The beginning is always the most difficult part of anything. Whether its your first day of kindergarten, your first date, your first kiss and a whole series of firsts, including the first time you become a dad. For those of you that take any interest in something fresh and new here is a blog from the other side, the fathers perspective. A position often overlooked and stereotyped to be simply the “breadwinner”, but this is a new era and we are the “new” Dad. One that is nourishing, caring, selfless, changes dirty diapers, wakes up with the baby, stays home with the kids (alone), plans and cooks dinner (I am an avid cook and will post pics in the future, see my Instagram, tablefor9)…….the image of the father is changing.
So here is my humble story from the beginning, just for some perspective.
Born in 1973, abroad to a proud soldier, during one of the worst conflicts this great country has entered, and his loving wife, of now 40+ years. I grew up in a loving family, with one little brother, in mid Atlantic states, with little money, but lots laughter and happiness. We moved when I was in the ninth grade and thats where the story really begins. I was a rebellious teen with little regard to what I was doing or who in my family it hurt. I got involved with drugs, my grades plummeted, and with it so did my drive to follow my dreams to medical school. I graduated High School with a dismal GPA and proceeded to a local Community College, only to keep on achieving the same mediocrity. Real success was coming my way at any minute! I started working at a local shipyard, welding and pipefitting on Navy ships and rubbing elbows with some really great people and some really lowly people…..and that is when a light bulb went on. One day on my way home….I stopped at the local Air Force recruiter…..and enlisted! I spent the next 9 years becoming a man and learning how great we have it in the USA. After spending the first 4 years deploying to a lot of fun beach front areas of the Middle East, the next 4 I spent teaching in a training squadron and pursuing my dreams.
My days consisted of, rising at 2:30am, flying a local mission, debriefing, and heading to college till 10pm every night. While I didn’t have to fly missions every day, it was a brutal, yet determined journey. Over the next 4 years I raised my overall GPA to 3.8, got married, and in 1998 my first son was born. Then in 1999 my second son came trucking into my life. The next 2 years consisted of more of the same schedule, but adding 2 sons to take care of as well. I took the MCAT(Medical College Admissions Test), scored well, but after some research figured out that medicine was not a great place for me……took the DAT(Dental Admissions Test), scored well and in 2000 entered the Class of 2004 Doctor of Dental Surgery and ended my military career. Another of my many lives ends and another begins……
Dental school was nothing short of grueling, both academically and physically. I was one of the older students and having a 2 year old and a one year old, my mountain was very steep. Around year 2 of school my marriage started to deteriorate and ended shortly after in divorce (a common occurrence in professional school). Year 4 of my dental school career, I met my soul mate….the woman of my dreams….the one that is my partner for life. After graduation we headed off to a residency, a fellowship and got married that fall. All the while my boys moved and I missed the opportunity to teach them what is was to be a man and a father. For 2 years there were nights when I cried and weekends when I drove 15 hours to come see them for a couple of days and 15 hours back…..just getting in in time to get to work. They were 6 and 5, and had no clue what had happened or why.
In 2006, after a vasectomy(1999), a vas reversal(2004), we welcomed in our first son (my third son), but really our 3 third son. What a joy to be a full time dad again, but I knew we had to reunite this new son with his brothers. We found a practice in the city they were, bought it and found our home. In 2007 we welcomed our 4th son….can you see a trend….hmmm….and in 2009 we brought into the world son #5! The practice became ours, solely, in 2010 and it has been growing into something special ever since.
This year, our 4th official year of ownership of a 45 year old practice, we will have out best year…..an esteemed colleague, whom is semi-retiring, asked if we would take over the care of his patients….we will also welcome in twin boys….yes I said TWIN BOYS….that will be sons #6 and 7. I think this will be an amazing year….a humbling year….a blessed year….and also a stressful year.
And now we make it back to the present day………2014 and I will be the father of 7 sons, both exhilaration and stress engulf my mind almost daily. So now I need a different car or bus, a private dining room every where I go (hence the name Table for 9 please), I don’t have a choice on whether I leave gratuity, and the REALLY invasive questions that ask, “You do know how this happens” or, the most common response, “Wow, thats a lot of kids”. People should sometimes keep their thoughts where they originated, instead of allowing those synapses to travel to the tongue and out the mouth!
In the next 2-3 weeks we will welcome these amazing joys of life to the world and life will restart. I will see you then…..