The Second Child

Some, like the Bible for instance, say that God works in mysterious ways. I say God’s got some jokes. Our first-born seemed relatively easy. He’s a solid kid that stays out of trouble. He’s smart and teachable. He has an obvious listening skill deficiency, but in the process of discussing child-rearing with other parents of kids his age it seems that’s a common issue. Who really listens to their parents anyway?

Then, there’s our second child. Sure, he’s probably cuter than our first (although we as parents aren’t supposed to admit that). He has a laugh that will melt your heart and a smile that will brighten the night sky. However, behind those puppy dog eyes and innocent grin is a conniving, scheming, puppet master of T-R-O-U-B-L-E. I jest… I think.

I literally cannot say with certainty that if our second-born was our first-born that we would have more than one child. Barring a surprise bonus baby, the conversation on having the second would have been much longer if nothing else. Luckily for us, it worked out the way it did.

Disclaimer: In no way am I intending to state that I am disappointed in him, that I don’t love him, that he is destined for failure or life imprisonment, or any other negative connotation of the above text one might surmise.

Our second child is… different. Just like I am different than my younger sister. The real point of this post is not to bag on my second-born. Rather, it’s more of an awakening to my own parenting skills. We got lazy… complacent. The well-mannered spirit of our first-born made us arrogant. Look honey, our parenting skills are stellar. See how well he behaves – let’s make another and show the world how awesome we are as parents. Yes, let’s do that.

And with that, God delivers his greatest punchline. The joke wasn’t on us, it was us. The same methods that we used on the first, don’t seem to work so well on the second. The second watches our first like a hawk and has picked up on mischievous activities much sooner. Because of our second, I’ve learned how to pick locks with credit cards, screwdrivers and various other tools that shall remain nameless. He has inconvenienced my trip to take out the trash to the alley dumpster by requiring the addition of padlocks on the back gate at the behest of his curiously wandering legs. He is on the brink of necessitating 24/7 surveillance. Yet, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

My point is not to discourage you from further populating your household; nay, I actually encourage it. We definitely need to try to maintain our reproduction rate at 2.5 children (if that is still the figure). My point is that every child has value as themselves… period… without the need to be compared to another.

They both frustrate us in different ways. They both make us mad at things they do individually. They both make us worry. They both make us laugh. They both make us smile. They both surprise us with the things they learn at the pace they learn them.

One thing that they will always have in common is that regardless of what life hurls in their direction, I will always be proud to be called their “Daddy”.

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Swagger Wagon Video

Bringing Daddy Back does not necessarily endorse Toyota, or mini-vans for that matter, but we highly endorse anything with great lyrics and a great beat. Mad props to whatever ad agency rocked this video out! It’s been around for awhile, but it still puts a smile on our faces – partly because its funny and partly because we can relate. So, enjoy if you haven’t seen it; just be sure to turn your speakers up!

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The Weekend of the Bull

May 14th and 15th could be labeled the Weekend of the Bull in some respects. The Derrick Rose led Chicago Bulls put a man-sized beat down on the LeBron/ Wade led Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Also, a very nasty PBR bull named Deja Blu, put a bull-sized beat down on NFL star receiver Chad Ochocinco. It’s recorded that Chad lasted 1.5 seconds and I’m not about to hate on the man as I doubt I would make it a full second. Here’s a video courtesy of MSNBC:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I point these things out this weekend as I begin to bring this site back to life to emphasize something we all already know.

Life brings about unexpected events.

At least in Las Vegas, the money was mostly on the Lakers facing the Heat in the NBA Finals. The Lakers are out courtesy of a 4-game sweep from… wait, what? I thought they were supposed to lose to Portland. Oh… hmmm well, courtesy of the Dallas Mavericks. The Bulls got shafted with free agents taking their “talents” to South Beach and oh, by the way, they have a rookie head coach. Yet, they ended up with the best record in the Eastern Conference and have all the fans on South Beach wondering where the “talents” went after Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Switching sports to the NFL, we hear constantly from “experts” that we will have an NFL season. However, the lock-out is in full effect and news seems to be coming very slowly as neither side appears to possess a desire to give in on many demands. I’m not suggesting that we will not have an NFL season this year, I’m just suggesting that we don’t really know. While we wait to find out, Chad Ochocinco decided to pass the time by trying out for a professional soccer team and then gets invited by the PBR, no-less, to attempt an 8 second bull ride. What?!

Maybe you’re smarter than me (and that’s possible), but I saw none of that happening. (And I don’t even want to get into Donald Trump as a Presidential Candidate.) I also had no intention of taking a two-year hiatus from posting on this site. A ton can happen in two years, especially being married with two boys and now owning a dog.

  • My first-born is about to complete the First Grade.
  • My youngest is now three and only half-potty-trained… Lord help us!
  • I am but one semester removed from earning a college degree.  –> Perseverance pays off kids.
  • I am also two years older, surely at least a few months wiser, and two years full of stories to share.

I stated all of the above to in order to say that the Weekend of the Bull has brought us back to life. Thanks for making time for us and we appreciate those who are still patiently waiting for the next post.

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Music Video: The Don’t Song – Johnny and Chachi

The characters are a little over the top but the song is funny. Johnny and Chachi started doing some skits for churches and these characters just took off. We realize this video and song is more for couples and their relationship but that’s part of being a Daddy as well so we immediately approved it for our site. So sit back and relax and enjoy a few minutes of some good times about things a husband just shouldn’t do in regards to his wife.

Don’t do it! Regardless of how much you want to, don’t do it!

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I Need Socks

“I need socks, too.”

A few months ago, my son uttered the sentence above. The story is quite a common one especially in this household (much to the chagrin of mommajulie). Of course, it’s been said that imitation is the best form of flattery. Let me explain.

My son and I were getting ourselves ready to play the Wii. The game of choice was either going to be Star Wars Legos or Mario Kart Wii; I don’t remember, and frankly it’s not that vital a piece of information anyway. Well, a cold front had blown through and dropped the temperature quite a bit. Point is, my feet were cold. So I said, “I need socks first.”

Of course, my son followed suit with the above quote, “I needs socks, too.” My wife also responded with semi-jealousy and semi-adoration, “Did you hear that?” With a smile on my face, I simply affirmed hearing my son’s reply.

This is not a rare occurrence. Also, there are times when mommajulie has to try to talk my son into doing something that is to his betterment while I can simply swoop in and just say the words, and well, it is done. She doesn’t think it’s fair but her jealousy is something that she will need to work out with much prayer and meditation. ‘Life isn’t fair’ or ‘It is what it is’ would be common replies to her plight.

At five years old, he still wants to be just like me but he’s also starting to realize some value in individualism. Superman is not his favorite super-hero like he is mine. He’s on a Batman kick right now without even seeing “Dark Knight” yet. He’s gone through the Spider-man phase and the Iron Man phase and who knows who will remain king of the hill when all is said and done. Maybe it’ll turn out to be Superman like me and maybe it won’t. Regardless of who it is, I have to make sure that I remain his hero.

In a time where it appears there is a growing decline in daddyhood, I need to make sure my sons see a proper example on how to live and on how to be a man. When things are left alone, they tend towards chaos rather than order. In order to give my sons their best chance in life, I have to show them how to live.

It’s often said of children that they have their ‘Daddy’s eyes’ or nose, smile, laugh, or in my case, yawn. Good Daddies give far more traits than just physical ones. Children learn how to succeed from their fathers. Involved fathers can give their children stronger work ethics. An involved father can increase integrity and self-responsibility. Children can learn to study from their fathers. Fathers can teach children how to try and fail so that one day they can try and succeed. More importantly, children learn how to pray and work on their spiritual life by watching their fathers. They learn how important you really think prayer is and where God really falls on life’s priority list.

We must be the example even in times of solitude when we think no body is watching because our children will imitate that as well. I’m reminded of lyrics by a father-son duo Aaron Jeoffrey that included the following message to Jesus, “I want to be just like You, because he wants to be like me.”

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What a Daddy Can Learn from the Bible: Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

Jesus feeds the five thousand

It would be a huge mistake on our part if we failed to draw lessons and inspiration from the greatest collection of books ever written. The Bible no doubt offers timeless lessons about parenting and basic manhood that we will definitely explore and take advantage of. Some lessons are directly about being a parent or a father, while others you’ll find take an indirect path but both have real world application such as this one that I’ve chosen today.

It’s a well known story about Jesus performing a miracle in order to simply feed dinner to thousands of people. We never really find out how He did it, just why. He saw a need and had compassion and went above and beyond what anyone would have ever expected of Him. The following is copied and pasted from Bible.com – Matthew 14:13-21:

Five Thousand Fed

13Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.
14When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.
15When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!”
17They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”
18And He said, “Bring them here to Me.”
19Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds,
20and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets.
21There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.

Now I know you’re probably asking what in the world does this story have to do with being a Daddy. Well, you’re in luck because I’m going to tell you. See how well this works out. (Of course, it’s always easy to write when I give you the question you should ask and then answer it.) Nonetheless, my focus is really on 4, maybe 3, words from verse 17.

“We have here only…”

Daddyjason wrote a pretty good article similar to this thought not too long ago titled – What Makes a Daddy Fun? “We have here only” or in other words, “We only have…” Being a good Daddy can be overwhelming and we can feel that we don’t have all the right tools. “But God, I only have… (fill in the blank).” But isn’t that all that God asks? To give simply what we have? He’s not going to ask us to give what we do not have and even if one day He does decide to do just that, He’s going to make sure there is a way we can obtain it.

Our children are no different. Well, maybe a little different. They are not divine by any means and they have no way to obtain things without our help but ultimately they need only what we have. For most of us who have little buying power, what we have is without matter but matters a ton. What I mean by this is that the gifts that we can give our children that will matter the most as they grow into adults is going to be the intangibles such as: our love, our time, security and protection, purpose, and self-esteem. While they will want everything in a well designed commercial or well-placed ad, those things will eventually break down and be thrown away; on the other hand, the intangible gifts will not perish.

I’m reminded of a powerful story from an unknown author. One day a father was locking up the doors for the night and went to check on his children to make sure they were ready for bed. His son’s door was slightly cracked and he saw him knelt beside his bed with his head down. He overheard his son praying, “Dear God, please help me to grow up to be just like my Daddy.” The father immediately went to his own bedside fighting the tears in his eyes and prayed his own prayer, “Oh dear God, please help me to be the man my son thinks I am.”

You don’t have to do great things to be a great man or a great daddy. You just need to be grateful that God chose you to be their daddy. And be grateful to give God and your children only what you have to give.

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Music Video: Til I Was a Daddy Too – Tracy Lawrence

This video is courtesy of my Mother-in-Law.  She felt compelled in her heart to share this song with me and her other son-in-law some time ago. I’m not a huge fan of country music but the lyrics are solid and powerful.

Just when you think you have everything about figured out, you find out that you are about to be a Daddy.  Your ability to love gets raised to the “nth” degree.  It feels exponential and it’s a strength of love that you didn’t realize existed until then.  No words can describe it but all of a sudden you begin to realize the sacrifices your parents made for you and it’s humbling and awesome at the same time.

I feel blessed to have been given two boys.  There are so many things that I’m going to share with them as they grow.  Some awesome things… and some bad things.  I’ll have the desire many times to take their hurts away from sickness, bruises, broken bones, and knee scrapes.  I’ll want to take away their sadness from feeling alone in a new school, not being the popular kid, or a broken heart from a girlfriend.  In order to give them wings to fly, I’ll have to let them go through it just as I did.  I just have to make sure they know they’re not doing it alone.  Daddy is here always.

Artist: Tracy Lawrence
CD: For the Love
Genre: Country
Label: Rocky Comfort

Til I Was A Daddy Too by Tracy Lawrence

Do you recall when I was six
I got lost out in the woods and you worried yourself sick
What about the day I got in my first fight
Mama she got mad but you swelled up with pride
I never knew how deep a fathers love could run
Until I had a son

{Chorus}
From watching him learn how to crawl
To skinned up knees from skateboard falls
To praying he’d get through football alive
From hearing his first words spoken
The first time his heart got broken
And knowing soon he’ll spread his wings and fly
I guess I didn’t know what a Daddy goes thru
Til I was a Daddy too

Real love the kind that you can’t understand
Until you hold it in your arms and touch it with your hands
Pure joy the kind that you can only find
When you live your life for them
And leave yourself behind
More and more I’m seeing life go by
Thru my Daddy’s eyes

{Chorus}

The fast pace of time goes racing
From first grade to graduation
And knowing soon he’ll spread his wings and fly
I guess I didn’t know what a Daddy goes through
Til I was a Daddy too

I guess I didn’t know what a Daddy goes through
Til I was a Daddy too

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