With a boom and a thud I woke up two mornings ago. After a few seconds of realizing what had happened, I realized my wife was on the floor. In my awakening awkwardness and fumbling words I called out, “Are you okay, are you okay?” There was no response. We’ve been married for 10 years and 6 months. Jolene and I dated for 5 years and were friends even before. Needless to say we know each other all too well. So when I say my pregnant wife pushes herself too much, I know it’s not an understatement.
Having a baby is one of the most exciting events of our human lives. Whether to a mother or father, pregnancy is a special 9 plus months of preparation. Buying all the necessary tools you need to raise children, toys, clothes, receiving gifts from friends and even strangers, preparing your nursery are all part of the fun side of pregnancy. What is not fun is that pregnancy is like 9 months of menstruation.
The week before Thanksgiving 2015 Jolene, Johanna and myself travelled to Chattanooga Tennessee. My mom lives in Chattanooga, so occasionally we travel out to see them. This time we decided to go around the holidays. We decided to stay at the The Read House Historic Inn And Suites. The Read House is a nice rustic hotel with a great restaurant attached. It’s located in the heart of the city. Porters Steak House has great food and is located in the hotel. Porter’s is expensive, but well worth a meal if you can afford it. During one of our nights there Johanna had one of her epic tantrums.
Johanna has been going to vacation bible school at the Calimesa Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Their theme is the Maker Fun Factory. She enjoys being around a bunch of kids her age. My wife has been taking her all week. Each day she comes home with another craft that they made. She really enjoys VBS.
On July 5, 1908 something special occurred for the first time in the United States of America. On that day the first observance of Father’s Day occurred. Father’s Day was celebrated in the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South. Late on June 19, 1910 the YMCA had their first observance of the holiday. In 1913 congress attempted to establish Father’s Day as a holiday but was unsuccessful. Decades passed before it officially became a holiday. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson established the first official Father’s Day holiday. Ever since Father’s Day has been observed the third Sunday in June.
A few weeks ago Jolene asked if I knew how to get to a location. I pulled out this electronic thingamabob, typed in the address, and pulled up the location. Out came step by step directions to my requested location. You know what? I actually followed them and too my surprise I actually arrived at the correct location. Who knew men could read directions?
My daughter is around me nearly every waking second. Our conversations are just like any other 5 year old conversation would be. Why is that hot? Why does the tree grow that way? Why is there a ball in our backyard? My personal favorite, why do you shut the door when you go to the bathroom? Being a Stay-at-Home Dad can be very lonely even with little feet walking around and asking the dreaded why questions. My daily routine consists of feeding, playing, feeding, playing, feeding, playing and sleep. My only real social environment is my daughter. When my wife is around Johanna wants to consume every second she can with her. My socialization with my wife begins after Johanna goes to bed. Since she works the night shift, her sleep schedule is off kilter which results in her being tired all the time. There are many other SAHD with a lifestyle similar to mine.
Years ago evolution created some miraculous innate ability for women to be able to cook. Men for centuries lacked that ability and were relegated to hunting for meat. Only until recently did a genetic mutation occur that triggered the ability for men to read directions from a cookbook. See what I did there? That’s a joke. Dads can indeed cook. We are very good at it too especially when given the chance.
I don’t know how many times I see people talk about their babies and how smart they are. Proud mommies and daddies will say that their child knows the abc’s by two. Or they started crawling at 4 months, started walking at 9 months, or started signing at 6 months. Countless posts are littered through Facebook to exemplify how great their child is doing. They leave no mention on what areas their child is lacking. It’s all in an effort to say, “my child is smarter than yours.”
As a child I lived on a ranch. At least it was called a ranch. My grandparents took care of the ranch for our landlord. The land covered hundreds of acres. The many roads that interweaved were covered with thousands of plants that had to be maintained by hand. There were 104 rose bushes. I know because I counted them every week as each would be individually watered. Coyotes flourished on the ranch. They were always in search of water, so a drip system did not work. They would shred the water lines. Each week it was my chore to help my grandparents water these plants. I did not enjoy it for one second. For that reason I would have never thought I would have liked homegrown blackberries and raspberries.
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