught me a lot, and I am really hopeful that we have at least one little boy that stays with us forever so I can teach him things that every man should learn. I’ve learned how to use tools and build things, work on cars, start to use the computer (back with command prompts), burn things safely, and more other “quick do something manly” things than I can remember. By the way, my mom taught me to ride my bike without my training wheels when Dad was on night shift because I refused to wait because I was ready “now.”

I’ll be sure to have tools and scraps of wood when the time comes, make sure there is plenty of opportunities to change the oil, and learn to be a general handyman around the house.

I really, really, really think I’ll be a great dad, but I’m also scared stupid.

I guess that means I’m ready.

Comments

  1. Angelaf520 says:

    Have you considered having the TESE procedure to have biological kids via IVF?

  2. Dan williams says:

    Jesse, You will have some mis-steps along the way. But the rewards far out weigh them. Kids have a way of sensing who relly cares and when things are for their best interest. Though they won’t always admit it. You’ll do fine. You had a great teacher and there are many that are but a phone call away that you can use as a sounding or that you can ask “what would/did you do when…” And being scared stupid is a prerequisite for the job.

     

    • Thanks, Dan! I’m definitely going to read our MAPP material a couple more times and read some developmental books at B&N to be able to know when they are behind and need help, if possible.

  3. Like Dan said, scared stupid is a prerequisite. If you were going into this saying, “How hard could it be?” or something like that, I’d be hearing alarm bells in my head. You know from personal experience that dad’s make lots of mistakes. I know I made a ton of them. I’m glad you love me anyway.

    As you already know, kids will explore their boundaries, in part to make sure you care enough about them to enforce the boundaries. Doing that consistently and lovingly isn’t always easy and all of us drop the ball from time to time. But I think you have far more self discipline than I ever had and I’m confident that you’ll be a GREAT dad – just not a perfect one. 😉

  4. Kristi Bowers says:

    You will be great!!! So excited for you!

    • Thanks, Kristi. Replying to David’s e-mail now. Very touching. You guys are A++ in our book. As strange as it sounds from a CFer, I can’t imagine being the parent of a CFer. You’re doing a fantastic job. I don’t even remember hearing Kaleb cough… trying to remember what that’s like. He’s got a fantastic medical head start on me and the sky is the limit for him with such awesome parents and his love of science.

  5. patricia lawrenson says:

    You will be a great dad, because you WANT to be a great dad!!

    • Ohh, good insight. Thanks for the Facebook DM reply. I passed it on to Beautiful this morning. We’re looking forward to more foster communication, for sure. We may be the opposite CF gender situation in our two marriages, but that may be a huge strength.

      Do you have a support group for fostering? Ours at the church that did the MAPP class meets monthly. I think it counts towards training hours or something… I know it’s more than just getting together.