Lately, I have seen more and more emails telling me that people have subscribed to The Rookie Dad. I welcomed this at first, then I realized there was a problem. I never told the readers of this site about my new site. OK well it isn’t so much new as I just transferred to a self-hosted site which allows me to offer you, the reader, more content with more bells and whistles.
I can hear you now, you are wondering what that site is. Well just take a look at the URL of the site you are at now, and take out the wordpress.com portion and you’ll get it.
There you can sign up to follow me again (you can sign up for my newsletter to make sure you do not miss anything), because quite frankly, it is too dang difficult to handle two sites that are basically two in the same.
I look forward to seeing you there!
I tend to shy away from writing about my family. It has gotten me into hot water before and I since then, I try to not muddy the waters. But this past weekend I saw something from a family member that was worth writing because I was blown away.
My brother-in-law amazes me. Simply put, I don’t know how he does what he does. Not only do I see this, but many people on the Mrs. Rookie Dad’s side of the family sees it as well. It was no more evident than this weekend.
He was a Superdad!
The Rookie has three cousins on the Mrs. Rookie Dad side of the family. All of which belong to her sister and husband. This past weekend we attended what could be the last wedding on her side of the family. One of the cousins was the flower girl and the other cousin was a co-ring bearer with the Rookie. If you are counting you may realize that there are only 2 cousins, well one of his other cousins is 9 months old and not able to take part fully in the wedding ceremony.
On top of this, Mrs. Rookie Dad and her sister were both bridesmaids in the wedding. This meant that the Rookie would be spending nearly the entire day with his cousins as the girls got ready. The dads, in charge of taking care of the children. For many that can be a scary thought.
Four years ago the doctors were wondering how I was even able to walk into their office. They had never seen someone with numbers as high as mine. They wondered how I was even able to function. I asked myself the same question. I was also asking myself, how I wasn’t being a healthy dad.
A diet of gas station and fast food just wasn’t cutting it. It was all I had access too. Not because my family wasn’t eating healthy at home, but because it was the lifestyle that I was living at the time. It was my career.
I was a news photojournalist. I was running from story to story grabbing a bite to eat when I could. Taquitos and flaming hot Cheetos from gas station and I had a very intimate relationship. One that I am sure Mrs. Rookie Dad was jealous about at the time but didn’t tell me.
It was at that moment four years ago that things began to change. I started realizing the effect that the constant diet of chips and soft drinks were having on my life. It showed too. I was the heaviest I had ever been. I could feel my belly spilling over my seat belt every time I got in the news van to drive off to the next news story. There was no way that I would win a back alley news fight with the Channel 9 news team. There would be no throwing tridents or setting people on fire. I would be out of breath within 2 minutes and you would see me curled up gasping for breath being set on fire and stabbed with a trident.
That wasn’t who I wanted to be. That wasn’t the same person who played 3 sports cross-country, basketball, and baseball in high school. I didn’t want to be that person. I was making my career and excuse for healthy habits. I tried to work out on my crazy news schedule but it just, for the lack of a better term, wasn’t working out.
I am sitting here on the couch. Relaxing after a hard day’s work. It has been a long week. I have changed bosses and moved offices and the adjustment has been difficult on me. I am sinking into my chair.
I am relaxing. As I sit in my easy chair waiting for the Kansas City Royals game to come on. I’m seeing a timeline and in and out points from editing video all day. I’m looking forward to watching this game even though I am not your typical Royals fan. I root for them only because I am from Kansas City.
I turn the TV. The game comes on. You can see the excitement that the fans from Kansas City had at the game, I am taking in the excitement. It is something residents of Kansas City haven’t seen in 29 years!
Out of the corner of my eye I see Mrs. Rookie Dad working on her homework and I see the Rookie pull out his Batman doll. I smile and sense a peaceful evening as I watch the game.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the Kid raises his voice, and starts to make flying sounds. His voice gets even louder as he talks in his batman voice.
The phone rang. I was in a glass edit bay looking out a newsroom buzzing with activity. I had been out in a live truck all morning covering an overnight shooting in the Kansas City metro area.
It was Mrs. Rookie Dad. This is the 3rd time she has called me that day. I had been anticipating a phone call from her to tell me that it was time to go to the hospital for a few days now. The newsroom had been put on baby watch, knowing that at any moment I would have to leave.
But that morning, the calls from Mrs. Rookie Dad had been what I like to call the “nothing” phone call. A call that can wait until I come home to discuss. We were at the point in the pregnancy that I couldn’t just let the phone go to voice mail.
I picked up the phone and in my head I remember thinking, “Now what!” but on the other end of the phone before I could get out a hello, I heard:
“My water broke!”
Instantly, a feeling of guilt rushed over me as I stopped momentarily to think and regret what my thoughts were that morning. I realized that would be a memory I would never forget, the thought that went through my head when the Kid was born. That immediate regret turned into a smile and happiness though when the Kid was born at 2 A.M the next morning.
The moment that the Kid was born, my paid paternity leave started. It was only two weeks of paternity leave, more than what most new fathers get. Most get none. I was one of the lucky ones.