Today’s penultimate father in the #40Days40Dads project is Nick, who was introduced to my project through a mutual friend of ours. I’m really glad that he learned about it, because he provided some excellent responses. Thanks, Nick!
Nick is the father of a 4-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter.
What was the moment when you first felt like a father?
A couple years after our marriage, my wife told me she was pregnant. That was the moment I first felt like a father. The natural instincts of excited panic took over. My thoughts of how I needed to get all my ducks in a row before our baby arrived, kicked me into high gear. My protective instincts also revved up. I wanted to make sure everything was in place to give mom and baby the best environment I could for their health and well being.
What’s your favorite part about being a father?
The best part of fatherhood for me is enjoying the season I am in and reflecting on the seasons of the past. I see my life and fatherhood in the same way, as a series of seasons. For example, the prep season was before my son was born. The excitement, uncertainty, anxiety, and fear I felt was very real. Each doctor visit, birthing class, nursery item, and kick felt were huge milestones to me in that season. (Ecclesiastes 3)
What’s the hardest part about being a father?
Being conscious of every moment and choice, knowing that what I say and do will be seen and recorded. This is true when I sit back and reflect on the person I was, and also true when my children reflect on the role model I created for them.
What’s the dumbest/funniest thing that your kid has cried about or fought with you over?
The most recent was when my son fought with me that he was not being tired while trying his best to keep his head from bobbing to sleep. Little kids never want to miss a thing, and they also want to remain in our company.
What are you most proud of having taught/shared with your kids or what are you most looking forward to teaching/sharing with them?
The big thing I continue to teach my kids is that they are not labeled smart, dumb, bad, rich, poor, the best, or the worst. They are amazing unique human beings. They are created in the image and likeness of God to be a unique part of God’s plan. Their behaviors are just the results of choices that they have chosen. Their choices do not define who they are created to be. It is a very deep principle, but fairly simple on a blank canvas. How does this look when dealing with a 4-year-old? Instead of, “Samuel, you are so smart,” I say something like, “I see you worked really hard on this.”
What’s your favorite thing about your kids?
They are so funny. They learn so fast. I love to play with the kids. I let their imaginations run wild by getting down to their level and playing along. It shows them that I appreciate their creativity, input, and allow them to develop their leadership skills. They learn that there is more to family than rules, chores, and submission.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a piece of advice when you first became a father, what would you say?
Let them be kids. Lavish them with love and encouragement. Allow their harmless mistakes to teach themselves.
Any other comments to share on fatherhood?
I have been teaching religious education and presenting Theology of the Body talks to grade school kids and confirmondi for about 7 years. This is the website I give out to the kids and their parents for more resources and insights. There is a special tab for parents that gives helpful tips in communicating with their teenagers. I am also available to discuss any questions readers may have and offer presentations on these topics. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. My phone number is (773) 209-3958.
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