Level 72

Today my dad turns 72 years old. That number seems unreal to me. Not because it’s a high number, or because the years have flown by, but because my dad doesn’t look or act like he’s 72. When I was little I thought 72 was really old and you were most likely bedridden, in a wheelchair or having to use some sort of walking aid. But I was little so I could be off by a little bit. Regardless, that’s not my dad, he’s always working. He’s been retired for years now, but he refuses to stop and kick his feet up for too long. Maybe that’s the old generation that I’m seeing. The generation of hard work and keep pushing no matter what. Sometimes I look at him and I’m just amazed and how strong he looks and I pray that I took can look and feel that good at 72. But that’s really just a very small piece of it.

I could probably write on and on about my dad and the amazing man and father that he is, but I frankly wouldn’t have the time. There’s so much I could say about him, but if I could sum him up in three words they would be “Loving”, “Worker” and “Wise”. Those are the three things I think of most when I think about my father.

He’s always there when I’ve needed words of wisdom or guidance. Being someone who grew up with little and has made such significant advancement in his education, career and overall life, I really do make it a point to listen to his words. He’s a part of that generation that’s not very tech savvy right now, but as I kid I remember thinking, “There’s nothing my dad can’t fix“. I’m just glad I can help him out now when he’s trying to figure out the tech stuff.

I don’t know many people that are hard working like my old man. It’s like he never stops. There are times when I get tired just watching him go. But it’s like he doesn’t know how to stop. He’s like a machine. Maybe it’s because he’s had to work so hard throughout his life, he’s really never known much else. My father came over from Mexico with his uncle and I remember him telling me stories of working fields when he first came. To think that he retired being the safety manager of a global company, well I think that speaks for itself.

But the one thing that I admire most about my father, is his love. I don’t think I ever went one day without feeling his love. He loved me enough to discipline me, to get me on that straight path. And even though at that time I hated it and didn’t understand why my friends didn’t have it better because they did what they wanted, when they wanted, I do now. And I thank God every day that he was on top of that. He’s done so much for his families over all of these years, but for some reason the one thing that sticks out to me the most was his career change. You see when I was little I didn’t get to see my dad much. He worked at Ben Taub Hospital and usually worked nights, which meant he slept during the days. There were times we couldn’t go outside and play because we couldn’t make noise for fear of waking him up. He loved his job. It was exciting for him and he’s always loved the medical industry/field. He still talks about it from time to time and I can tell that even now it still excites him. But there was one problem, he wasn’t seeing his family and they weren’t seeing him. I can imagine that it must be a difficult decision to make a change doing something you enjoy. But I can also see that if that choice was because you weren’t seeing the people you loved most, what’s the point. I don’t know where my dad would be right now in the medical field had he stayed there, I wonder that a lot myself today. What I do know is I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be where I am right now had I had to miss out on the time that he gave to his children and even now as adults with our own families. I’ll never forget that. Ever.

So today my old man levels up to 72. I say level up because for one, I’m a gamer, and two because though his body has aged, he’s wiser and more awesome as the years have gone. I admire him so much. I think it’s pretty safe to say that all his kids do and so do many around him. I pray that one day my children will be able to say the same about me.

I love you, dad. Happy Birthday.

Advertisements

Why Did I Abandoned My Reno?!?

Daycare. Nothing wrong with it right? Tons of people use it every day for their children. Even though there have been a few horrid stories of bad daycare facilities, we know most of them are good. We know they screen all their employees and hire the best possible people for the proper positions. They all follow state codes and laws. And some facilities are quite beautiful and equipped with great technology. So why on earth does it feel like I abandoned my child when we dropped him off on his first day there? Why did it feel like I was taking a long loved pet back to the pound because we didn’t want him anymore and it’s breaking my heart every second that I’m there. The whole time my wife is finishing up paper work I’m walking around pretending to read stuff on the wall, when it’s really a cover up of me trying not to cry. Here I am tearing up to the activity schedule on the wall and the brochure about the webcams.

And speaking of the webcams, I’m not sure if they’re a blessing or a curse. I mean, I love that I can watch him the entire day in his class, but sometimes I can get so distracted with it. I mean, who can concentrate on work when they can sit there and just watch their little baby on the screen the whole time? The first few days watching it was just torture. I know he’s new to them, so they don’t know his likes or habits. I found myself getting angry at my monitor because they were trying to get him comfortable. I knew all they had to do was just put the little guy in the swing and he would calm down. I swear I was two seconds away from calling the place and telling them over the phone. But I didn’t want them to think I was crazy or anything. At least not more than they probably already think I am.

I must admit the last couple of days of the week, it got a little easier. Still not totally over it, but it did get easier. Now just because it was getting a little easier dropping him off, doesn’t mean that I’m not in a hurry to come and pick up my little guy. The last few hours at work seem to drag and I’m always so eager to get in my truck and head over to snatch him up. Times like these that I wish I drove a Formula One car. I think I could at least cut my time in half with one of those. Is there room for a car seat in one of those?


Make It Rain, Reno…. Make It Rain

Maybe it’s the fact that the Olympics are just around the corner or not, but it reminds me of when my boy first peed on me. It’s not like I wasn’t expecting it to happen one day, I mean I heard the stories from friends and family, so the warnings were there. I guess it was more of the surprise in this kid’s power and distance. I’m talking Olympic world record distance. And it’s like they wait for you to put down your guard too. He let it go as I’m reaching for a new diaper, caught me off guard. Had no idea what was going on until I realized that all this liquid wasn’t coming from a leak in the ceiling. You think you know what you’re gonna do in certain cases or situations but when it comes down to it, you panic. You lose all preparations that were in your mind. I froze for a split second, then I was like, “I must stop this!” So I did what any hero would do, I put my body in the way. Well, it was more like my hand, but still, a sacrifice is a sacrifice. Soon I realized that it wasn’t helping only bouncing it back to the little guy, so I remembered about these little pee-pee tee-pee things that granna had bought for us, and I quickly grabbed one and put it over him. Now, it was just angling everywhere else, as I’m standing there wondering, “How much more do you have in you! For crying out loud did you drink a gallon of water?!?” Although I’m sure it probably lasted a minute at most, it seemed like I was moments away from having to call a rescue boat, or pump up the air mattress for a life raft. But once it was finally over, and after cleaning up the puddle of pee on his changing station, all was back to normal. Just another moment where you stand there and think, “What in the world just happened?” I’ll tell you what happened…. Reno happened. Guess I’d better get used to it.

The Birth… of a Father

Well it’s actually been a month now since the birth of our little baby boy. It doesn’t even seem like it’s been that long since the little guy popped out of mommy. The day he turned a month I was looking through his photos since then and it seems like the whole thing was a blur now. It all just flew by. (Says the guy who didn’t have to pop out a 9lb baby.) Even so, there are a few things that I will always remember from that whole experience.

1. My wife is a FREAKING SOLDIER! 
What do I mean by this? Who the heck squeezes out anything that’s 9lbs out of ANY part of their body and not take any drugs to help the pain?  I would have called it quits on the first contraction… threw in the towel, tagged someone else in! (Is that possible?)  I’m beginning to wonder if my wife isn’t some type of cyborg or super human.

2. Every newborn is yucky, EXCEPT for your newborn.
I’ve seen videos and photos of lots of newborns and I always find myself saying, “eew… what’s all that stuff on them?” I thought I would be that way with my little guy, but when I held him for the first time, the last thing that was on my mind was what he had on him or what he would get on me. He was too perfect.

3. The Black Poop
You know, you read about it, you hear about it, but nothing really prepares you for this sight. I had the pleasure of changing his first diaper in our hospital room. And it’s not like it totally repulsed me, because it wasn’t that. I was more shocked & curious. Your mind begins to try and process this phenomenon and you start to wonder, “What in the world is that little baby processing in that tiny body that is putting out some thick black substance?” Was he smoking in there?

4. The World’s Most Uncomfortable Chair
I’m a light sleeper and I can’t sleep in vehicles of any kind. Cars, buses, planes…. doesn’t matter, I can’t sleep like that. Probably cause I usually wake up when your head flops down because you lose control of it. After a while of sitting around and enjoying the newborn I was looking around and wondering where in the world am I gonna sleep? Well, as someone pointed out to me, it just so happens that a small chair extended out to a bed of some sort. After a puzzled look from me I thought to myself, “How bad can it be?” Well, if you don’t mind sleeping like Frankenstein you’re just peaches! Worse fold out chair ever! I would have been better off sleeping on the floor or in the truck! The only comfortable position that I could find was on my back and straightened out. Picture a soldier standing at attention. Straight, sharp and looks like a two by four, now lay that guy down on a small, extended chair…. that’s me. It was enough for me to take naps and that was about it. The first night was enough. I went home for a few hours the following days to take naps and come back at night to watch over our little guy.

5. Moms Freaking Rock.
9lbs 9oz. Doesn’t seem like much right? Or even go for a 7 or 6 pounder. I can hold that with one hand, no problem. Yeah… squeeze that out of a straw. Go ahead, I’ll wait here. You done? Major FAIL? Exactly. Just thinking that certain body parts have to expand that are normally small passages, just freaking hurts. I’ve heard someone say, it’s like squeezing a watermelon out of something the size of a pea. Think about that for a second. Still not getting it? Okay take a small rubber band, smaller than the ones you can fit around the wrist, you know what I’m talking about. Now, try to squeeze you’re entire body through there without breaking it. If you find yourself completing this, congratulations you have an eating disorder or you’re a stick. I don’t care how tough men think they are, women freaking rock. I can’t even begin to imagine trying to pop a baby out of me. Don’t want to. The world would be heavily underpopulated if men had to give birth. And that’s a fact!

All in all, it’s a moment in your life that you will never forget. It’s the start of a whole new chapter and to witness it all makes you realize why they call it the miracle of birth. Cause it really is all a miracle. From the start of that little one cell to the beautiful baby that comes out. Just simply amazing. I love our baby boy beyond all measure, but I think I’m good with one for now. 😀