Monday, June 21, 2010
Fatherhood: From My Father...To Becoming One
About a year ago Jay and I did a video detailing how we met and at that time I mentioned a very unique dream I had long ago. When I was twelve I had a very lucid dream of being a grown man holding a little baby in my arms. to this day, I can remember every detail of it. The feelings that came with it were overwhelmingly powerfull and forever cemented the idea in my head that one day I wanted to be a father. What I couldn't see then was that I was gay.
Has Fatherhood lived up to the dream? In some ways yes and in others it has not. It comes with so much you can never forsee. Being the stay at home dad, somedays I feel buried in laudry and babypoo. Being a stay at home parent can be at times isolating from the rest of the world. Within the maelstrom of baby poo, owies, and tattle tales, you still have the space to recognize the gray hairs encroaching on what was once all black. ah well...
Sometimes its scary when I become my parents. When I have to use the "big voice" to let the kids know I mean business I get flashbacks of my own father. His word was law... and if he used the big voice, kids down the block scurried for cover. We went through some bad times, my dad and I....Divorce devastated our family and my dads response to his own pain was alcoholism. My teen years were filled with dark days where we all said and did things we wish never happened...but they did. My dad was always angry when he drank, it was like watching him become a whole different person. The loving dad that watched bugs bunny with us on saturday morning would be gone halfway through a bottle of vodka....clamoring for my stepmom to go to the store for another. To this day I still cannot stand to look at a bottle of Smirnoff vodka. I learned alot then about who I don't want to be. Now...whenever I have to raise my voice to my kids...which on occasion has to be done....theres a little stab of worry that I am becoming like my dad was then. Thats the legacy of my past that I don't want to become a part of my childrens future.
His own father had dies many years ago when he was just a toddler himself. I think about my Grandpa alot and I wonder how our lives would have been different had he not died in a car accident, leaving my Grandma with two boys to raise on her own.
I love my kids immensely...they deserve to have the best of what Jay and I can give them. I think thats the core of parenting from which all else follows. It doesn't matter if its a mom and a dad, two moms, two dads, or just one parent.....we do the best you can despite our flaws. We try to hold on to those days when our kids are small and can curl up in our arms but in the end we also know that one day they will be too big to want that anymore....no more help brushing teeth or buckling seat belts. Soon the day will come when they dont want to be seen being dropped off at school by me let alone giving a hug to send them off. We have to help them make those leaps too...even when they break our hearts and make us proud all at once.
But off I go now... to change the laundry, put all five kids through bath time and somewhere in there...cook us dinner. Our job is never done...sometimes I'm not sure I want it to be