It’s Day 3 of the #40Days40Dads campaign and today I’m featuring another one of my closest college friends–Legion 2–who obviously wishes to remain anonymous1. His oldest daughter is my godchild and I get to see his parenting skills in action on a more regular basis, so it’s interesting for me to hear him critiquing himself and reflecting on his role as a dad. The Facebook posts that have ensued from his two-year-old son’s recent penchant for never sleeping have also been educational in their own way. What are we getting ourselves into here?
Dad #3: Legion 2
Legion 2 is the father of a 4-year-old daughter, a 2-year-old son and a 2-month-old daughter.
What was the moment when you first felt like a father?
First time I had to wake up at midnight to feed our daughter the first night home from the hospital. I was exhausted, but I also loved helping her and being useful to my wife at the same time, who obviously was far more exhausted than I was.
What’s your favorite part about being a father?
I’ve really enjoyed watching their reactions to first experiences. There is something special seeing the joy and fascination the first time they encounter something … and sometimes, you have to laugh when their reaction doesn’t match what you think it should. Hopefully they’ll be able to laugh at a few of those when they look back (and not end up scarred for life).
What’s the hardest part about being a father?
I’m naturally not a patient person, you need to have patience to be a father and I know it is a struggle at times being sufficiently patient with my kids when they don’t cooperate or behave as they should. I don’t want to be remembered by my kids for the daddy “death stare.”
What’s the dumbest/funniest thing that your kid has cried about or fought with you over?
This is a hard one, only because there are so many times when I’ve thought this during the temper tantrum. Sadly, I’ll have to be general here–not because it hasn’t happened, but it’s such a regular occurrence–our oldest daughter will be in the fit of tears and when asked why she’s so upset, will cry, “I don’t know.” You can only laugh at that.
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 historian in me says I should note the stories about great figures I’ve told to the kids in lieu of an actual story (for a few weeks, every bath night led to a short story on a famous admiral or naval leader). I am looking forward to reading and sharing the universes created by C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien and watching Star Wars (we’ll pretend the prequels were NEVER made). Finally, watching them (right now it’s only the oldest) learning their prayers and the faith is an incredible blessing.
What’s your favorite thing about your kids?
I love their sweetness. This morning I was shoveling and my daughter told me, “Daddy, you are the best shoveler in the whole world.” While that’s not true, it was incredibly cute and endearing. They provide so many moments like that, it’s more than enough to cancel out the random temper tantrum.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a piece of advice when you first became a father, what would you say?
Patience, Patience, Patience
Any other comments to share on fatherhood?
When you are with children, there is nothing you can do to embarrass yourself. You can embarrass them when they are older (I remember that from my childhood), but nobody will ever question a dad behaving like a kid when he’s with his children.
If you’re a father or you know a father who would like to share his story, send him to this link to answer the questions. Stay tuned for another dad’s crib notes tomorrow!