As I look at my 4 year old sleep as he builds up his strength to go on more adventures, I think back on what it takes to raise a super kid. I remember when “A” was going to be born reading everything under the sun on how to raise a child including the bible of parenting: “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” with my wife. I was a terrified dad-to-be that wasn’t sure what to do about anything.
A’s First Day
Then he came and I realized that no author or “expert” knew how to raise my kid. They didn’t spend night after night singing him songs and walking his floor with him to put him to sleep. The “experts” say, let him cry it out, your super-baby will learn to comfort himself. So that we did. We read him his stories of super heroes of the past then put him in his crib and sat outside his room as he screamed for more than an hour. We did this for a couple weeks. That is, until I said screw it. This is my child, my family. No “expert” knows my child better then me.
So, I went back to my son. I took him out of his crib, held him close, sang him his lullabies and put him silently into his crib. It was then that I realized that these “experts” do not know my family, do not know my son. I decided I will not do as the “experts” say, but as I think I should do for my family and my situation. And so it went, with eating new food, new experiences, and change.
So, I read my books, blogs, websites. But the difference is, I don’t do as they said. I do what works best for my family in our unique situation, and you should too. Only you will know what will work and you will learn as you go. I was scared to death of being a dad, of making a mistake. I make mistakes. You will too, but you will learn from them and be the best parent you can be.
Recently I had the opportunity to meet up with friends I haven’t seen in some time. One was a sidekick who I hadn’t seen in several months (and protects her daughters nearby Johnson City) and one was a crime fighting friend I hadn’t seen in many, many years (he takes care of the citizens in a city far away). We hadn’t seen each other since we were up and coming super heros at a children’s camp while we were in high school.
These two separate encounters got me thinking about what friendship truly is. I have never really had a lot of friends, and I like it that way. It is a lot less messy that way. But I also realize, I do like having friends. Someone other then your significant other in which to have conversations with. But getting together with these friends showed me that we don’t necessarily need people in our lives every minute of every day to have meaningful friendships.
When I met with the friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time, it was like we were never out of each others life. While we didn’t know the specifics of everything the other was up to, we were able to talk and laugh like we did when we were younger. To me that is what true friendship is: being able to pick up where you left off like it was only five minutes ago, even if it was almost 20 years ago that you last saw each other.
So, to all the people who I can call true friends, I say thank you. Thank you for being my friend, thank you for being my sidekick. Thank you for being you. And most importantly thank you for putting up with me, and thinking about me even if it has been a very long time. I know I think about you all the time.
Our newest crime fighter
Meet Nina. We recently adopted her from a local shelter which I recommend everyone who is looking to get a new pet should do. There are way too many animals without home out there. She is just the latest addition to our little farm. She is, however, our only Superdog. We have been going back and forth for a while on if now was the right time or not. “N” has been wanting a puppy for a long time. My wife slipped in front of him our conversation and next thing I know we are going to find a puppy.
We are extremely lucky. Nina is 17 weeks old and such a great dog. She has had her accidents, but what puppy doesn’t. She learns fast, doesn’t jump, and handles the love that my very active boys pile on her. They needed her as much as she needed them.
I was going to take time in my first post to write about what it means to be a stay-at-home dad. However, I saw this on YouTube recently and instead of writing about me, I am going to tell you simply…put down your phone, tablet, whatever you are reading this on and go out and enjoy life for awhile. Look Up. I know I am.