The greatest living man in my life is my father. I say these words without hesitation. I want to thank Jerry Wright for being a great father and excellent role model for me.
For clarification I make no distinction between the word Dad and Father. A man that does not take care of his children is neither their Dad nor Father. He is simply a donor. Any man that has children in this world and is not a positive force in their lives is a drain on society.
I am proud to say that I am the father of two beautiful children. On July 23rd, 2008 my first child, Mariah, was born. On December 23rd, 2011 my second child, Malcolm, was born. I cannot begin to express the overwhelming joy that I feel from their lives. Every day that I get to enjoy them is a blessing.
When my wife was pregnant with Mariah many people asked if I was disappointed that we were having a girl. What kind of question is that? Why would I be disappointed?
At each ultrasound appointment…
…imagine hearing your child’s heartbeat
…imagine seeing her little fingers and little toes
…imagine seeing her face
…imagine seeing your baby smile when she hears your voice
Now imagine seeing your child for the first time. I never knew that hearing my daughter cry for the first time would be the best sound that I ever heard. Seeing my daughter being born kicking and screaming was the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen. I have never been more thankful. Every tear that I had was shed during that moment. How could I ever be disappointed at that? With Malcolm we were able to enjoy the process all over again.
As a parent of a toddler and an infant, what does it mean to be a father? It means role modeling, being the best man that I can be in my home, at work, and in public. It means giving my time. It means unconditional love. It means managing responsibilities and priorities. It means changing diapers and feeding time. It means finger painting and Play-doh. It means reading Brown Bear and Corduroy books. It means trips to the park and shopping cart rides in the store. It means Disney movies and Nick Jr. It means “owwies” and runny noses. It means being loved and hated. It means support and encouragement. It means being over-protective. It means sunny days and rainy days. It means ups and downs. It means partnership with my wife. It means being positively present.
Tips from one new father to another:
- Bathe your child
- Read to your child
- Play with your child
- Discipline your child
- Express and verbalize your love
Five things every parent should be prepared for
- Intermittent sleep
- As long as you shall live your sleeping patterns will never be the same
- Spending your extra money on all things baby
- You will spend more time in Babies R’ Us than Best Buy
- Your personal space will become non-existent
- My daughter is my shadow, the “man cave” is the “daddy-daughter den”
- To be hit with urine, poop, or spit-up
- My son and daughter are both guilty of this
- An overwhelming sense of joy and pride!
What I love most?
There are many things that I love about my children. What I love most is the greeting that I receive from Mariah. When I pick her up from pre-school, arrive home from work, or return from a business trip, the greetings are always the same. She runs up to me, jumps into my arms, and gives me a kiss. In that moment any problem that I have is secondary to my little girl.
A special thank you Tawanna Wright for being so strong, I love and appreciate you.