I have always wanted to be a dad. Always. I remember as I was growing up thinking I wanted 5 kids. I dont know where that number came from, that is just what I wanted. I always thought that I was cut out to be a dad. I have always enjoyed being around others kids, so why not my own?
I now have 3 biological children and two step-children. Add them together, and that is 5. However, I never imagined what a challenge raising kids was.
I always heard from family and from other church members how challenging it was. I never understood it. What can be hard about it? You feed them, clothe them, and let them climb all over you. You make sure their teeth are brushed and they get baths. That is not hard.
Like I said, I now have 5.
I am blessed, don't get me wrong. I love them. More than I ever thought I could, that is for sure. When I am not with them, there is an uneasy feeling in my soul. I pray constantly for their safety and health. I am the "over-protective" dad that I always promised I would not be. I honestly always thought my parents were too strict with me, but now I realize that it was because they loved me. It is hard to let them be kids sometimes. I find myself worrying that they are going to flip off the monkey bars or break an arm from falling off their bike. I know that is part of growing up, but it still is not easy to accept when they are MY kids.
The hardest part though , to me, about raising kids, is relating to them on their level. I find myself, at times, treating them like they are adults. I expect them to behave ALWAYS and to be hyper only when it is appropriate. I find myself expecting them to not make a mess at the table. I wonder why they can't remember to turn off the light after leaving the bathroom. Or why cant they remember to take their shoes to their room instead of leaving them for me to trip over when I come in the door.
It is all because they are kids. No other reason.
I looked at Ethan tonight as he was watching his sister at cheerleading practice. He was crawling all over me (as is normal for my Ethan to do!), and I noticed his hand....his LITTLE hand...
My 'big' boy is still so little. He is still just a little boy. I need to remember that next time I start a sentence with "Why can't you remember to...."
I love my kids. With all of my heart! It is fun getting to know their personalities. I am enjoying Taylor as she is starting to get into music and is starting to think boys are cute (i am not enjoying that one as much...sigh). I am enjoying the fact that Ethan is loving me more and more and wants to spend lots of time with me. I am enjoying Kaleb as he gets his personality and learns his world. I am enjoying getting to know my "step-boys" and learning how to be their step-dad.
I love coming home and hearing "DADDY!!!!!!!!!" (Kaleb also runs to me, and I love that too!!!!!)
Yes, being a daddy is hard work. It is the hardest thing I have to do in life, but it is SOOOO worth it. I would be lost without my kids!
I pray God will make me a better daddy to them and will preserve their lives and keep them healthy!!!