For the past 5 years I have been on this amazing rollercoaster called fatherhood, it as I like to call it, dadhood. So far, so good… I’ve learned a lot, but I could fill a library with what I don't know. I remember early on, my lessons came from my older family members who would give “advice”… strangely enough it always came in the form of riddles, parables and scriptures. Here’s some of my favorites.
“Feed the baby, not the clock”
“Sometimes you gotta chastise them”
“Spare the rod, spoil the child”
I’ll be honest, it was bullshit at first, but they’ve proved to be valuable up to this point. I still believe they could have just told me instead of giving me a puzzle to solve. Most of my learned lessons came through trial and error after error after error. But as far as parenting goes, I have no regrets. The journey through dadhood has been full of excitement and joy. There have been days (mostly nights) where things were stressful and uneasy, but those pale in comparison to the good days (and nights) I’ve had as a dad.
Being a dad stretched me, it forced me to grow in ways I couldn’t conceive prior to even learning that Leah was pregnant with Dom. I recall feeling overcome with both immense joy and fear. I wasn’t in a position to financially support a child. My wife made good money and had excellent benefits, but I felt like I wasn’t doing my part. I also felt fearful of not giving my son the emotional support he would need. Dom’s pending arrival made me hungrier than ever, not just financially, but to be a better man.
Dionne is here and I have a slew of new questions and even fewer answers. I’m a #GirlDad now and I am still figuring out this space. I have to give her the love and support she needs, but I also have to make sure Dom never feels left out or forgotten. I find myself growing even more. How can I have this much love in my soul? My wife, my son, my daughter, they continue to fill me and I never seem to overflow or take for granted their love and presence.
Dadhood has been a beautiful experience. I have tapped into more emotions, I have become more thoughtful, caring, and loving. I’m proud of the man and dad that I’ve become, but this is only the beginning. With a 4 (almost 5 year old) boy and a 1 month old girl, there is still plenty of room to learn and grow.