Table for 9 please

A Fathers perspective of a huge family, finally…..



2014, I am sure glad to see you go……wait, it was pretty spectacular!

So I started writing this post about 2 weeks ago and realized it was all wrong.  The information was all correct, but my perspective was skewed.  After spending many years reading Malcolm Gladwell books, I have come to the hard truth that perspective is everything.  I was taking a retrospective look at 2014 and painting a dismal picture of how rough and horrible this past year was to me.  As I took a much closer inspection it was quite the opposite, it was pretty spectacular.

2014 has been filled with risk, reward, love, happiness, success, stress, and most of all family!  This past year has brought me a greater appreciation for the finer things that make us men who we are for our families. We are the disciplinarians, the fixers, the coaches, the pinewood derby car makers, basically we make sure all the loose pieces don’t get lost, because we have no clue how to put those pieces back together.  The superwoman makes the world correct again by organizing the pieces to the right spots.  I awoke in 2015 knowing that, not only would this be a great year, but that it is only going to be great because of what went down in 2014.

For all the stress and worry that went in to the last half of 2014, just like everything else in life, it was not all that bad.  We grew both professionally and personally, literally!  What could possibly be wrong with growth?

This morning I woke up, the alarm went off at 5:15, and I looked to my right….my amazing, beautiful, strong wife was there, fast asleep.  She is quite stunning while she sleeps, and all I could do is smile, because life is really good.  I then glanced to my left……..IMG_3393and I see the Dreamboats snuggled, fast asleep.  At that moment I know, this life is so incredibly perfect.  We went through the last few months of 2014 thinking, how difficult and testing this life is right now.  Now I know it was just that, a test, an examination of our intestinal fortitude, and once again I concluded that we can take more than our minds believe we can and, best of all, we can do it with style and grace.

So far in 2015 we have survived the influenza outbreak, the continued saga of a remodel, the holiday hangover, and the Dreamboats.  We have had 3 with the flu, and I have never seen one woman become such a germ destroyer, but have managed to keep the babies well, so far.  My oldest, who as you remember moved in, in September and started a new school, is doing amazing.  He is putting in the hard work and it is paying off!  The rest of these crazy boys are geared up for another fun year!

As with any new year people go through making resolutions, starting new diets, and joining various gyms in an attempt to slim down.  I have always thought this was a foolish endeavor that rarely resulted in a life changing metamorphosis.  Why can’t we just pick up where we left off and keep rolling?  Have our goals and lifelong aspirations really changed from year to year?  Mine has not and I see no reason to change what it is I am trying to accomplish in life.  I want to be a great husband, lover, father, cook, small business owner, boss, friend, clinician, and role model.  Nothing of that list will change whether it is January or October, 1999 or 2015, I still want the same lifetime achievements.  My goal is to live everyday like there is nothing tomorrow.  Carpe diem, seize the day, and fill every day with good food, friends, and most of all family.


The New Normal… least for now

IMG_2524Life is such a paradox, normal or not so normal, right or wrong, good or bad… it not sometimes in the eye of the beholder?  Seems to me we, as a society, spend way too much time judging others and inserting our version of “normal” into places we should leave alone.  Who are we to say what is normal?  Is normal not an ever evolving snapshot of different time periods of our lives?  I know I can safely say that what I think is normal now, would not have been the norm for me 15 years ago.  As we grow older we get more and more cemented in this idea of a generalized normal behavior, or family, or look, and you know what happens, we subconsciously pass judgement on that person or situation.  Should we not be a little more forgiving for people’s different normals?  Why can we not envelop ourselves with just that, our own norm and families.   Who really cares what happens in the Jones house or how Sally dresses, those are all norms to them.  If we spent a touch more time looking within and stop worrying about what is happening all around us, this world would look incredibly different.  This is a glimpse at my new normal, because I have looked within to see that I like what I see and know that this will be an amazing ride, at least for me!

One year ago my normal daily routine was a little, well a lot, different from what it looks like today.  It looked even more different 5 years ago.  I have always been the one to wake up when the baby, or now babies, start to stir for a little sip of the liquid gold, aka breast milk.  For those who may have no kids or its been a while, the reaction for mom if you leave a little in the bottle or spill a splash of the milk, will give you the understanding on the term, “liquid gold.”  So I wake up first and start the diaper changing. Now being a veteran dad, I know the importance of regimented schedules and you should as well.  I am, however, a rookie multiples dad and its a little different.  If one gets up, the other is getting woke up for side by side feedings.  So diapers changed, bottles warming, and momma pumping the gold.  I feed the dreamboats and she helps burp and its back to bed.  All this is happening around 5 am, yes that means these boys are sleeping from 8 pm to 5 am, pretty darn consistently.  We are now convinced that there is something built into the psyche of the later babies in a big family, “I better be good, or I get no love,’  which of course is preposterous, but I will take it!  All in all, we are getting about 6 to 7 hours of continuous sleep!  Amazing, these little boys are spectacular!!  The rest of the day is a blur….

The bigs and middles, our little nicknames for the other boys, are adjusting as well to the new look of this family.  They tend to roll with the punches, but I think they are loving having these boys around as well.  There is a lot of love to go around and as this family has grown, so has the affection for life.  In the not so distant past I thought I would be a father to 2 boys and now when I look out on this landscape of my life I am ecstatic for the blessing of 7 sons.  I get to coach teams now until I am like 60, ok maybe not that long, but I won’t be a spring chicken when theses guys are teenagers.  I will be a mature and oh so wise father of 5 boys before who have made the mistakes and bad decisions that these boys will learn from.  So the new norm is, well pretty normal for this family and I would have my normal look no other way.  Carpe diem and enjoy whatever your normal consists of, and never compare what you have to what someone else’s normal looks like, you just never know who that someone may be.

Thanksgiving….Anniversary….2 months old….and life rolls on

Wow, we blinked and there went 2 months and a bunch of big family events. I feel like I haven’t written in quite sometime and I must admit I missed it, when I had time to think about it! What an absolute blur life has become as of late, even with the social calendar all but canceled. The office remodel is nearly complete, the dreamboats turned 2 months, we celebrated a decade together, oh and there was Thanksgiving to top it all off, whew.

10 years…one full decade is quite an accomplishment and it is hard to fathom that we envisioned all that would occur in that time.  Lets see, we graduated dental school, completed a residency and fellowship, had a son, bought a practice, had a son, had another son, bought another practice, merged the two, remodeled the office, and had two more sons (at once!).  For most people, that would be a full LIFETIME and we are just getting started!  I must reveal that with all the moving parts that engulf our life, there is no one I would rather take this roller coaster with then my super woman.  Thank you beautiful for an amazing 10 years and a fun-filled beginning of decades together, this will be very interesting in the coming years.

2 months….The dreamboats are now 8 weeks old, which is unbelievable.  It seems as if they have always been with us.  It is a weird metaphysical feeling that this family always had them with us even when they were but a thought.  I love them more than anything, and knowing that this is it has made me relish every little thing.  They get rocked a little longer, talked too a little more often, and definitely kissed on more than any babies on earth.  They truly are amazing and going out with twins has been a blessing for sure.  I think we really thought life would be impossible before they were born, but it all just falls into place.  I tell people all the time that life with 7 kids is not as hard as one would imagine, the more kids you have the easier it gets.  Yes, that sounds as if I have skipped a few doses of my medication and need to be committed, but I stand by that statement.  The machine runs smoother as each family member learns their role in the family and starts accepting those responsibilities.  They come to realize, if they don’t do it no one is coming behind them to pick up the pieces.  It all just works!

Tonight we went to a celebration of a dear friends birthday.  She is turning over another decade and she came to me to ask why I had not written for a while.  She was half-joking because she knows what our life looks like right now, but I smiled inside.  I started this blog to give a fresh perspective of life through a dads eyes, but also as a “therapy” session for myself.  Tonight I realized that people actually read it and appreciate the words, and that means a lot to me.  So to the birthday girl, cheers and thanks for your friendship and the small words that you had no idea meant so much.  I hope you had a blast at you party!  There will not be a long hiatus to the next chapter in this saga.



Could it be? One month in….Life is really amazing

So today marks the one month birthday of my little buddies, and I must inform you of their new nickname, dreamboats.  I see all the time, someone posting on Facebook how this baby or that had stolen their heart, and it really stated to make me nauseous.  That is until these little dudes came along and sweetened this family ten fold.  Here are a few of the reasons why:  they have slept an average of 5.5 hours continuous per night, we have caught them on numerous occasions holding hands while eating, when one is fussy coming close to his brother usually calms the other down, you can surely get the picture.  When my superwoman told me she wanted “one” more kid, I must say I was not overly enthusiastic when I said sure.  Come on, who says no to that kind of request, and this has been one spectacular way to round out this table for 9!

The other cool part of these boys is the reaction of all of their siblings.  In all my years of working with kids and being a father I have yet to witness the outpouring of love that these band of brothers have displayed.  From the 8-year-old that gets up with the roosters, hence his affectionate nickname, just to hold a baby before dad heads off to the office, or the much maligned 16-year-old who every night comes into the bedroom to say goodnight and hold a baby.  All of the other boys have to kiss the babies before going to bed or we have a meltdown that makes Chernobyl seem small.  It is quite a sight to watch the affection and attention that August and Liev receive daily.  It sure makes you proud down deep, to know that someday all these boys will make amazing fathers because of these experiences.  They will look back and see what it is to be there for moments in a families existence and know how important it is to put your family first.  One lesson I have learned in working with and having a few kids, is that they are always watching and listening.  Little things we do for each other make big impacts and small kind words make a world of difference in a child’s life, especially from their dad.

Today I traveled up that 10,000 foot climb to take a look below and what I found was pure bliss.  I see a family growing into these new additions and making the adjustment quite effortless.  The view revealed a group of rowdy boy siblings sharing an abundance of love and support for the upheaval that entered this family one month ago.  Today, one month in, I am encouraged and exuberant about this future we created, and have a feeling there are a lot of marvelous times ahead.  The dreamboat keeps gaining speed and the world seemed a little bit smaller today then yesterday, carpe diem, because today was pretty unbelievable.

October 23rd, National Holiday?

October 23rd is now officially a national holiday at our house.  It is the day that my best friend, soul mate, life buoy, rock, and wife came into this world and was destined to this family.  She is not only someone that amazed me daily, but also someone I love very deeply.  As we continue down this road of insanity, it sure is comforting knowing we are in this together, hand in hand.  It is safe to say I adore who I am because of her.

Well, here it is the 26th of October at 12:44 am and I am still trying to finish this post.  It’s now the eve of the four year olds birthday and the 23rd seems but a distant memory.  Life seems to fast forward lately and with the blink of an eye, three days zip by without notice.  There is a constant flow of diapers, feedings, projects, homework, practices, etc, and nothing seems to quite be organized.  Now I am not an overly organized person and flying by the seat of my pants, much to Superwoman’s dismay, is my modus operandi.  My systematic way of balancing out the controlled chaos that is our life and the decisions that must be made, mostly at the last minute, can be very disconcerting to my beautiful wife.  Thank God, yes with a capital G but we don’t discuss religion here, she is the Type A, can not stand the chaotic pace, worrier, that makes this family click.  Quite frankly, when she is not commanding this army of anarchy, it is a comical scene right from a Steve Martin film and every so often my military background comes roaring out, literally.  Everyone seems to fall into formation once Drill Sergeant Dad comes onto the scene, amazing how that happens so suddenly, when the last 30 minutes was spent trying to reason with three under 8 and two teenage boys.

Whew, ok, back to the subject of this ranting, the new National Holiday for our matriarch.  This woman singlehandedly runs a very successful pediatric dental practice with 25 staff members, graduated at the top of her class, was chief resident, is on numerous committees and advisory boards, and during all of those minuscule activities managed to birth 5 healthy young boys in 8 years.  If there are any objections to me declaring a holiday for the Twenty-third day of October, please voice your complaints and they will be taken under consideration.  I will have you know, we have no such mutiny on this ship and she is the queen of this kingdom, canonized with love and adoration.  There is no shortage of testosterone for her to have to navigate through on a daily basis, and she handles it with grace and nobility.

This definitely not an easy life and most people that don’t know us, look at this three ring circus with judgmental eyes.  We are not destined for the mental asylum and it is solely because of the classy lady that leads this family by my side.  We chose to have this big family, and not a moment passes that we are not thankful for what we have created.  It is a family with an overabundance of love and respect for every thing and person around us, and I wouldn’t change one speck of our life.  I love this woman immensely and hope she knows how humbled I am to travel this life with her by my side.  Happy Birthday from all of your boys!

Sleep Deprivation

Best buddies

We have all had the feeling while in the hospital, sleeping on a make shift couch/bed, interrupted every hour though out the night for BP reading and various other check ups, I am ready to go home.  All of these nuisances are obviously necessary for the health of mother and child, or in our case children, but man they can be terribly interruptive to sleep.  Then you are so excited to go home and get back to normal life with dates and dinner parties and movie nights and ice cream runs, and all those things that make life satisfying.  Wait…..we just had twins and any sort of “normalcy” is pretty much gone for the next…oh….4 years or so!  Then, after you are home, you look back at how good it was in that cold postpartum room, when the nursery would offer to take the babies for the night to allow you to “get some sleep.”  Now we are home and the real parenting begins!IMG_2219

How is it the babies can be so sleepy and content in the hospital and when they get home, surprise, surprise, surprise, “Dad, we have lungs and I am really not that tired anymore.”  Most of the time that has been the case, but these boys have been dreamy so far (I will regret saying that!).  Now they still have their moments, during diaper changes, when they get “hangry,” or when one of their older brothers pokes them in the eye, you know, the normal stuff.  These boys should be bullet proof by the time they are old enough to walk.  I guess having 5 older brothers will do that!

They don't look naughty at all...
They don’t look naughty at all…

After 4 years of no babies, you tend to forget what it is like to not get continuous sleep.  It is sort of like taking a succession of tiny naps all night, which does nothing for you mental exhaustion.  Then the kids start playing tricks with your mind!  Here is the game, you decide to start changing their diapers before feeding, they start filling them up mid feeding.  Then when they are done you brighten their day by changing their diaper, again, which is always a calming event.  They are then wide awake at 3 am, which is spectacular!  Of course if you wait and start not change the diapers before the eat, they do nothing in them and you have woken them up for no reason, its a viscous game.  There is some joy with them being awake at 3 am when you have 5 other kids, you finally get some quiet one on one time.  They are so sweet and just look at you and coo and there are no other distractions or noise, it is utopia.  I think it is an amazing time to bond with the babies.  Even when you are tired seeing those big eyes and hearing the soft sounds, its quite fantastic!IMG_2240

I have shared with you previously how absolutely perfect my wife/supermom/best friend is and has been through all of this, well she continues to amaze.  I haven’t seen her this happy in quite sometime.  I can tell her heart is exploding with love and our family has definitely strengthened through this adventure.  My unbreakable bond with my best friend has grown in ways I didn’t feel were possible.  Even in the midst of sleep deprivation, which normally means short fuses, we continue to lead and transform this family with smiles and love.  I have never met a person quite like her, someone that completes and enhances everything about who I am.  She is my everything, and together I know that no peak is unreachable and every summit will be conquered.

Lets be honest, getting no sleep really stinks, but to have, not one, but two healthy babies, does it really get better?  I know most of you think we are absolutely crazy, 7 kids, and with the imbalance of work load to sleep, I tend to agree, but this thing called life is getting really good.  What if you got to always received two of everything, 2 Ferraris, or 2 houses in the French West Indies, or 2 signed original Babe Ruth bats, would that not be spectacular?  That is exactly what having multiples is like.  Remember that view from 10k feet, I have to tell you its looking pretty breathtaking right now.  Cherish the moments you have and don’t wish for the ones you never got, and remember only you make your own destiny.  Being a Dad is the greatest treasure given to man, seize it and make the most of these moments, even if you are sleep deprived, there are surprises in the most inopportune times and places.

5 am snuggle time.....
5 am snuggle time…..

What’s in a name? A whole lot, at least for me!

Naming the new member of a family is a really tough decision.  It is amazing how effortlessly we make huge purchases, decide where to live, make career paths, or pick out an engagement ring.  All those things can be altered and new decisions decided, but a name is forever.  It is a monumental responsibility that requires much deliberation and research.  I like things to have substance and history and heart felt personal meaning.  I like stories, history, names with the proper forethought, not whimsical decisions of such enormity made on the fly.  These are huge obligations that I take with the utmost seriousness.

All of our names have some sort of family connection.  The first boy, in my family, has the fathers first name as their middle name.  In comes Brenden Jeffrey, who is now 16, man I am getting old.  Then comes Colin Samuel, which is his Grandfathers middle name.  He is now 15 years old, I know they are close together, 15 months and 2 days apart.  Next is Beau Gregory after my father, and he is 8.  Beau means handsome in French, and this boy does not disappoint his name!  Bennett Gray is now 7, 15 months and 2 days apart from Beau.   His name has a great and touching story for me, my Grandmother named him only days before she passed.  Her and I held a special bond and I think of her every time I call his name, which is quite often!  Quinn William, which means 5th, is next and he is named after his Grandfather.  There was great care and thought that went into each name and we were very purposeful to not be too common, but not to out there as well.

We came into D day with one name solidly in the plan for baby A.  August Michael was going to be his name and for some reason we knew it would fit.  He has not disappointed in the three short days he has been with this family.  One of the trips we made during this pregnancy was to Napa.  We had the privilege of dining at the astounding Thomas Keller restaurant French Laundry.  Being the foodie I am, it was an unbelievable culinary experience.  Our waiter there was named August, and we immediately loved it.  Michael is my brothers middle name and he is one of my most favorite people on the planet.  We have become incredibly close and I wish he were closer.  Baby Bs name we spent 2 days discussing and contemplating.  The last of the Broermann children had to receive a powerful and compassionate name.  Liev Robert Broermann, this name has a ton of hidden meanings and some very apparent signifigances.  If you follow this blog you know we are intimately involved with the Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation and its mission for infant congenital heart defects.  Liev is an alternate spelling for Lev, which we thought would be mispronounced too often.  Lev in Hebrew means heart, how appropriate can a name be in honor of our amazing Oakes.  Another way to spell Lev is Leo, this is a name that has been used for years in my family.  It is my Grandfathers name and my dads middle name, two men that I hold in the highest regard and love dearly.  Robert is a long story with multiple layers.  Robert is my fathers brother and a man I look up to and respect a little more then words can describe.  A little over two months ago he lost his son, Nicholas Scott.  It was a tragic story and his family has been struggling to deal with the loss.  He left this world way too soon and I wanted to honor his memory by naming our last son after his dad.  Robert is also the first name of our dear friend and doctor that made all this happen.  As all things were playing out during Lievs birth, he was the one that rescued him from the womb. He is an amazing person with an amazing family and we are honored to have his namesake in our sons title.  The last, but most definitely not the least, connection to the name Robert comes from my dear Father in Law, affectionately known as Grandpa Dale.  He is a gentle, soft spoken, kind hearted Texan that we all love and are privileged to call Dad.  Robert was Dale’s Grandfathers first name, his fathers middle name, and Dales first name!  Quite a lineage for Liev, and a long line of great men for him to live up to.

So now we have all these boys with names:  Brenden, Colin, Beau, Gray, Quinn, August, and Liev.  What a mouthful and we are giddy to have this family complete.  We are home now and look forward to finding some sort of normalcy, although that seems like quite the farce of a statement.

They’re here… just got way sweeter!

The best words I can come up with to describe the last day and a half is, wow.  Ironically, that is the one response that probably perturbed me the most when people find out how many kids we have together.  I guess in this day and age it is quite an appropriate response.  This has truly been a whirlwind of emotions, from anxiety, to excitement, to fear, to nervous, to pure joy, to amazing content with what our life now looks like.  Where to possibly begin, well how about the beginning…….

Wednesday 10 am

Super mom heads to the doctor to see what is happening with this dilation thing.  Of course she is dilated to 6cm and he decides today is the day!  Well, the appointment was supposed to be at 1pm and is moved to 10am, and I have patients scheduled all morning, not ideal.  The morning is, well to preface it is a full moon and those are……um…..crazy days.  The prediction is something called a “blood” moon, which is a lunar eclipse, I think.  We mark these days on the calendar at the office, for obvious reasons, the kids are normally a little whacky on those days.  Sure enough, it was one of those nutty mornings and we fell a little behind.  Her doctor was heading into a cesarean and he wanted to break her water at noon.  Luckily we are attached to the hospital and there is a breezeway between the buildings that drops me off at Labor and Delivery.  So I got my best Carl Lewis or Usain Bolt impersonation going, age adjusted, and sprinted to L & D just in time.  It was slow going from there, with little contractions happening, even after water breakage.  So when you have twins they are born in an OR type setting, NICU attends, and lots of helpers.  Amazingly baby B flipped and moved head down as well, so both were in a great position for a regular vaginal delivery.  Now dilated to 9cm and the excitement began, we headed down the hall.

Wednesday 1 pm

 Now in the OR, the staff was getting all set up, the doc comes in and, a process that I have been through a few times before, begins!  This was already a weird day…..working all morning, running over the breezeway, OR delivery, twins, the list goes on and on.  It was about to get a little more interesting.  Lots of pushing, more then the last few kids, which again was a little strange for us.  My super woman is an amazing laborer and usually this goes really fast and easy.  I promptly received a proper education from our phenomenal OB, also a close friend, that because the uterus is wrapped around both babies, the contraction has limited force and is not as focused as with just a singlet.  This makes the “push” less effective and it requires a lot more effort, even though these babies were much smaller then our last couple.  Nonetheless, at 16:19 we had baby A delivered and walling away!  Now the tricky part, grab baby B and get him out as well.  This became quite the challenge because as his world became less crowded, he decided to go transverse.  This complicated the efforts to grab an appendage and bring down the birth canal.  Then he started to labor and his heart rate plummeted from the 150s to the 70s.  After, what seemed like 20 min of trying to grab him, a lot of phone calls were quickly made and all those staff that were just “in the room” went into action.  My friend had to do what he did not want to do, perform an emergent cesarean delivery.  Controlled chaos in sued, the room was a buzz, and for the first time, that I can remember, I saw a touch of panic and uncertainty in this woman that is always in control.  As expected, baby B was born without complication at 16:32, only 13 minutes after his brother.  I would have sworn there was 45 minutes in-between those two entering the world.  This was all very disconcerting and after making sure both the boys were doing well, I rushed back in to check on my amazing wife, she was not doing great.  Surgically, no problems, but mentally it appeared to be very difficult, and she was not sure what was going on during this change in plans.  After Oakes’ ordeal, we are all a little more aware of birth defects and complications, how can your thoughts not go there with what just happened?  But by the sweet grace of God, along with amazing doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff, the boys, mom, and everything turned out amazing!

Now here we are the night before discharge and we are elated.  Not only is everyone doing fantastic, but these two boys are pure nirvana.  There is nothing like watching your new born sons sleep while you are holding them.  Their little eyes flutter with dreams and the rhythmic movement of their mouths as they sleep.  Perfect little faces with unclouded innocence that only an infant can possess.  I am a proud father and even having done this 7 times,  I still has the same feeling of euphoria when I look upon these boys.  Your own flesh in blood that you created, does it really get more heavenly then this?  It feels like all the stresses leading up to this day have washed back out to sea, and the future is once again an amazing ray of light.  This is the final time I will have this feeling, the final chapters in this family.   We have now completed the seating for our Table for 9.

Now the fun of fatherhood really begins…….but I will stay in paradise for one more night!  Bonne nuit….carpe diem

Role Models…..

I know this will be hard to believe, but this has already been a crazy week.  We have had early mornings, evening meetings, construction decisions, birthdays, and the timer getting ready to go off for these babies.  She is getting oh so close to D Day and trust me when I say, she is REALLY ready.  I think, because I have never experienced it, that having 14 lbs. of baby growing inside of you would get increasingly uncomfortable.  Everyday activities have become impossible and, her being such a strong personality, that is really a tough pill for her to swallow.  As expected, she is still doing it with grace and dignity, not complaining, too much, and I bow down to her spirit daily.  I must say the female body during pregnancy amazes me.  To see your best friend transformed and to watch arm and legs dart around under her skin, wow not too much can compare.  It is truly a miracle!

We also celebrated my fathers birthday this week, although we couldn’t be there in person, we were all there in spirit.  That event sparked deep thoughts about who and what shapes us as fathers.  There is no map, book, computer program, app, iPad, or anything that I can physically hold that tells us how to do this fathering thing, except our own fathers and grandfathers.  Who better to emulate then your own father.  I know not all fathers we would want to be like, but for me, my father is exactly what I try daily to become.  Just a little about this man, he served his country courageously in Vietnam, came back and went to college while raising 2 kids and working full time.  Hmmmm, this all sounds familiar….  He attended every practice we had, coached most of the teams we played on and sacrificed life and limb on occasions, all for his kids.  Literally he had his face shattered by a foul ball while playing catcher (without the face mask, lesson learned) at my baseball practice.  The man is and always will be relatively selfless.  He has and always will, love my brother and I without judgement.  Now where did he learn this innate ability to father his kids?  Are we born with these abilities to nurture or taught through our environment?  These things have been argued about and discussed for decades.  The answer for most, I believe, comes from within.

My father watched his dad raise 6 kids on his own, while selling washers and dryers at Sears for 30 years.  As could be expected from that generation, you worked hard and honest, didn’t complain, and at the end of the day you have dinner with the family and thanked the Man above for all you had in life.  That sounds pretty good, but is that what todays society practices, I think not even close.  My Grandfather will always be one of my role models for his selfless acts to support and raise his family.  In all those years my father, being the oldest, witnessed a lot, and certainly learned a lot of lessons.  Those lessons shape who we are and how our life plays out.

I knew when I became a father I wanted to be just like my dad, he is my hero and role model for how I conduct my life.  He cooked, cleaned, worked hard, and was always “present”, which I believe in this day and age is the most critical part of parenting.  How do we positively influence our children if we are absentee fathers?  How do we provide an environment of nurture and love if the job takes precedence?  It is impossible to become a role model if you are not there to model what your role is in the family.  If I could offer any bit of advice to any new or old father, be around for you kids.  It impossible for your kids to idolize you if you are not there for them in times of need, which is all the time!  It has been studied and discussed for years, kids with a strong father figure are better adjusted and more successful at this game called life.

As our clock ticks by and the time grows nearer for me to become a father again, I am excited and nervous.  I know you are thinking, how can you be nervous, this is baby 6 and 7?  Each time is different, each munchkin is different, and we, as parents, become more experienced as the family grows.  This experience transforms the way we parent the later kiddos.  I always want to be the best father I can and I know this time not only be different (first time with twins), but will be my last chance to be my kids superhero.  That is both sad and exciting, but most of all, it is the best feeling in the world.

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