October 21, 2004

Parenting Team

There comes a time in every man's life when he has to decide what it is that he wants to 'be'. This time has come, and I want to 'be' a dad. I've talked about this before, but it's worth revisiting. Marion is wonderful, and while I understand that not all children are so easy to handle, I'm ready to take on the task.

I used to talk about how I was going to put a team together to take over the world. When I met someone that I thought was especially intelligent, or charismatic, or whatever, I'd say that I wanted them to be on my team. (Now, I wouldn't necessarily say that out loud, but I'd make a note of it in my head.) While I no longer have the desire to take over the world (and I wouldn't want to compete with Mr. Bush anyway), I still have that team-building thinking going on. I am part of an excellent child-raising team. I can't say that I built this team, but I'm part of it, and I'm proud of it.

I believe that with enough rest and plenty of bagels, Keleigh can accomplish anything. She really is the kind of person that you'd want on your team. She can coordinate complex schedules and tasks, she cares about people an incredible amount, and she has the discipline to get things done. Were it not for her, I'd be about 1/4 of the father that I am now (even putting aside the fact that I wouldn't have anyone to be a father to).

Ann Arbor offers us a great community of like-minded individuals for us to brainstorm with, and to compare notes on how best to parent. We've met another couple that even had a home water birth, just like us (and we have to give them a call...) We're in a great place, a great community that gives us the chance to raise our children the way that we want to raise them, and with the help that we'll need.

We've also had an amazing amount of support from Dyan (Keleigh's mom). She's been the best friend that Marion could have, coming up from Toledo each day to babysit for the second half of the workday. We really couldn't have done this without her help, and we're lucky to have her.

And me. I really think that I'm good at fathering, and I believe that fathering is important. Too many children grow up with distant fathers. The recent tradition of fathers puts them on the work-discipline-sleep track that doesn't leave much room for establishing connections in the family. It leads to the "just wait until your father gets home" style of paternal relationships, and that's not healthy for anyone. Fathers aren't just surrogate mothers, and their place in the family shouldn't be limited to bread-earner/iron-fist leader. We're good people, us fathers, and we need to be given the chance to show it.

And it all makes sense when Marion is in my arms.


At 3:38 PM, Kyle said...

Nice redesign!

At 8:00 AM, Momma Lee said...

You're wonderful. I'm so glad I'm part of your team. And so is Marion, and whoever else comes along in our future :) I love you.

At 10:54 AM, John Holt said...

I've been putting together a 'Team' as well, though I doubt we'd ever be able to take over the world. I would call it Team Debauchery, or maybe the Vice Squad.

Your life sounds grand, and I'm glad you like my blog and that you seem happy. Cutie-pie baby, by the way.

Good luck with the 5am poo,



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