The Day We’ve All Been Waiting For

Emma Grace - Danielle Geri Photography

Well, at least the day I’ve been waiting for, and I’ve been anxious and excited enough for the both of us. One month ago today, the little peanut we’ve known and loved for the previous 9 months finally came to meet us. Emma Grace is the angel we have expected and were waiting for.

For those of you who said my life will change dramatically, you were absolutely right.

For those of you who said to get sleep while I can, you were absolutely right.

There were a few of you who said that my life would be over now that I have a child, and you were horribly wrong.

Sure, my life has changed. I can’t go to the movies as much, I can’t just get up and go, or stay out, or do things on a whim like before.

But my life is far from over.

When I look my little girl, I see me, I see my wife, I see the person she has been created to be, and I see that the joy of watching her grow and spending time with her far surpasses any joy I could get from seeing the latest  Hunger Games movie (though I can’t wait to buy it when it comes out).

Maybe I’m still naive, and I certainly know I’m inexperienced, but if anything, Emma Grace Jacobson has given me new life, new purpose, and very new joys.

To give you fair warning, you should prepare yourselves for an annoyingly huge amount of baby pictures on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Also, if you catch me on the street, ask to see a picture because I find it super awkward whipping my phone out to show you if you don’t ask…but that won’t stop me from doing it because this little girl is the cutest thing you have ever seen.

Every Kid Needs a Champion

Last year, I decided to follow my calling of investing in our future generations by becoming a teacher. It was a long road to get there, but in May I started my Masters of Teaching program. I have learned lesson plans, I have learned to teach with differentiation, and I have learned how to properly assess what they are learning.

I don’t know what it is about methods and theory that tends to suck the passion out of me, but this video was shared with me at the perfect moment. It reminded me why I am a teacher, it reminded me that I can make a difference, but most of all, it reminded me that teachers matter. Give this TED Talk a watch, it’s scope goes far beyond education and I guarantee you will look at your kids, your neighbor kids, and your community kids in a different light.

Investment certainly isn’t always easy or even always fun, but this investment isn’t for you, it’s for our kids.

Invest in our future because it matters. Invest because it’s worth it.

Theodore Roosevelt said,

Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

You can have all the knowledge in the world, but unless you genuinely love and care for these kids and students, your words will be falling on deaf ears.

So yes, invest, but on top of that, care. Get to know them. Take interest in their lives. Show them that they are important.

Be a champion, fight for them.

Thinking Fatherhood

Thinking FatherhoodThe nursery is done, the clothes are organized, the crib is set up, and the carseat is ready to be installed. We have been getting ready for this little bundle of screaming joy to arrive and are nearing the point where the feeling is “We’re ready…we think.”

The anticipation is growing with every passing week (down to seven weeks now) for my world to change. I’ve heard over and over again how my life will never be the same again. As one man said, “Your lows will become a little lower, but your highs will become higher than you could have ever imagined.”

As I prepare for fatherhood, I am constantly thinking about the type of father I want to be. I want to love my daughter with my everything. I want to be slow to become angry, and quick to forgive. I don’t want to be known for yelling, or for sarcastic, hurtful remarks. I want it to be clear that my daughter is loved and that my daughter is beautiful. I want to take her on dates, and to baseball games, and have tea parties if that’s what she wants. I want to be a part of whatever world it is that she finds herself. I want all of my words to be filtered through my love for her.

This is just the beginning of what I want to be as a father, but then I begin thinking about all the other fathers. It is apparent that in our culture there are a lot of abusive fathers, both verbally and physically, and there are a lot of absent fathers, whether it be physically or emotionally. I doubt that they started loving their children any less, and I highly doubt that it was their intention to be absent or abusive. But something, somewhere along the line, happened. Whatever that may be, I don’t want it to happen to me.

Fathers, I’m asking you…What are the things I need to look out for? What are the things that will try trip me up? What are the things that will make me miss on my intention to love?

I implore you because you are the experts, your experience is far beyond mine, and you know the things that are the most difficult. I need your guidance and your advice, and I’m positive that I’m not the only one.

 

image credit: DaDooDa (edited) (creative commons)

Where My Priorities Lie

44HHWhile I won’t even attempt to explain, the last month and a half has been extremely busy for me. As a student and a teacher, this isn’t supposed to be the case as I approach the midpoint of summer. I haven’t had the time to do a lot of things I’d love to do, like writing new content, going to baseball games, or spending time online, but that stuff can always wait. I’m both proud and a little sad that I haven’t played a video game in nearly 6 months, but then again that can wait too.

What can’t wait is my family.

I can’t miss out on going to bed with my wife, I can’t miss out on feeling my baby girl’s first kicks and “abnormally active movements” ever since then. I can’t miss out on the ever-increasing doctor visits to check up on our little girl. I can’t miss out on taking my dog to the park every couple of days. Yes, my dog is a part of my family, I don’t care if you think he’s only a dog. I can’t miss out on Monday night date night. I can’t miss out on Saturday morning breakfast dates. I can’t miss out on spending time with the guys I’ve been investing in for the last two years.

There are some things that I simply cannot afford to put off.

While I love my online community, I love my master’s program, and I love writing…they pale in comparison to the way I love my family. The proof of that is in what I choose when I have an assignment to finish and I have a tired wife who is ready to go to bed.

Sometimes, I won’t do as well on my assignment as I would like, but I refuse to let my marriage be damaged because of them.

When you are strapped for time, what you prioritize provides a window into what you find most important. Choose your family.

I’m Scared

What if I can’t do it?

What if I’m not good enough?

What if I’m not strong enough?

What if I’m not smart enough?

What if I’m not tough enough?

Now, this is what scares the crap out of me.

I’m not scared that Peanut will be a hellion. I know he will.

I’m not scared that Peanut will fight and argue with me. I know he will.

I’m not scared that Peanut will disobey me. I know he will.

I’m not scared that sometimes Peanut will screw up. If he’s anything like his parents, I know he will.

What I am scared of, is not my will to be a good father, but I am scared of my tendency to misstep. One of my greatest fears is that my little baby will grow up with memories of his (or her) father showing anger, impatience, laziness, or really anything other than a clear, passionate, love for his baby.

I have been lucky to have two absolutely wonderful parents, who have continued to love and support me since the day I was born…even if they didn’t necessarily agree with me. They always loved me. They always supported me. They were always fighting for me.

I don’t want to pretend that my relationship with Peanut will always be thrilling. But what I do want, is to promise myself that no matter what, I will love Peanut with an absolutely thrilling love…not matter what the circumstances might be.

I can’t pretend to know everything about parenting, but I do know that I will never ever ever give up fighting for my child. I will love them through every single one of their accomplishments, achievements, and heart-wrenching missteps.

My prayer is that they will forgive me and see past to moments I’m sure that will happen when I misstep while they are looking to me for guidance.

Forgive me, Peanut, for I am scared. Forgive me, Peanut, for I will fail.

But I pinky promise with your tiny little pinky that I will love you through absolutely everything and will do my absolute best at being your father.

**Disclaimer: My wife says that I must say that we don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl yet. But I’m pretty sure it’s a boy…she’s pretty sure it’s a girl**

Have Patience…

I hope you are encouraged to be patient.