Monthly Archives: October 2010

Broadening the reach

You may have noticed some subtle changes to the blog the past few days. Recently, I have come to learn that in the interwebs, there exists a large community of father bloggers, many of whom have been doing this a lot longer than I have.

Since its inception (that started from conception), From None to One has more or less been a personal journey through fatherhood as a millennial, and–to some extent–targeting issues that millennials have and will face as parents. But that’s not enough.

The blogosphere exists as a way to share ideas and connect with others, thus the launching point for the changes that you may see.

First, you’ll notice the blog now has a Twitter account. I’ve never been much into Twitter, preferring instead to use Facebook as my main social medium, but in an effort to expand this blog’s reach, Twitter it shall be. You can either read the tweets as the come on the right side of the page, or follow me at twitter.com/millennialdad.

Next, you’ll notice a new blogroll. These–so far–are some of my favorite blogs written by fellow dads. If you enjoy this blog (or don’t), check these guys out, because you will certainly enjoy their stuff.

And finally, you’ll see some badges, these are some great dad-blogging communities with a lot of parenting resources and the like, so feel free to peruse those as you see fit.

Overall, I think these changes will certainly make for a much better blogging atmosphere, and an effort to make this site a little more reader-interactive.

Enjoy!

Time to man up

As a reader of reddit, I often come across a post about the trials and tribulations of parenting and expecting parents. One came across my desk the other day that I found particularly interesting.

Long story short, a man had suspected his wife of “pulling the goalie”, that is, to stop birth control on purpose without telling. As you can imagine, the wife became pregnant, denied doing it, and then admitted to it. Also, as you can imagine, the husband was pretty pissed. The first emotion he felt was probably betrayal, followed by anger, perhaps mixed with some confusion.

In his reddit, he lamented that his ‘life was ruined’, debated leaving his wife, pondered demanding an abortion, etc. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed (both for he and his wife, and probably pushed along a bit by the thoughtfulness and rationality of many redditors), and they have decided to go along with having the child.

This story isn’t unique. Many children are born due to ‘accidents’–purposeful or not. Before this story had been resolved, I found myself more appalled at the husband than the wife. Now, did she betray his trust and do something she should not have done? Yeah. And at the same time, I understand his feelings. The discussion of kids before Parker was a topic that made the blood boil between my wife and me. It’s no secret now that she really wanted a child and I┬áreally didn’t.

But there comes a point where you just sort of have to leave that way of thinking when a child is coming into your life. My wife told me she was afraid to tell me she was pregnant because she was afraid I would leave her.

Kids are part of the business of being adults, especially being married. Birth control doesn’t always work, and kids have to be part of the equation when two people engage in adult relations.

I think what hit me the hardest was the ‘my life is ruined’ line. I’m incredibly happy to see that this redditor decided otherwise and realized that he’s going to have a child and that life goes on. But for many children born into the world, they are blamed for it. Was Parker born to us at an ideal time in our lives? No. But being his dad is the single greatest thing I’ve ever done.

Becoming a dad is ‘man-up’ time to the nth degree. You can bench 400 pounds and it doesn’t come close to equating what it takes to be a dad. Resenting your partner and kid won’t do anything for you. It makes you weak. You aren’t strong by leaving your wife and neglecting your kid just because of timing or circumstance.

You’re strong when you change a diaper. You’re strong when you can calm a crying newborn. Strength comes from picking up your child when they are hurt, or putting them on your shoulders when they want to go with you. You’re the man when you let them splash in the bathtub a little more than they should.

I’m glad this redditor found his way back to that. To understand that strength and a good life come from turning anger and resentment into love and commitment. And one day, his child is going to see him as the real man.

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Prepping for November

Man, October just came and went. Now we’re getting ready for November–for the reality of some cold, cold months ahead, but also one of our favorite times of year.

This weekend comes a trip to Home Depot, I need to buy a ladder so I can clean out the gutters, put some sealant in some places on our siding, and just generally prepare the house for the winter months. If I’m feeling ambitious, I may go ahead and collect some of our holiday decorations from the attic. It’s funny, Home Depot used to be one of those places that bored the living hell out of me. Now that I own a home, it’s actually a fun trip now.

In other news, my wife has accepted a full-time job at work. While it means hiring a babysitter, it also means better hours and a bigger paycheck. It’s a great move for her and I couldn’t be happier for her.

Parker is great. Talking a little bit more every day. Right now, he has about 20 words he knows and uses, some more than others, but that’s where he stands right now. He’s turning into such a big boy, it’s hard to believe. When he wants milk, he goes over to the fridge and says, “ilk, ilk”. When he’s done with dinner (he eats what we eat), he puts his hands up and says “all done!”. When he wants to take a bath, he goes over to the stairs and says, “Bat…bat”.

Perhaps I’m jumping the gun here, but I’m incredibly excited for the holiday season, perhaps even more so than last year, Parker’s first Christmas, just because I know he’s going to be more active and engaging this year. Then comes the thrills of going to the mall on a busy weekend to do some Christmas shopping, seeing all the holiday decorations. And the holiday beer, of course.

We’re ready for November.

A nip in the air…

Fall is in full-swing for us here.

The leaves have turned colors and are starting to fall. Green has been replaced by brown, orange, yellow, and red. We carved our pumpkin, decorated the house fall and Halloween, and Parker is gearing up for trick-or-treat (or as we call it, Operation Use-our-cute-son-to-get-candy-which-we-eat-later).

Before we know it, it will be the holiday season (which starts in this house soon after Halloween ends). What a fun time in our family, and our first in our new house, so we plan to go a little decoration crazy this year. I always really enjoy Christmas, and ever since we had Parker, it’s just been that much better, especially when we get to go Christmas shopping.

Other than that, things have been going really well. Just nice to finally enjoy the weather again and be at home with my family.

As a final note, happy birthday to my younger brother, who turns twenty years-old today!

Kids make everything feel better

Yesterday was a humbling loss for my beloved Buckeyes.

I usually get pretty down after a loss as my emotions are very tired to the success of 18-23 year olds. Sad, I know, but the truth nonetheless.

After the game was over and we were sulking, Parker started crying loudly upstairs. After a few minutes we went in to check on him and gave him hugs to help him calm down. His cries dissipated as he received a hug from the two people that mean the world to him. The reality of losing a football game seemed to matter just a little bit less.

Flashforward to today, still feeling a little down from the game, I decided to play with Parker after church. We sat down and just played with blocks, read books, and laughed. Afterward, I sat him down on my lap and thanked him for being there, just because no matter what happens in my life–whether it be a football game or the loss of a grandparent–he makes it better. He doesn’t care who won the game yesterday, he doesn’t feel the hurt of losing a loved one yet. But he does care about his parents and he does care about our feelings. He hugged me and calmly sat on my lap as I talked to him. Then I laid him in bed for a nap.

I know one day it will be me who has to console him after a Buckeye loss, but for now, it was really nice just to have his unaltered love and attention. We, most of the time, are responsible for taking care of our kids, but sometimes, they take care of us.

We’re back

We made it back from visiting the grandparents/recruiting in West Virginia.

Parker had a lot of fun seeing his grandparents and I got to meet a ton of great students at several West Virginia colleges. Parker got to go on his first trip to Olive Garden, where he ate breadsticks, salad, pizza, and some of his grandpa’s spaghetti.

One thing we’ve noticed about Parker’s relationship with his grandparents: he just adores each and every one of them. He doesn’t act weird towards any of them, and loves to interact and talk with them and play with them.

It was just a fun and relaxing time for all of us and we’re glad we got to go down and spend some time with our family.

An ally’s open letter

My wife and I have a 13 month-old son to whom we hope to pass on our fervent support for gay rights as allies. Last night, he got his first ‘talk’. Our son is just starting to understand most of things we tell him, and though I’m sure he doesn’t yet understand something like this, we wanted to start as soon as we could, especially in light of the recent gay bullying epidemic.

First, we wanted him to know that he should be proud of whoever he is later in life, gay or straight, because first and foremost, he has parents that will support him. Second, that bullying on his part will never, ever be tolerated, whether it be because of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, anything. The consequences for him bullying another person will be severe. And finally, that he needs to stand up and defend those that are being bullied. He needs to step in and lend his support, tell a teacher or an adult, tell his parents, and be persistent about it until it is taken care of, especially if that person isn’t even a friend or someone he knows.

I can’t help but think how these incidents might have turned out if these young adults/kids had an ally or just even a little support. If my son is gay, I want him to be proud and know he has family support, no matter what. If he is straight, I want him to be an ally to other kids. We need a systemic change in the way we treat others–and it starts at home. And we’ve decided to start early.

I’m encouraged because today my facebook wall is filled with support of gay rights, from both straight friends and gay friends. And furthermore, as I watch my friends start families, it makes me optimistic that when our children are in school, we can turn the tide on bullying and that gay and straight children can go to school without fear of being picked on for who they are.

Update: We need more like this