Defending Dads

You're doing your jobs. You and your kids deserve better.

Relay For Life of Phillipsburg

This morning, my eyes popped open from a dead sleep at about 5:45. HBO was running a marathon of Six Feet Under, one of its groundbreaking original series. I turned it on and was immediately reminded why it was must-see back in the day.

I kept checking the clock because I knew time was short. You see, the kids were here and the second they knew I was conscious, they would be downstairs to crawl over me like ants and commandeer the remote.

Once they get bored with SpongeBob SquarePants reruns and treating me like part of the futon, their thoughts turn to breakfast and what we’re going to do after. Typically, that would not be a problem. They are great company and tend to brighten any room they enter. This morning, though, I had things on my mind. The path I have chosen is not an easy one and my struggles have darkened many a dawn, this one included. I wasn’t sure I had it in me to do a Saturday with the kids. The thing is, I don’t get many. I gotta make ’em count. Nine o’clock fast approached. I hadn’t yet heard any thumping on the floorboards, but a parent knows. The kids were awake and awaiting my signal that the day had begun.

I have told people forever that though I am not religious, I do believe in a higher power. It’s mornings like this that confirm my faith.

Crippling doubt that I could handle a whole day of the daddy thing kept my butt glued to the futon and my eyes to the screen. I thought of them waiting for me and I asked for the strength to stand up and engage my children. Some might call it a prayer. Within seconds, I was overcome with a burst of energy. I stood up and a plan for the day materialized in my mind as if a flash drive had been inserted into my frontal lobe. I went upstairs, the kids heard me stomping about and the calls for “Dad!” started to rain down. I was ready, but even I was surprised at just how ready…

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