Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Daddy Blogs ~ Part 2

Welcome to the Daddy Blogs! With Father's Day later this week, we have asked several Fathers to focus on Father's Day and what being a Father means to them.  Our next Daddy Blogger is new Daddy, Dean Walker from Greensboro, North Carolina!

My first Father’s Day is in a few days.  I’m not sure I ever expected to be sitting here watching my firstborn roll around on the floor.  My wife and I had been married six and a half years before we decided to start a family, I’d gotten used to it being just the two of us. Now, it’s hard to think of what life was like before our son.  Time passes so fast, it feels like we brought him home in a sleep deprived daze yesterday!  At least once a day I find myself wondering - who is that cute kid with my wife? “Dude, that’s MY kid!”  I feel as if a switch has been flicked on in my brain, screaming at me that I am a dad.  Adjusting to fatherhood has been an awesome, scary, and overwhelming experience that I have learned to embrace.

Newborn Daddy Bliss
When my son was born, the transition to fatherhood was a lot like when I got married.  But crazier because the sleep deprivation is way more fun after a wedding!  When I was single, it was all about ME. Then I got married and everything became US. Now we have a FAMILY. I think the shock of having a family is something all dads struggle with at first. Learning how to balance needing to provide for them but wanting to be with them all the time is quite a challenge.  I made my wife send me picture messages at least five times a day when I went back to work after G was born.   I kept expecting things to slow down and return to “normal” but I’ve found that we now have a new normal. I love it. I love that I can’t drink anything while holding him without having to defend myself.  The kid is mesmerized by anything we drink out of and immediately starts batting at it.  I love the challenges and the fact that I now have gray hairs in my beard. The challenges come with amazing moments like when I get home from work and my son’s face lights up as soon as he hears my voice.  I would do anything for that face. When G was only a few weeks old, my wife and I sat down to watch the movie Courageous.  There’s a scene where a car is stolen and the owner jumps on the car refusing to let it go. My wife says “Why won’t he just let the car go??” When the owner managed to fight off the thief and the movie reveals a small child in the backseat, my wife burst into tears (I said our son was only a few weeks old, she cried a lot).  I felt a kinship with the character; of COURSE he would jump on a moving vehicle and fight off an armed man to save his kid!

Daddy & G
Thankfully, in the weeks prior to the birth of my son, I joined a men’s fellowship group at church. My wife leads a breastfeeding support group, but I think guys need opportunities to talk about new parenthood too.  I’ve never been so glad to have friends and family giving me encouragement.  I don’t think I would know how to be a good role model or leader if it weren’t for the role models I have in my life.  I think of a lot of men take for granted what an honor, privilege and most of all blessing it is to have a child.  To me, the absence of fathers is painfully obvious in the lives of anyone who missed out on such an important role model. I never want my son to know that kind of pain.  I intend to be very purposeful when it comes to my family, giving them everything I have to show how much I love them.  My number one priority is to be a good leader and role model for my family. This June 17, I’m looking forward to starting my own collection of ties, coffee cups, and super dad hats that are bought every year.  None of it really matters. The fact that they will come from my FAMILY is what matters.  The best Father’s Day gift will be to sit back and look at my wife and our son and know that they are mine to love, provide for and protect. 

About the author:
Dean Walker works at Avery Dennison in Greensboro North Carolina and is the proud Dad of “G”, a ROBUST almost-crawler with loveable cheeks and a great smile, and husband to Jamilla, a great mom/nurse/doula/childbirth educator.

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