Wednesday, January 26, 2011


A good way to judge a blog is to see how often you want to leave a comment when you read it. When I read a post by Mocha Dad, I usually know halfway through that I will have something to say. Even if I don't always agree with everything he says, I always appreciate his honesty, his great writing, and his love for his family.

In many ways--and I get back to that every once in a while--I believe the "Everything changes when you become a father" warning is absolutely right, other than that it shouldn't be a warning. Your self-identity encounters a modified You, which you must learn to embrace and sometimes to forgive. Things change when you become a father, but your pre-fatherhood experiences will determine what kind of father you will become.

I think about that when I read Mocha Dad. I think you can truly see the man who has become a father and saw that as an opportunity to reflect on his life and to better himself. And you can see the way Mocha Dad uses his experience and the values he has inherited to guide him as a father and maybe more importantly, to guide the next generation in his care.


Friday, January 7, 2011

An Answer to

Before I had kids, I couldn't tell the difference between a one-day-old and a three-year-old. It sounds like I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. I never held a baby or a toddler before I held my own. Never changed a diaper, of course. To be frank, although I liked kids, I didn't particularly like babies or toddlers. Didn't see the point of these... things.

About time I've made my confession. I used to think I was really cool, playing in a band, with my long hair and my pack-a-day Winston Lights and all. And I used to think people were just being polite when they said their friends' babies were cute. But three years after we've started the adventure, I'm happy to admit I was wrong.

Three years ago, I started realizing every day was different. One day he actually looked at me, for the first time. No one has ever looked at me like that. Another day he held on to my finger. Another day he was turning his head to follow me, smiling, like he trusted me. And then one day he started looking more like his mom, thankfully.

And while he continued to grow and change, and to surprise us on a daily basis, we went and made ourselves another baby. Now we experience the adventure again.

Everything is the same, and everything is different this time around. She laughs at the same jokes, but she laughs in a different way. She doesn't do her best to fall off the bed, like he did as soon as he started crawling, but when she wants to fall, we can't stop her. She loves the same food he loved, but eats more of it, and throws more of it on the floor. Her eyes are blue, like his, but a different blue. She's as friendly as he has ever been, but more aggressively so.

There's an article from making the rounds now, because God forbid a week goes by without a pseudo-controversial article questioning people's life-choices. In this article, a long time stay-at-home mother writes, "Fourteen years ago, I 'opted out' to focus on my family. Now I'm broke." Well, let me say it now, just in case the world comes tumbling down and I'm forced to ask myself uneasy questions: Yes, it's hard. Yes, it might get harder. Yes, there will be days when I look back and wonder if staying home with the kids was the right thing to do. But I will never go out in public, and for the price of a freelance article on, tell the world my kids have ruined my life. I will never blame my kids for my own decisions. And I will never tell them, "You owe me for the time I'd invested in you."

I'm not the father of the year--probably not even the father of the day. But I own my decisions. Staying at home with my kids is the greatest thing I can imagine. I consider myself the luckiest man in the world, being able to spend so much time with these people. And if everything changes and I find myself with nothing, I will still be the luckiest man who's ever lived, because I was here for moments like these:


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