Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | April 21, 2017


It’s 2009 and the day started off as an ordinary fall Saturday, everyone happy go lucky as we were going to head into town and out for lunch.  Our kids were then 12, 9, 8 and 6. They were all laughing and getting along with each other and we, the parents, were lovingly gazing into each others eyes.  When your day starts off like that what possibly could go wrong?  Right?  Well there was one little hiccup in the road that the kids didn’t know about that morning.  One thing we had to do before we could go to town and get lunch.

“Nothing big,” I told them, “but we have to make a pit stop real quick before we go into town.”

“OK.” They answered with a smile.  Oh how we loved those smiles and how little did we know that this little pit stop would end those smiles not just for the day but for the weekend.  In fact I am not sure if some of those smiles hadn’t been lost forever.

We pull up in front of the elementary school and the kids looked puzzled.  They looked even more puzzled when they saw tons of other kids going in too.  They asked what was going on and I told them I would explain when we get inside.  As we walked up the sidewalk toward the entry doors the kids were between excited because they saw friends and nervous because they didn’t know why we were there.  That all changed to nervousness quickly once we entered and they saw some kids coming out crying.  It was now time to tell them what was going on.  They were there to get a shot.  It was the H1N1 craze and all kids and first responders were getting free shots so on the side of precaution we decided to get them theirs and I would also get mine since I was a first responder at that time.

“NOPE!  I am not going to do it!” My youngest son said.  Well the other kids heard him defiantly tell me no so they followed suit in telling us no, except our oldest daughter who was trying to be brave.  I was able to calm them down and told them the needle was very small and you barely feel it and I would even go first.  I finally got them to agree.  I might have said something a little mean to build their confidence like those other kids were just being big babies.  Who would have thought that once they entered the gym doors the thought of looking like a big baby didn’t matter at all.  I know what my wife and I saw and that were a few kids here and there crying but what our kids saw was every child in the gym screaming in pain with tears flowing down their face.

I told them it would be alright but before I could finish they were already starting to back up towards the exit while adamantly saying one word over and over, “NOPE!”

The two of us were able to coral them back this time and get in line.  I watched two different kids get the shot with out a whimper.  I said, “Look kids watch this next one get their shot.  I watched many now get a shot without crying so watch them and you will see everything will be fine.”

The nurse grabs the needle, grabs a chunk of skin in the back of the arm and then sticks the child just like the ones before, puts the medicine in and then pulls the needle out.  It seemed to go in slow motion for a second and the child seemed fine and I started to smile at the kids and just about the time I was going to tell them, “see I told you it won’t hurt,” the child let out a murderous scream.  Legs kicked, arms flailed, and tears rolled.  You would have thought the nurse just cut that kids arm off.  The kids look at her, look at us, back to her, and then back at us again and it started.  They started screaming bloody murder like they had just gotten the shot themselves.  I am pretty sure they even had phantom pain because they grabbed their arms like they hurt.  Before I could even grab them, the three youngest all took off in different directions.  The bleachers were down and they shot towards them but all at different locations.

They were screaming as we chased them as if we were attempting to abduct them.  I am sure every other kid at this time that was crying had now stopped to take in what was going on.  Every other parent watched in disbelief.  Up the bleachers from one end to the other and back down the bleachers they ran.  Across the gym to the other side weaving in and out of all the other people just to keep away from us and the whole time they did this they were screaming and crying.

Finally, after what seemed to be several minutes, we caught the two boys.  A couple minutes later we captured the youngest.  Finally we had them in our grips and started walking them toward the nurses again.  Their next strategy was to go limp and start flopping around like a fish while screaming, “You’re hurting me, you’re hurting me!”  I scoped the room and now there wasn’t a single person not looking at us.  I am even pretty sure some were shaking their head with thoughts of us needing to take control of our kids.  “Well guess what I have control of his arm and right now that is good enough,” I thought.  I figured everyone is already looking at us so I decided to start dragging the floppy fish wanna bees.  After a few feet he looked at me like, “Are you really doing this?”  I looked down at him and said, “One way or the other you are getting this shot even if I have to give it to you all myself!”   This seemed to work, as they stood up and starting walking, still very nervous but walking none the less.

Calm had taken over slightly while we waited in line.  The kids got to witness a few kids before them get the shot and not cry.  Their older sister got her shot and told them it didn’t hurt at all. Things were looking up.  “Next,” the nice nurse said with a smile as she looked at us but the kids must have saw Nurse Ratchet because the screaming, crying, and flopping started all over again.  I dragged both my boys to the chair with me and my wife took our daughter.  I sat down and forced each boy to sit on one of my knees.  Because of this I could only hold them around the waist which then allowed them to start throwing their arms and legs in all directions to keep the nurse at bay.  With this behavior I had to change my strategy up so I wrapped each of my legs around theirs and then wrapped my arms around theirs trapping their arms against their body.  Since they were only 8 and 9 and on the small side, I could do this but it was still tough.

The nurse comes over with the needle and just about sticks my youngest son when he gets an arm loose and starts to scream even louder, “You are a liar!  You are a liar!  You said you would go first!”  I told him he was right so I told the nurse if she could give me the shot first so they can watch I would appreciate it.  “I want to show them it doesn’t hurt,” I told her.   She smiled and said that was fine.  It wasn’t a happy smile it was more of, “Whatever gets your family the hell out of here,” kind.

The nurse grabs a pinch of skin on my upper arm and sticks the needle in.  The boys are intently looking at me and with those eyes on me I started to kick my legs and scream that it hurt so bad.  Total fear took over in their eyes.  Fear so bad that they were paralyzed and couldn’t move and on the verge of passing out.  I started laughing and told them I was kidding that I didn’t feel a thing.  I am pretty sure the nurse wanted to stick that needle in my eye after that.

Finally everyone got their shots and we get back in the van to go get lunch.  It is nothing but complete silence. Looking into the back seat, hoodies were pulled over heads and glowering, wet eyes gazed at us from under the hoods. We asked if it hurt bad enough that all the kicking, screaming, and crying was worth it.  After asking a few times, and us poking fun at what happened, we finally got an answer about half-way to town…with crooked smiles they said, “No.”

Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | November 2, 2016

I am not a Christian if I believe in a woman’s right to choose? 

​Let me get something straight, I am not a Christian if I believe in a woman’s right to choose?  Hmm.  Well I beg to differ, but to each their own on that.  I just want to make a couple of points knowing I won’t change minds.  
First, I understand how important human life is and I do believe the bible talks about how important life is.  Second, I am not in favor of abortion.  I believe there are other routes women can take if they don’t want the baby and quite honestly if my daughter or any other woman asked for my advice it would be in every way, shape, and form to try and get them to have the child and then give it up.    
In faith it is not our job to judge someone for their decision they are making.  It is only God’s.  Instead we can counsel, love, and be there for them.  We can try and advise them to give birth and give the baby up but we can not make that decision for them.  We can not also call them names or treat them like they are not humans, or tell them they are going to hell because honestly that is not true.  Let me ask you this:  Would Jesus make the woman have the baby?  Would He force her to?  No he would talk to her and try and convince her to have it but in the end Jesus would let it be her choice, her free will.  He would be heart broken and devastated but He would not stop her.  So spiritually speaking we should not be able to make that choice for her either.  
Also, let me ask you this, wasn’t our country founded with a freedom of religion?  Well then if we make abortion illegal and take away a woman’s right to choose because it goes against God and the Christian view of life, then is that not forcing a Christian religion on someone? What if said woman is an atheist, agnostic, or has a different religion and doesn’t have the same view?  Pushing a Christian-based law on her would be unconstitutional.  Oh, but we are going to do it for morals then if religion has nothing to do with it right?  Is everyone prepared to picket every prison where the death penalty exists too?  Are we going to take all the guns away from cops and soldiers because they could use them to kill someone even if they are protecting their own lives?  For that matter, shouldn’t we then take away guns from everyone, because guns are made to end life.  Are we going to take away the rights of patients too by taking away their choice in whether they want procedures, chemo, meds, etc., even though they are going to die anyway and make them take quantity over quality of life?  No we won’t because then we are heading down a dictatorship style of government where they can tell us all what we can and can’t do. 
Finally if we do this and outlaw abortion now no matter what age or how the woman got pregnant, are you going to do everything in your power to make sure that woman and her baby are taken care of?  Because let’s face it, you can’t have it both ways.  You can’t call yourself “Pro-Life” if you are simply “Anti-abortion”, if you only care about life up to the point of birth and then you ignore what happens afterward. You can’t force someone to have a baby and then complain if they have to be on welfare because she can’t afford to feed the baby.  Oh right but there is adoption!  So how many of you are going to sign up to be an adoptive home the day after the law goes into effect so we make sure every child has a home? Let’s face it – we can’t even get enough people to adopt now and that is why there are so many kids in the system already.  And before you say anything to me, yes my wife and I have adopted 3 children.  It is one of the greatest things we have done in our life.  
So the bible says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”
So even if you take the above scripture as just moral advice then how can we force women to have children?  While some morals are the same for all there are others that are not.  We are supposed to be free in every aspect of our lives.  That doesn’t mean we will all make the right decisions or go down the right path but they are our decisions, our choices, and no one has a right to tell us otherwise.  Yes we can disagree with a person and their choice but it is theirs and theirs alone, they don’t then deserve to be ridiculed, taunted, or hated on because their choice doesn’t match up with yours.  Even though you might not agree just respect and love one another’s choices.  It is amazing how much better this world is when those two things are first!  God Bless!

Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | August 19, 2016

College Move in Day And This Father’s Struggle to Let Go

Well today is the day.  Today is the future.  It is the time I have written about so many times.  The day I have dreaded and looked forward to equally as much.  It is the reason I am so stressed, so angry, so sad, so happy, and so scared.  It is the day a father lets go and sees if his teachings, his advice, and his love was enough.  

It is college move in day.

Today we take her and move her into her dorm room.  Well really it is not just a room, it is a home.  A place where she will make her own decisions, her own adult decisions!

 She’s 19 now and calling her an adult is still weird.  She is my little girl not my little adult!  She is the little girl who I watched learn to crawl, take her first steps, and say her first words; DA DA!  She is the little girl who held my hand while walking, the little girl I carried to bed when she was tired, and the little girl I protected from the bogeymen.  She is the little girl who I taught how to ride a bike, taught to enjoy scary movies, taught how to properly scare a person, and helped teach to drive.  She is my little girl!  

Now I have to let go of that little girl and let her become an adult.  Those are some of the toughest words a father will ever say about their children, “I have to let them go.”  For me it has been so tough that I have fought in anger with my own emotions about it.  When I would think about it I fought back the tears and the possibility of it really happening.  I fought it so much and so hard that my stress levels, along with my blood pressure, went through the roof.  This last month I have been angry beyond all belief, so much so my wife and kids seem to take the brunt of it and without knowing why.  I couldn’t tell them that I was so mad at something that I knew one day would happen and was part of life. 

 All parents have to let their children go at some point and I know that but the reality of it being so close was infuriating.  As a father you tell yourself; “I have 18 years of this.”  “They’re only in elementary school.”  “They still got 4 years of high school left.”  “Well at least we have the summer before college starts.”  But it all goes by so fast, so so fast!

It seemed so silly to be so angry at life and knowing that I was going to have to let go, but I couldn’t stop the anger.  I am embarrassed that my family had to endure my drop of the hat anger moments and I owe them an apology and they will get one.  I am not happy about it but feel like whoever reads this and feels this way when it is their time, that maybe they will feel better understanding they are not alone in that feeling.  


So we have to let go but the question is; how do we do it?  How do we not blow up their phone with text messages asking how they are and if they are ok?  How do we not fill their email up with messages wondering how their day went?  How do we not call them every single day just to hear their voice on the other end?  How?

Well I am going to tell you what this father is going to do and hopefully it works.  First, I am going to put on a brave face to mask the anger, anxiety, stress, nervousness, and fear I am feeling.  Second, I am going to help her move in and set up her part of the dorm room the way she wants it so she will be the most comfortable.  We will talk, laugh, and enjoy the time spent with each other.  Third, I am going to tell her how proud of her I am and how much I love her.  Last, I am going to hug her tightly, tell her good bye, and let go.  This will not be easy but it is something I know must happen.  Part of being a father, what I believe is the hardest part, includes the job of letting go, letting their child sprout their wings and become independent.  I am getting angry just writing this and thinking about it.  I don’t want this!  I want to freeze time and just keep everything the way it is right now but I know I can’t and if I could that would just be selfish of me.  Instead I will let go and along with that I will let the anger, stress, sadness, and anxiety all go too.

Today will be seen through watery eyes but felt with great love and joy.  Today I will let my little girl start her adult journey, one that I have no doubt will be filled with adventure, joy, and love.  I want you to spread those wings and fly but know that anytime you need me and for any reason I am just a phone call away.  I will always be there for you.  I want you to know that I am so proud of you and I love you very, very much!  God has blessed me more than I deserve by allowing me to be your father!  I Love You, and I leave you with this:

My Daughter

I look at you and I do not see the passage of time.  I see my little girl playing dress up, running through the yard, playing on a swing.  I will try and respect the fact that you are older now and that the decisions you will make are your own, but you must understand that to me, you will always be my little girl.  I may not be able to carry you in my arms anymore, but I will always carry you in my heart.


Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | May 17, 2016

19 Years and Counting

I close my eyes and I can see it clearly.  I am 21 and you just turned 20.  We were too young and because we were too young we wouldn’t have a chance to make it.  Young people just don’t understand what love is.  They are probably doing this for the idea of love but not for real love.  People our age were just getting married for the spectacle of it all and a few years down the road it would be all over.  Why don’t these young pups just wait a few years and live life a little until they understand what love is.  It isn’t like it was in the old days; you know where you married that person and it was meant to be forever.  No, this generation of youngsters just didn’t understand the concept of marriage and that is why the divorce rate was going up.

Those were the things being said about our generation and marriage at such a young age.  The world didn’t give us a chance and at times I would wonder before the wedding if our family and friends really did.  In the end though none of that mattered, because I didn’t just love you I was in love with you.  I had always known that once I fell in love and wanted to marry the person I fell in love with that it would be for the rest of my life. 

There you stood across from me shaking, looking nervous, but most of all looking beautiful.  Everything was perfect that day.  The sky was the most beautiful brightest blue that I had ever seen.  The temperature was perfect for an outdoor wedding.  My family and your family were seated around the amphitheater to watch us, and you right there in front of me.  God had given us the perfect day!

You smiled and everything around me disappeared except you.  I don’t know if I ever told you this but when we held hands to exchange the rings and say the vows I felt our souls connect.  I knew right then and there that no matter what situation would arise that we would conquer it and come out of it a better husband and wife, and we have for 19 years and counting! 

For nineteen years I have felt that connection grow stronger and stronger.  I have felt my love for you grow deeper and deeper.  For 19 years my life has continued to be better and better because of you.  For nineteen years you have continued to make me a better person.  You make me believe in myself, you make me laugh, you make me think, and you make me feel loved.   

I am lucky because I have found the love of my lifetime.  There are a lot of people who go through this life without finding true love but not me, I have.  God has blessed me not only with His love but with finding you and experiencing your love for me.  I love you more than any amount of words could possibly express.  I love you more than I could ever possibly explain.  Thank you for loving me and being my wife for 19 years and counting!   Happy 19th wedding anniversary!  I Love You!   

Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | April 5, 2016

TO: My Graduating Child FROM: DAD SUBJECT: I’m Sorry

Graduation time has come. The time that I thought was so far away is now here and it seemed like it arrived in the blink of an eye. It is one of those times that a father puts behind their tough guy act. It is a time, whether privately or not, that tears show up. Maybe they run down your cheeks or maybe they just well up in your eyes but they come. Don’t give me this crap that I am a man and I don’t have tears because I will call bull crap on every single one of you. It does not make you weak, it does not make you a sissy, and it does not mean you are less of a man. What it means is that you are a father. You are someone who has raised this child from birth to the age of 18 hoping and praying you have taught them enough about right from wrong, being respectful, being a kind and loving person, and so many other things to prepare them for leaving the home and becoming an adult. But there is also something bigger and heavier weighing down your heart during this time. It is not the worry of our child’s future but instead it is the past. It is all the things that there wasn’t enough time for because time, life, and even we got in the way of it. So here is where a father’s apology letter starts;

I am sorry that I didn’t change more diapers, I didn’t spend more alone time feeding you, I didn’t hear all your coos, or see all your smiles.
I am sorry that I didn’t read more bed time stories, have more play dates, or snuggle more with you.
I am sorry that I didn’t hold and carry you in my arms enough.
I am sorry that I didn’t watch you ride your bike more, go on more walks, or listen to all of your stories.
I am sorry that I didn’t make it to every school function, or couldn’t help you on every school project.
I am sorry that I said things like “not now” or “in a minute” and then forgot about it.
I am sorry that when you were hurt or hurting I couldn’t take away every single bit of pain.
I am sorry for the times I seemed too hard on you or was too soft on you.
I am sorry I didn’t hug you enough or tell you I love you enough.
I am sorry I didn’t spend more time with you everyday.
I am sorry I didn’t show you my love, happiness, and the joy of being your father more than I did.

The bottom line is that I could keep going and going. Life, time, and ourselves got in the way, something that we can’t go back and change and even if we could those things would still get in our way. We as fathers will live with this for the rest of our lives. Even if we could have spent every single waking breath with you from the time you were born until the day you leave our house, the truth is even that would not have been enough time. Even then we would have been sorry for all of these same things.

I guess the point of this is so that you know even if we missed things or messed up, it is not that we wanted to or that we just forgot about it but instead we choose to live with those mistakes inside. What good does that do? None! So that is why I am writing you this. Holding these things in just slowly rots us away while sharing them with you let’s us release the shame and guilt, and also allows you to know that we are sorry for them and that they never went unnoticed. These are everyday life things that we as fathers mess up on. Our fathers did, yours did, and one day your children’s father will.

These are the things that maybe even you don’t think of but late at night in bed, a car ride alone, or even when we are right there enjoying time with you, we do. We always do and will see the mistakes we made, the time we lost, and will forever regret those missed opportunities in this life.

I wish we lived a fairy tale life where we could spend every single second with you but since we don’t we will just have to let the memories of the hugs we did get, the “I love you’s” that were said, and the time we did spend together comfort us and rise above our faults. I know mothers are a lot better at the emotional part and saying their feelings but today it is your father’s turn. You deserve to hear the emotional side of this from a man, your father. So along with the “I’m sorry” there is this:

There has been no greater joy in this life than raising you. It is hard work and there are ups and downs while raising a child but the joyous moments far outweigh any of the negative ones. The joy of parenthood and the love that comes with that fills our heart. It overpowers and out shines anything negative in our life. I want you to know we love you dearly and that we are so proud of you and the person you have become. My hopes and prayers are that you achieve everything that you can in your life and live a happy life full of love, the same kind of love that I have enjoyed by having you in my life.

I love you,


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