As an ode to dads this Father's Day, Memphis Moms Blog has asked some of our contributors' baby-daddies to step in and write for us. They were given no direction--just to write about whatever they felt needed to be said.
Tonight's post is from Aaron, husband to Memphis Mom's Blog's Marketing Coordinator and one of our very first contributors, Mary...
Sometime around my mid-twenties, I realized I wanted to be a dad. Like many others, I had dreams of playing catch with my kids, suffering through piano recitals, imparting my wisdom upon them (like I have any), and watching them grow into young adults. I had little to no idea how this would happen, seeing as I didn’t even have a girlfriend. Even marriage seemed so far away--having children seemed completely intangible. Yet, in time, I found Mary, the woman of my dreams, settled down, and before I knew it, we had a baby girl and a boy.
It wasn’t long before I realized the gravity of the situation…along with Mary, I’m responsible for raising these helpless, crying, snot-covered creatures into some semblance of well-rounded, self-sufficient, empathetic individuals. Why didn’t that freak me out before, like it does now? I blame the 24-hour news networks. Well, partially anyway. I’ll include age in there, too. I guess ignorance really can be bliss, and I was blissfully unaware of just how many messed up people there are in the world. And now, I must figure out how to nurture and educate my kids so as not be one of them, and how to teach them how to protect themselves from those same people.
The good news is I’ve lightened up a bit over the years. I know I can only do the best I know how, and that’ll have to be good enough. And I’ve jumped into fatherhood head-first. When I’m not busy yelling at them to stop running and jumping off the couch, I’m kind of a goofball dad.
I have superb tickling skills, and the belly-laughs that ensue are enough to turn any frown upside-down.
I also have epic belching skills, which--much to Mary’s and my own annoyance--my daughter has picked up.
I guess I should have picked something else I’m good at to showcase...
But I love to read them books before bed, talk about airplanes, go on playground outings and share ice cream with them. In the spirit of Peppa Pig, a good jump in muddy puddles always makes my son happy.
I always try to make the best of my time at home with them, because as a pilot, one of the more difficult aspects of fatherhood is dealing with my traveling profession. My schedule changes all the time, and my time at home is frequently feast or famine. Walking out the door, watching their sad, crying faces is wrenching. Yet it provides me a much needed break from them, some time alone to recharge mentally. Rightfully so, this is a contentious point for Mary, since she gets no such breaks. She gets to play single mom while I’m seeing every corner of the country! She gets to hear about the fun restaurants I ate at, how I got to see my family, or how I toured wine country without her. Of course, I’d take all of them with me if I could. Now, my daughter is beginning to understand my coming and going and I can tell her in advance that I must go to work. For her, it means getting to sleep in mommy’s bed, quite the consolation prize! One day soon, my son will also understand, and while they’ll continue to adapt to me being gone through the years, one thing won’t change: I’ll still miss baseball games, helping with homework assignments, daddy-daughter dances and more.
Through the ups and downs, I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to be a father. Yet I couldn’t be a father without my wife, Mary. Thank you Mary, for carrying, birthing and taking on the thankless and impossible task of raising our children. I couldn’t do it without you. My own challenges in fatherhood will morph as they grow from toddlers into young boys and girls, then into pubescent horrors, then into young adults. I look forward to every minute of it. I look forward to more giggles, more cries, more successes and more challenges ahead. I look forward to growing with them, seeing what kind of people they become and maybe even watching them become a daddy and mommy themselves.