Father’s day, i’m their dad…

While I like to joke about them, I love my kids, of course.

I’m their dad.

I suck at showing it all the time.

I don’t say I love you enough, I’m sure. I do try to say it everyday, but it never seems like enough.

I often go to bed after not seeing my kids at all during the day because of work. I miss them on those days and I sometimes find myself wondering if I’m doing enough to make sure they know how I feel about them.

The boys are small enough that they probably could care less at this point, but Ace is a big girl and soon she’ll have big girl issues. I want her to be able to come to me with those issues knowing that I’ll do my best to help her and love her in spite of whatever is going on.

My love for the kids is unconditional.

Do you know how I know that I love my kids?

I would die for any of them.

I’m their dad.

I would literally drop dead on the spot to give any of my three kids even just 10 more seconds of life.

I’d take the bullet for any of them or my wife. It’s not debatable. There’d be no pro versus con list to consider. I know this because I’ve thought about it before. Is that morbid? I don’t think it is. I get to thinking sometimes when I’m at work all alone at night. A man alone with his thoughts gets to thinking about the ones he loves and misses, it’s just how it is with a brain, I guess. Morbid or not, and for whatever reason, I’ve thought about whether or not I’d die for my kids and the final decision is always the same.

If the only choice is death and the grim reaper isn’t going to leave without somebody’s soul, I’d offer mine up in a heartbeat.

One of my favorite quotes comes from the Bible, John 15:13, to be precise:

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.”

I don’t regularly read the Bible. I don’t even read it sometimes, really. The only Bible I’m aware of in my family’s possession belongs to my parents, and, I’m not lying, was last seen under the leg of their pinball machine to keep it from wobbling.

I’m honestly only familiar with the above quote because it’s prominently used in many Backstopper advertisements. The Backstoppers is an incredible organization here in St. Louis that provides assistance to families who’ve lost a loved one while that person was working as a first responder. They’ve paid for homes, tuition and other necessities for way too many police officers’ families just in the near 15 years I’ve worked in this city.

I know when I put on my uniform that there’s a chance I could be killed at the next car stop or domestic dispute I show up to. It is what it is. I don’t give it much thought and I doubt that others do either. It’s just something that’s a part of the job I love and it’s why we make so much money.

I hope this doesn’t come out the wrong way, but I wouldn’t choose to die for any of the citizens I serve beyond the four people who live under the same roof as me.

That’s not what you want to hear from your police officers, is it?

I hope this makes sense.

I will do my best to help protect anybody.

Where there is chaos, I’ll head that way.

I will race towards the gunfire.

I will run into a burning house to save your loved one, even your dog, as long as I believe there’s a chance that I’ll make it out alive.

I’d jump into a raging river to save you because I think I’m an ok swimmer.

But, if my own death was guaranteed by doing something to help you?

Sorry, but if you’re not Wife, Ace, Cool or G$, I won’t do it.

I won’t choose to die for you.

I will choose to do things that might cause me to die for you, yes. 100 times over I’ll run to help you when I’m able.

Does the distinction make sense?

I hope it does and that you understand.

Whose life is worth more than mine outside of those four people?

I have three kids.

I’m their dad.

I’m needed by those little people I’ve brought into this world.

I have a daughter, Ace.

I taught her to ride a bike and tie her shoes. She still has much to learn.

She will need to know why boys can be such jerks and have somebody to walk her down the aisle when she finds the one who isn’t.

She’ll need to know what boys are thinking and how to drive a manual transmission.

She’s going to need to know how to defend and stand up for herself when the going gets tough.

I’ll teach her those things and more. I’ll be there to listen and share what I know about life and what she can expect based on my own experiences.

I’ll be there with hugs and kisses when the bruises and scrapes are on her little heart instead of her knees. I will tell her that I understand how she feels because I remember how it feels to be a teenager. I know what it’s like to lose a friend or fail a test. It’s not the end of the world, but to her it will seem like it is. It was a long time ago, yes, but I remember my first “love” too and how it hurt when she left me.

I’m their dad.

Life can be hard, so having a dad is a real bonus. Moms are great for sure, but dads can be great too.

I have two boys who are small right now.

I’m their jungle gym and short order cook.

They need their dad perhaps even more than Ace does.

They will need to be taught how to shave their faces and tie those neck ties. Against the grain is ok in my book, in spite of what Sergeant Murtaug said to the contrary.

They need to be taught to hold doors open for strangers and how to throw a curve ball. Hitting a lady is never an option, no matter how angry you get, and you will get angry at a lady at some point in your life. They will never be able to start a sentence “I remember that time dad hit mom…”

I will lead by example but point out to them that I’m not perfect. Where my example sucks I will explain how I wish I’d have done better and give them the tools and know how to succeed where I’ve failed.

They’ll need to know that they’ll have to work hard and pay for dates and gas and their own car insurance.

They’ll all need reassurance when they think that they’re ugly or dumb or will never be good at anything.

I’m their dad.

I’ve been there. I was ugly and dumb and wasn’t ever going to be good at anything. I’ve had terrible acne and been cut from teams. I’ve gotten F’s and been fired from jobs. I’ve also made the team and won championships. I’ve made the Dean’s List and been employee of the month.

Life is like that. Sometimes you’re the fly and sometimes you’re the fly swatter.

You win some and you lose some. I will teach them that. That’s what makes life so exciting.

They will all grow up with manners and respect for others.

They will be taught to respect themselves and to always be proud of what they do. They will know that I love them and will do so whether they are neurosurgeons or fast food employees.

If collecting trash becomes their job, they will do it to the best of their abilities. They’ll go out of their way to pick up a wayward napkin or milk jug that was left on top of the can instead of just leaving it, because that’s going above and beyond what a trash man should have to do. They will know that I’m proud of them for being such great trash collectors.

They will all be taught to be sure of themselves. They’re lucky to be beautiful; all three of them are. Life is easier when you’re beautiful so I will always remind them that they are.

They’ll grow to root for the Cardinals and to support the underdog. They will never be bullies and will go out of their way to help those who are oppressed. They’ll stand up for others but never lose their sense of humor. They’ll be sharp witted and funny and be able to take a joke.

They’ll probably be sore losers, but I’ll teach them that we can’t win ’em all. They’ll be gracious in victory and be able to hold their booze at the celebration.

They’ll never lack in confidence and will try things that are difficult.

Gay or straight, rich or poor, it won’t matter.

I’m their dad. They’ll know I’ll always have their backs and try to make them happy in life, even it means having a knife shoved into my own.

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96 Responses to Father’s day, i’m their dad…

  1. merbear74 says:

    Makes perfect sense..I would die for my husband, daughter B, my mom…in a heartbeat.
    You are a good person. x

  2. Happy Fathers Day Don!
    YOU are the BOMB.
    Your children and wife are most blessed to have you….

  3. jdoublem says:

    love it.

  4. aliciabenton says:

    How sweet. You actually made me a little teary-eyed.

    Happy Father’s Day πŸ™‚

  5. twindaddy says:

    I know exactly what you’re saying because I feel the same way about my children.

  6. canigetanotherbottleofwhine says:

    Freaking-A! I’m wiping away non-laughing tears at the gym. You do have feelings! Absolutely beautiful! You sound like an awesome dad.

    • Oh poop, no laughing tears?? I have my moments when I like to step outside of my comfort zone a little bit. Thanks for the nice words and I’m just ok as a dad. Trying to get better.

  7. Katie says:

    Happy early Father’s Day!
    This is the kind of unconditional love every father, and every parent, should have for their child(ren). Beautifully written.

    PS: how’d you know that’s my favorite bible quote? πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks, Katie, I appreciate that! I never understand people who can hurt kids, especially their own. It’s a great quote and is seen often round these parts (police parts).

  8. “Life is like that. Sometimes you’re the fly and sometimes you’re the fly swatter.
    You win some and you lose some. I will teach them that. That’s what makes life so exciting.”
    You are absolutely right. It’s so important to instill that in kids when growing-up, because in the chaos of growing-up you forget. In regards to your daughter, I wish my dad spent more time with me. I do remember this one thing “The first punch is the only one you’ll feel, the rest you don’t” I got bullied when we came to this country, so I guess that just stuck. You’re a great dad.

    • See, that’s the sort of thing I’d want my daughter to remember me having told her! I hate to hear that you were bullied when you came to this country. That’s crappy! Thanks for the nice words!

  9. Carol says:

    If I could pick a son – it would be you. Love you, dude.

  10. Yep, you made me cry… that’s all I got. GREAT post. From one Dad to another, Happy Father’s Day! You’re doing it right.

  11. tric says:

    Aw how lovely! I just know when your kids grow up and read this they will look you in the eye and say “Loser!”. At least that is what mine say if I get all soppy in a post about them. πŸ™‚

  12. ardenrr says:

    My Dad is the best dad in the world so I’m sorry but you can’t hold that distinction as well …. but you’re definitely up there near the top πŸ™‚ Happy Almost Father’s Day Don!

    • Thanks, Arden! I bet your dad is a pretty swell fellow to raise such a fine daughter. I’ll take top 30%, how’s that? Have a great weekend. Go find Alicia and poke a hole in her raft for me.

  13. Best post I’ve ever read. ❀

  14. JayNine says:

    You know Don, in all seriousness, you are a gem. You give me hope for the men my daughters will someday meet as they grow older. I have no hope for me but for them for husband material, you give me hope. I read your post in tears today. My ‘father’ and my youngest ‘fathers’ were the ‘rotten’ one of the bunch. You know the ‘runt’ well, i chose the rottens for whatever reason…it just ‘IS’ and I have forgiven them for their despicable disgusting heart-wrenching decisions they’ve made to not be in our lives–and there’s no hope for them. But, because of MEN, DAD’S, FATHERS like you–I have hope. Thank you for sharing your truths and love with the world. I send you the greatest of wishes, blessings, and chicken wings for Fathers Day…;) (gotta stop getting teary eyed somehow LOL) … thank you xo Jeanine H

    • Thank you for the sweet words, Jeanine. I’m sorry you’ve had such crappy luck with some of the men in your life, but don’t give up hope for yourself. You’re a lovely woman with a lot to offer! I’m glad my post touched you a little bit!

      • JayNine says:

        Amazing, just keep up the good work and please, stay on target with your weight adventure you’re on. The world and your children desperately need good men like you!

  15. JayNine says:

    Reblogged this on j9sopinion and commented:
    THIS is a Dad. THIS is a Father. THIS is a MAN. Doesn’t matter the suit their wear, the size of their pockets, bank books, or shiny the car–DonOfAllTrades is a MUST Follow for real love, parenting, and all written by a wonderful, deserving, real Father.
    Happy Father’s Day to the Real Ones!
    J9;)

  16. Mental Mama says:

    You’re a good guy. We need more like you. πŸ™‚

  17. I wish I’d gotten here sooner, before the previous commenters used up all the Kleenex. Now I have to have a wet face all afternoon. Thanks Don!

  18. Aw, I wish you were my daddy….

    Does that sound kinky? πŸ˜‰

    Happy fathers day dude x

  19. I had to read the title twice to make sure it was your blog. Beautifully touching post today, lots of love and thought in it.

    • I know, right? Every now and then I write something that’s outside my normal comfort zone. You know, making fun of fat people and stuff? Lol. Thank you for the nice words! They made me yeeehaw!

  20. barbtaub says:

    You had me at “I’m their dad”. They are lucky to have you, and we’re so lucky to read you. This might be your best post yet. (Except for making them Cardinals fans…)

    • Thanks, Barb, that means a lot coming from you, really. The best yet because the bar wasn’t set very high to start? lol. I’m lucky to have them too. Kids aren’t for everyone, but I’ve always known that I wanted them and feel blessed to have such great ones.

  21. Aw. I love this. Love it hard. Happy Father’s day.

  22. A.J. Goode says:

    Don . . . I’m speechless. This is beautiful.

  23. SeoulShakin says:

    Read this after you commented on my blog post ( http://howtoruinatoddlersday.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/to-the-dads-with-daughters/ ), and now I know why I think we’d get along very well! πŸ™‚
    Glad to be now following your blog.
    Keep it up – just have to make you a Leafs fan!

    • Well the Leafs aren’t THAT offensive, I guess. This is an atypical post for me. I’m usually more crass, so if you’re easily offended by foul language and blatant disregard for the feelings of stupid people, you may in for a shock! Lol. Thank you for the comment!

  24. Carrie Rubin says:

    What a great post! You are right in saying that dads are just as important as moms. Drives me crazy when people think otherwise. And for teenagers, the kid’s most important role model is the same sex parent. Your boys (and daughter) are lucky to have such a good one!

  25. Maggie O'C says:

    Those are three lucky kids. You are blessed. Thanks again for the at work cry.

    Happy Fathers Day!

  26. goldfish says:

    Just the fact that you’re worried about telling them you love them enough means you’re a good dad.

  27. You’re a good man. Love it! πŸ™‚

  28. Ex Bingo Sharon says:

    That was very sweet! I always knew you had a sweet spot πŸ™‚

  29. keladelaide says:

    I bet you’re kids will think their dad is pretty awesome as they grow. You may not be trendy or hip but they will also learn that you’re an all-round top bloke.

  30. PinotNinja says:

    I love this. You HAVE to print out three copies of this and tuck it away somewhere safe. When your three kids leave home to strike out on their own, give them their copy. On those days when its hard and lonely in the beginning of being an adult, this will remind them that they are beloved, have all the skills they need to pull it off, and have someone who will be there just as much on the bad days as on the good days. It’s truly a beautiful thing.

    • Our printer is out, but I like the suggestion! Thanks for you kind words. It’s possible that I’ll wake up tomorrow agitated at all three of them! Lol. Thanks again.

  31. vpfarming says:

    Wonderful post (except the rooting for the Cardinals part – the world needs more Brewers fans!). Happy Father’s Day to you and thanks for everything you do to serve the community – both inside and outside the walls of your own home. Both are enormously important. You have a new follower here.

    • Thank you, sir, and happy dad’s day to you as well. 8? Who does that to themselves?

      I look forward to checking you blog out a little bit; you seem like an interesting clan.

      The Brewers make me smile because I’m always taken back to the 1982 World Series finale where Bruce Suter K’s the last Brewer for the win and Jack Buck is announcing. Great stuff.

      • vpfarming says:

        Feel free to stop by anytime. Would love to have you.

        Ah….1982….the last time the Brewers were relevant. Thanks for the reminder!

  32. mamamlk says:

    First time visiting your blog an wow…what a powerful first blog to read. I believe that any good parent would die for their children. I’d do just about anything for mine. Mess with my bear cubs and you mess with a very upset mama bear. My kids are my world and it sounds like you feel the same way!

    It was a nice first blog to read! I will be back!
    Happy Fathers Day a day early!

    • Thank you all around for the comments. I’m normally not a “serious” topic blogger, whatever that means. I write a lot about stupid people usually, myself included. Lol. Thanks for visiting! I look forward to checking yours out beyond the phallic tree photos I just enjoyed a laugh at.

      • mamamlk says:

        I’m not usually a “serious” blogger either. Well….not so far. I just started, but I’m not a serious person in general. Mine are usually funny kid stories of my kids that I just have to share with someone! πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed the pics! They honestly were 100% on accident. Ha ha. Oops.

  33. midwestkite says:

    That was beautiful. Happy (almost) Father’s Day!

  34. I think your children are lucky to have you. As for scripture verses…the other favorite of mine when it comes to parent/child relationships is this one:
    “Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
    Children learn how to be by watching someone…usually their parents. Sounds like your children are equally blessed to have you as you are to have them.

  35. Nicholiovich says:

    That ending was so poetic. If only Romeo and Juliet was about a father-daughter duo, it would have made a better story (no incestuous innuendo intended) (Although, that kickass alliteration wasn’t a coincidence).

  36. lisanewlin says:

    Aw, this post is actually quite sweet. It was unexpected from you! πŸ˜‰

    I love that you love your kids so much, and it totally shows. Happy Father’s Day to you!

    I also wanted to follow up with you on your weight loss. You don’t have to respond, I just wanted you to know I’m thinking of you and I know that struggle well. πŸ™‚

    • Yes, sweet is definitely not in my normal repertoire. Thanks for the father’s day wishes. My weight loss can be summed up thusly: Today I’m going to Waterloo to eat a family style fried chicken dinner. It’s all you can eat and will likely be the healthiest meal I’ve had in two weeks. So, not well I guess. There’s always tomorrow though! At least I’m not working hard and not seeing results though. That’d be frustrating. Thanks again! See you in court someday maybe?

      • lisanewlin says:

        Ah yes, some day our paths will cross in court, and we will look at each other and laugh, knowing full well that although we are pretending to be professional in real life, we are both just knuckleheads who are hilarious.

        And tomorrow’s another day. Get back on track with the diet when you’re ready. If you’re not in it to win in then it won’t work.

        Or, as Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch say “If you’re not in it to win it then get the hell out.”

        I find that inspirational, and it totally applies to weight loss.

  37. Ok. Usually you have me in stitches with your posts. And on more than one occasion, tears of laughter have welled up in my eyes. This post not only caused goose bumps, twitches, tics, swelling in the throat, but it most certainly created tears of beauty and love. You have so captured the love of a father. Amazing. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  38. Awe, you made me blush a little. Thanks for the nice comment. Every now and then I get this way, but not too too often. I shall return to sarcasm and stupid people bashing next time, I hope!

  39. ksujulie says:

    Aw, love this one. πŸ™‚

  40. Daile says:

    I always knew you were a big softie at heart! This is so lovely Don – it sounds like you have a pretty special family – they are as lucky to have you as you are them.

  41. flyingplatypi says:

    Awwwww…. Happy dad’s day!!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

  42. Nadia says:

    Don, lovely post. Three lucky kids you’ve got there. I hope you had a happy father’s day.

  43. How lucky your kids are to have a dad like you!

  44. Thank you! They’d not always agree, but they could have done much worse. Lol.

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