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From College to Kids: A Husband’s Transition to Fatherhood

fatherhoodOh to be a dad. The one who walks through the front door, after a long day of work and is met by a gaggle of kids, fighting to tell about their day, share their side of the story. A dad who receives the biggest welcome home, with loud noises, hugs, screams of excitement and kids hanging off him like a custom jungle gym that he is. A walking playground.

They’re swinging off his strong arms, climbing on his back like a hike up Mount Everest. The little girl steps on his finely polished shoes and grabs his index finger, the one she has conveniently wrapped the string around, to make him dance. Come on dad.

When I first married my husband, he was a quiet young guy in college, with a major in Engineering. Getting him to open up was like trying to pry open a clam. He was a man of few words, but those words were full of wisdom and insight. I tried to imagine him as a father. Now, four kids later, you have no choice but to go with the flow. Iron sharpens iron. From toddlers to teens, there’s a fire at every corner. Kids wanting attention aren’t going to wait for a clam to open up. They have tools for that. Quick, grab a crow bar. Kids can bring out the funny, hilarious side. The words you say, how you act, the wisdom bestowed. It’s a whirlwind of crazy.

Back in the day, getting him to open up was like trying to figure out the numbers on a bank fault. Nope, that didn’t work, try this one. By the time you have kids, it’s like having a team of little bank robbers with tools who skip the numbers game and just stripe the door off. They just come at you from all angles. No time for all the processes and questions to open up, like how was your day, when you have a pit crew under 4 ft 7 ready to tackle you, like the best welcome home a guy could ever want.

It’s like a big party every day. Dad is Home! Here’s to all the dads who are committed to their families, who walk through the front door and become your kid’s custom jungle gym. We celebrate you.

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