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Where to begin… Lately I have been noticing my boys growing up more and more each day. We started potty training our oldest and this time with great success. We have had issues with sitting on the potty and he hated it so much that he would rather go in his diaper even though he hates the way it feels. So, what finally worked? Well my wife suggested that I try to teach him to pee standing up. I thought this sounded like a good idea. He seemed nervous so I told him I would show him how to do it and give him something to aim at. As i looked for the Cheerios my son asked me questions about peeing on the big potty and how we shouldn’t pee n the Cheerios because those are for snacks. It turned out we did not have Cheerios so I grabbed some Gold Fish and went to the bathroom. My son stood up on his stool naked from the waist down and as I held out the fishes he says “daddy, what are you doing with those? those are snacking fishes silly daddy”. Which I replied, ” these are also special potty fish who want to help to pee like a big boy”.  We counted together, “One fish, two fish, three fish, pee fish” and in went the fish. I watched as my son took aim and fired away, SUCCESS! This was Saturday night and we have only had one accident since.

This whole deal has me think about how we change as people when we have children. I was by my wife’s side for the birth of both my children and I plan to be there for any future children. I remember the moment the doctors put them in my arms and I look at their faces for the first time. I have never been the same since my first son. If you are a parent and reading this you will know what I mean. One day you are just going through life by your own rules and the next moment you are responsible for this tiny human life. If you are a father you may understand how fatherhood all hits you when you meet your first kid for the first time. Since this has all been rattling around in my mind I thought I would share 5 things I never thought I would do before becoming a father;

5.)Giving life lessons. I had always idealized the profession of teaching and still hope to teach as part of my plan to retire. I want to teach History to kids of any age. When you are a parent you are also a teacher. Everything they experience in life as they grow up is a learning experience. Depending of the parent child relationship this can go on until the day the parent dies. Life lessons are a tricky thing, I think we often forget that little things can mean much more to our children than we think. I love to hunt and my father taught me everything I know. He told me to only hunt for what I need and to use everything I kill. He also taught me about safety. I am sure he thought this was just common sense but to me it was a lesson I thought would save my life someday. It still very well could too. I love education and I take to heart every chance I get to teach my boys and I hope it gives them a passion to learn someday.

4.) Laugh every single day. I am a relatively happy guy and I love to joke and make light of things. I am also, as my wife puts it, disturbingly optimistic. That all aside, before I had kids, I still had gloomy days or depressing periods. At most I would go maybe three days without even a chuckle.My point is that even with a good attitude I still had days where I did not laugh or smile. My sons are wonderful with this they both have this amazing ability to see when someone is in a bad mood and seem possessed with the idea of making them smile. Harry, my youngest is particularly good at this. Since they were born I have never had a day where I did not smile and laugh often.

3.) Clean up vomit. This is a big one for me I hate any vomit and it used to make me sick to even think about it. Our first son was born with Pyloric stenosis  and after that he had acid reflux which still pops up every so often. I have had to clean up a ton of puke and it has broken me of any weakness there. I still think it s gross and hope to avoid it but it happens and if daddy is home he cleans it. Never saw that as a part of my life when I was younger.

2.) Give my life for someone without question. I sorta cheated on this one since my wife applies to this as well. It can also seem cold since I have a living mother and father and siblings. With your own kids its different. You can call it instinct or love but for me it is something I just know is there. If I am given the choice I would give my own life to save theirs no second thought. I have never really feared death, I understand it and I believe there is an existence beyond death but I have never had complete willingness to sacrifice myself for another until my wife and kids came along.

1.) Cry or get weepy about small things. I know that men are different as far as emotions but I used have mine in check at all time. Before I had kids I remember crying two times as and adult (that being 18 or older but that is relative). The first was at age 19 when I got my heart broken for the first time. It didn’t last long and I do not remember why it happened I just was in a difficult place and lived away from my parents and I think i felt a huge sense of being alone. Lucky for past me I had amazing friends that reminded me I was not alone. The Second time was December of 2005, when my grandmother died. This was the first person who died that I was close to. I was almost 22 and I was renting the flat above  my grand parents. I noticed flashing lights and saw there were emergency vehicles outside our place. I rushed downstairs without a thought and came in to my grandparents kitchen. There I saw my sweet grandma collapsed on the floor just inside the living room. I suddenly became paralyzed and could not really hear or move. The following events went quickly. I had to pick up my sister and drive her to the hospital and I was there to support my mom and sisters as well as my aunts since I was the one not emotionally collapsing at the moment. My mom asked me to make calls for her since she could not mange it. After a while a grief counselor came to see us all and everyone was led to her room to say good-bye. I stayed alone accompanied only by my mom’s husband. Then it hit me I like a ton of bricks. We had lost a one of a kind woman who we all held dear to us. Even now my eyes mist unthinking about that day. Now days I get weepy over a lot of sad child related things and sappy movies. I do not care though it has sort of brought a new perspective on things and how I feel about others. One that seems to get me and we see often is Toy Story 3. That ending just gets me even after the 100th time.

Anyway feel free to share your thoughts and experiences. This post also puts me at 23 days and 29 posts left to go until I hit my goal!

Thank you for reading,