I have been absent for a number of days. No, I didn’t fall from the face of the earth. I have been sick, and when I get sick, I get really sick. See, I have an autoimmune disorder. I don’t have AIDS, I have Systemic Lupus. But that is ok. Lately, I have been feeling wore out, and run down. That coupled with a never ending sense of vertigo, makes me not want to spend a lot of time doing much of anything.
So, what have I been doing?
I have been thinking about what it means to be a dad. A Father. A Father Figure.
I am not all-knowing, contrary to any popular beliefs held by my children. I am simply a guy.
For a while now, I have been documenting our life with David. Our lives are so much more than David though. I have four other children. Did I just refer to them as Other? Yes. For the most part, I have kept their names from this blog, and I will continue to do so. For their anonymity, I will refer to them simply as A, B, C and D. David is unique, and while he deserves anonymity, there is little that can be done to get it back. So I will leave him alone for now.
Child A is my oldest. In college now, this child continues to astound me with their potential. Reaching beyond a broken family to soar to heights that please me, and make me incredibly proud to be their father.
Child B is the second oldest. Still in high school, this child epitomizes what it means to be caring, giving and so much more. If you look up compassion in the dictionary, it would have a picture of this child. A child who wears emotions on the sleeve.
Child C is the third child. Middle school success is finding it’s way to this child. We were rather worried that wouldn’t be the case, because of speech and language issues. This child has a wit that blows me away. And follows an elder siblings compassionate nature.
Child D is the fourth child, of course. Aspergers syndrome has been a blessing for this one. A love of learning that knows no bounds, and a penchant for irritating math teachers by not showing all of the work, we are shown the human side of life through this one. We are shown that social skills can be picked up, and flirting is an option for someone on the Autism Spectrum. I am forever blown away by this child’s ability to learn.
Now why did I detail all of this info? Simple. While some might call me a wonderful father, parent and/or dad, I often times; like so many other dads, question my abilities and methods as a parent.
This is what I have been thinking about while I have been sick. Am I an effective parent? Am I a dad that is worthy of the name?
I am undertaking a challenge. It is called the 21 Day Dad’s Challenge. It is lessons in being a better father. As I work through the lessons, I will post them here. Just because I don’t post everyday doesn’t mean I am not working the lesson. Rather, it means that I am working the lesson. I am working toward being a stronger father. A better dad.
Thank you. And Happy New Year.
- What is Asperger syndrome? (foodconsumer.org)
- What is Lupus? (starhistorian.com)
- Still Alive (jenlynn401.wordpress.com)
- Unbelievable (butterflywarrior.typepad.com)