20 years ago at this time, I had just celebrated my first Christmas and New Year’s as a dad. (I also celebrated my first kidney stone, but that’s another story for another time.) Two years later son number two came a few weeks before Christmas and joined me as a December baby.
Now my oldest is in his second year of university and my youngest is in his final year of high school and looking at graduation six months away. And yes, the time has flown by.
Fatherhood began for me at age 37, almost age 38. My wife and I had been married for ten years before we earnestly started trying to have kids. After a year, I learned that some infertility surgery was necessary. It worked!
It took me about a week for me to get used to the idea that I was going to be a dad and that I would have to make changes for the benefit of my children and wife. (Now I face the front end of the empty nest and think, in a good way, about my wife and I!)
I have been fortunate and grateful to have a wonderful wife (32 years) who is a great mother. She has played, and continues to play, a key role in the life of our boys.
I grew up as an only child. My mother miscarried the year before I was born and when I came along, I was considered a high risk pregancy.
I had a good childhood and still stay connected to several of the “kids” I grew up with but when I became a husband and knew a child was on the way, I said that I wanted to have more than one child and God, in His gracious way, allowed that to happen.
I think fatherhood matters. There are many studies that have documented the impact of father absence on both boys and girls but, as a one who has been in parish ministry for nearly three decades, I know many stories of those affected by father absence.
I am not an expert on fatherhood, in fact I am learning how to be a dad on an entirely new level as my sons move further into adulthood. But I have some things to say that I hope will be helpful and hopeful to those who have just begun the journey or are in the middle of that 18 year span between birth and high school graduation.
I will speak of my faith without apology because without the help of my God, I think that I would have gone down several paths that would have done damage to my family and me.
I will speak out of my experience as an imperfect dad, who is grateful to God for the privilege, and responsibility, of fatherhood.
I will speak practically because kids require you to become practical, very quickly!
(If you have topics that you would like me to address, please respond to this post with those suggestions. I welcome them and will do my best to address them, if possible, with honesty and integrity.)