I have had a lot of jobs and professions in my life, but none touches the time spent being a dad. You know the interesting thing about being a dad is there is no manual or instructions that comes along with them. One minute they're not there and then poof there they are all pink and wrinkly with enormous appetite and phenomenal vocal chords and I don't think I have to mention the other end. Not for nothing, no matter what your schedules or routines are' they are not even close to it. Change your schedule and routine and rest assured the little pink wrinkly things will change theirs too, opposite yours.
I became a dad for the first time in 1974 when my beautiful baby girl made her entrance into the world 8 pounds, 9 and 1/2 ounces. Perfect in every way, I couldn't have been prouder. "Look what I did," I would exclaim until I said it in earshot of her mother and I caught a beating. (I think I probably deserved it, but like I said, I received no instructions.)
A few years later, I'm on the police force and No. 2 makes his entrance into the world, weighing in at a whopping 10 pounds, 4 ounces. 10-4. Do you believe it? My son is 10-4, radio code for OK. All of my buddies on the department say "Look at that 10-4. He's OK." Again I loudly (perhaps too loudly) proclaim, "Look what I did!" I don't have to tell you I caught another beating! Hey, I did not get instructions with this one either.
A couple more years and No. 3 enters this crazy world. He weighs in at 9 pounds, 2 ounces and is covered in red fuzz and as adorable as his brother and sister. (I won't bore you with the fact that I caught another beating. I guess I'm just a slow learner). I'm working at the boatyard now and, of course, my co-workers nickname him RED FUZZ. As he got older and was very obviously a redhead, people would ask where he got the red hair from, and with out skipping a beat, Rob on his own would chime in and say "the mailman." Robbie definitely didn't come with an instruction manual and trust me I could have used one.
The sleepless nights, the skinned knees, the diapers, the flu's, burns, broken bone (Rob, of course), the teachers' meetings, all the worries pale against the joys that my three children have brought me. If I was to "check out" tomorrow, I would have no regrets because "I have been blessed!" No matter what else I might accomplish in life, nothing comes even close to me being a dad.............That was until about eight years ago when another little pink wrinkly thing made her entrance into the world and, as time progressed, the first words that flowed from her angelic lips were.......PaPa and so the circle continues (and you guessed it, I caught another beating based just on principle.)
So to Melanie, Richard, Robert and Emma, Drew, Tyler, Dad/Papa couldn't be prouder or love you more. Thank you for making my life mean something and may all of your lives and all of the dads' lives this Father's Day be as blessed as mine. In the words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us every one!"