Written by Series Guest Blogger, Brooks Weatherspoon, a father of twin 12 year old girls that will give us insight into A Day in Fatherhood!
When I first looked at my little twin daughters sitting behind that incubator glass, I knew that big changes were ahead. I knew long before that, but seeing them lie there so helpless and sick changed me at my core. I went from being a Dad to be to being a Daddy. It was in that moment, watching my little two pound premature babies living on a ventilator struggle for breath, that I would have laid down my life. Nothing has changed where that is concerned now that they are healthy and vibrant 12 year old preteens.
Being a Daddy has clearly made me a better man. Consider the following:
I no longer drink, smoke or party. I never really did much of that anyway, but all of that halted the moment I knew I was their lifeline. Ironically, it was not so much that I stopped as it was the reason. I knew that if something happened to me, it happened to them. That could not be.
I have learned how to open my ears. My wife speaks and I earnestly listen to what she has to say. Men are prideful….duh. I am prideful as well, but I am also intelligent. My wife knows a great deal more about my girls than I do because she is a girl. Not tapping into that wonderful resource would clearly make me an idiot.
My daughters follow my lead. What kind of man would I be if I gave them an example that stunk? What if I treated their mother with disrespect and dishonor? What if I never considered her feelings and dominated my household with an iron fist? You guessed it. I would be dooming them to a similar experience when they get older in all probability. I will never do that. Thankfully my mother raised me better than that anyway so that is not a problem. Still, it bears mentioning because of the fair amount of jerks that never got that memo.
I walk a bit softer than I used to. No I don’t mean I am floating along on a breeze. What I mean is that I feel things openly and encourage the same of my daughters. A strong man is very important but so too is a caring man. A man without empathy will be a man that falls horribly short as my daughter’s husband. I want them to have a man that will value life, love out in the open and prioritize his home and family. If I ask for this I have to try to live up to that standard. I slip and fall but I am always reaching. They are worth the work.
I learned that being a Dad is not about simply showing up. For some men, showing up is a big deal. Brother you had best believe that showing up is only a tiny fraction of the battle. If you want your daughters to have a fighting chance in this world, you best bring your working boots. Most of that work is going to come from lap time, holding time, wiping tears and showing that you are there. Earning a living is no longer the standard for me.
Making sure my daughters know me and value themselves beyond me…..that is the real challenge.
Daddy loves you Brooke and Valerie