Sunday, June 19, 2011

Being Your daD is Easy: A Father's Day Post by My daD

My daD; My anchor.
Today is Father’s day and Danielle asked me to be a guest blogger.  I am mighty proud.  I have lots to be thankful for.  It’s been a lot of hard work raising children and it is exhausting.  But it is all worth it.  I of course, didn’t do it alone – I had help, as in heaping amounts of it.  Debbie her mother (my wife), her grandparents, her brother, her aunts and uncles all have a hand in it.  Danielle, as you have come to know her, is a work in progress, we think we are close to being done raising her, but I am not sure there is an end.  Just milestones.

Danielle, you see, is the sum product of a lot of effort and certainly an extraordinary amount of it hers.

We were young parents, as in teenagers.  I was in college and couldn’t pay for it.  I took out student loans.  I joined the Army National Guard to help pay for school and had 2 other part time jobs.  Deb worked as long as she could.  Baby on the way.  We went on public assistance.  Yep, welfare –we didn’t want to do that, but that is what the social safety net is for.  They kicked us off welfare because I had 3 jobs and made too much money, which is what we wanted.   I figure we paid that back many times over the years. Many, many times over.

Having kids when you are a kid is tough.  It’s tough to relate.  I want to talk about deep, meaningful things and Danielle wants to play with dolls.  I work a lot.  Really a lot.  I finished 3 undergraduate degrees and a Master’s degree.   Debbie manages to make sure I don’t miss anything important.  First day of school, wow how did we get here so fast?

He wasn't kidding about
the Ninja Turtle phase.
Danielle had a ‘Ninja Turtle’ phase.  I watched a lot of Ninja Turtle cartoons.

Things didn’t always go so swell.  Pickles.  Apparently when Danielle and I are on our own I discover she doesn’t like pickles on her hamburger.  Messy.

Riding a bike.  I teach her to ride a bike without training wheels.  She falls off and breaks her wrist.  I am the model father.

I realize early on that Danielle and I needed to have our own time together – special time, reserved, you can’t move it for anything time.  Saturday mornings it’s her and I for a trip to the donut shop.  Every. Saturday.  It is our time, we spend 30 minutes to an hour together.  She is always ready to go.  We continue this until she is driving.  She will do this with her children I feel certain.

Danielle had 2 part time jobs (at a time I might add) when she was in high school.  I can’t help but think she saw her parents working hard and thought this is what she should do too.  This continues as she is involved in many projects while in school and in college.

Debbie goes to school, becomes a teacher and teaches elementary school children.  She gets her Master’s degree.  Danielle finishes her undergraduate and goes on for a Master’s degree and manages to pull off an assistantship.  That saves us a bundle.  See, I told you being your daD was easy. 

My parents and I at my graduate school graduation.
We continue to fund education.  Will we ever get a break?  Three master’s degrees and son Jordan is working on his as a Physician’s Assistant.  We are getting a raise when he is out next year.  Probably in time for grandkids.  Will we be grandparents before we are 50?  Five more years – we’ll let you know.

Luck.  It’s not luck.  How many times have I said that?  Danielle repeats me, I see my words and my lessons learned in her writing and in her.  It’s hard work, it’s showing up.  It is making time and being reliable.  It is being consistent and understanding and knowing that every little bit matters.  There are so many examples, like Danielle and her crashing her car 2 weeks after getting her license.  I showed up at the scene of her fender bender and calmed her down.  I didn’t yell at her.  She expected me to be mad.  My words – “You had one in you, now it’s out, so you have that out of the way”, meaning that she had one accident and had to get over that hurdle.  She didn’t have another.

My daD and I on my wedding day.
That’s not to say she wasn’t geographically impaired.  When she first got her license she only knew how to get to places from our house.  Home to school – check.  Home to work –check.  School to work – nope, had to drive home first.  As a daD you just have to let some things go.  She called, frantic one night, she was driving and didn’t know where she was.  It was foggy.  I hopped in the car and drove to find her.  Down the street.  Blocks from our house.  Showing up and being there – my ongoing advice as I repeat myself.

Blogging.  I told Danielle that she needed to start a blog.  “What’s a blog”?  Right, exactly my point.  Get out there and be first.  You have to DO, you can’t just talk about it.  Ideas are meaningless.  I am sure this all sounds familiar.  Now look, she has a fantastic blog.  She did it.  She had to DO.

Marriage.  Danielle got married last summer.  I had to give her away.  I cried.  Noah is a great guy.  Bright and a hard worker and most certainly a geek.   Geeks are cool.   Best I can tell she married her father.  Daughter’s do that.

Wait, it’s Father’s day.  Shouldn’t I be getting a break?  Shouldn’t someone bring me my coffee and my paper.  Being a father isn’t any of those things – it’s the reward of raising children and leaving a lasting legacy that lives on.  I am lucky.

Danielle’s daD

Adam is Vice President of Sales for a home health care software company and a professor of Business and Entrepreneurship. More importantly, he is a husband to Debbie, (Danielle's mother), and a father to Danielle and her brother, Jordan. He lives in Pennsylvania with Debbie, Jordan (now that he is doing rotations), their dog, Chase, and cat, Lucky. You can contact Adam via email.

I hope you enjoy this father's day guest blog post from my daD as much as I did. 

My dad has always given me love and support in every aspect of my life. He has taught me more than he will ever know and has helped me to thrive as a person and a professional. I don't think I will ever be able to thank him or my mother for all they have done for me. I celebrate him today for Father's Day, but I hope he knows how much I appreciate his love and support everyday. And what can I say... I will always be daddy's girl. 

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Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources.  Contact Danielle via email, follow her on twitter, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.
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