Skip to main content

Hey man, that's a good look

Our dog Barney is partially responsible for me losing 15 pounds in the past year.  He's done this by making sure I get a daily walk.  Usually we go across Jefferson Avenue to Indian Village so I can wonder and dream about what life in Detroit must have been like in the 1910's.

During one of The Kid's first long visits, I decided she should partake in this ritual the dog and I have started.  So I bundled her up, put her in her stroller and began the delicate task of pushing a stroller while hanging on to the leash with Barney attached to the other end, a nonplussed Barney at that.

As we were walking across the crosswalk on Jefferson, headed back home, a guy waiting at the light rolled down his window and said, "Hey man.  That's a good look."

A big smile came across my face and I said a grateful thank you to him.  It was the first time a stranger said anything to me assuming I was a father, and hearing those words just affirmed that my wife and I are right in our desire to adopt.

Later it hit me that his complement might be motivated more by the perceived scarcity of men doing the right things for their children than it was a commentary on my parenting skills.

I have a few friends who are in and out of court with their ex-wives, trying to get more visitation time with their kids and working diligently to get physical custody of their kids.  I have several friends who are married and who are present in their children's lives, attending every soccer game and dance recital they can.   

Sadly, for my generation anyway, it seemed as if our fathers had forgotten about us.  The lure of another family, drugs or trying not to be like their fathers seemed to strong for many of our dads to resist.  I won't delve into the debate about no-fault divorce and the rise of single parent homes resulting soon afterward, but it seems that it was easier for the fathers of Generation X to find themselves unencumbered of the burdens of parenting.

I was fortunate to have my grandfather as a model to follow.  For some friends, it was their father or step-father.  For others it was a man from church or their next-door neighbor.  I gravitate towards the men who follow in those footsteps, making sure their actions as fathers speak for them.  I hope to always be among those men.

But what happens for those young men and women who don't have a father figure to look up to?  Will they know how to act when they have kids?  Are they self-aware enough to find a partner who is willing to accept them and help raise their kids?  Who do they turn to for answers that only dads seem to have?  Am I strong enough to be a good father to The Kid and help show others the way?

Someday, a father on a family walk with his kids will be a normal occurrence, something so commonplace that there is no need to share a complement.  Until that day, these questions will always be on my mind. 

Popular posts from this blog

My fourth Father's Day

This Father's Day is a happy one while being a great day for personal reflection. The Kid could hardly contain her excitement waiting for me to wake up so she could give me her gifts. Church, lunch at the Original Buddy's Pizza and kayaking on Lake Muskoday made today happy.

I also can't help reflect on the past. Four years ago today, we were at Lincoln Hall of Justice, Family Division in front of Judge Christopher Dingell to finalize The Kid's adoption.

It was a strange day. Our adoption could have been over a few weeks before if we had opted to have Wayne County Courts mail us her new birth certificate, but we decided we wanted to hear it from the judge himself. What we assumed would be a joyous occasion wasn't, the Judge was annoyed we wasted his time and told his clerk as soon as he decreed our adoption final that he never wanted to do another hearing like that again.

Still, it was a joyous day. Adoption Day unintentionally fell on my grandmother's birthda…

The value of keeping an old-school journal

I started journaling a few years ago as a way to get some of the thoughts in my brain out in a less public way than a blog. I focused my journal on writing letters to my daughter about everything from my own childhood to her loving attempt to serve breakfast to our family this morning. The journal coincided with my decision to wind down the number of blog posts about her, mostly because she deserves to tell her own story when she wants to tell it and in the way she wants to tell it.

I also want to save the embarrassing stories for when she starts dating.

Lately, I have done a lousy job keeping up on my journal. Until a few nights ago, I had not updated it since mid-June. Life has been hectic, trying to balance a demanding job with an exacting MBA schedule, family, and my want for being involved in city politics. Putting off journaling has been easy, there is always something that seems more pressing on my plate.

Finally I made the decision to wait one more day before finishing a pape…

Year one with The Kid, the start of an amazing life as a family

One year ago, I was running to the Target in the Eastland Mall because we needed a camera fast.  I woke up that morning, realizing that we would always want to remember that day with better photos than we would get from our smartphones. I was on a conference call for work as I ran through the store, half paying attention because I needed to hurry back to pick up Gladys so we could get to Catholic Social Services of Wayne County in time for our meeting.

I didn't want to be late for our first chance to meet The Kid.

Gladys and I were both nervous. We had seen a few pictures during our last visit with our social worker, and we had the family history the agency was allowed to release to us, but we didn't know a thing about The Kid's personality. Was she shy or playful? Would she be scared or was she curious about her surroundings? Would she cry when she met us or would she warm up to us? Would she like us?

We agreed to try playing it cool when we met her. We wouldn't rush…


Ebates Coupons and Cash Back