12:10 PM | Posted in
Growing up I may not have always appreciated my father but I was always in awe of some of his abilities. I was in awe late at night when the phone would ring and out of a dead sleep I could hear my father explaining how to fix complicated machinery at the plant where he worked. I was in awe when he could tell that I had been down by the river because, in his words, that was river mud on my shoes.

To this day my father and I don't always agree on everything but it is more out of his need to constantly challenge my thinking than out of any sort of malice. There are few things I enjoy more than having a sit with my father in his obnoxiously large garage and discussing politics and other issues of the day. Now that I have my own children I have tried to instill many of those values in them.

Now to those considering fatherhood, I have this advice:

1. Don't be fooled by the first one because your first child is really meant to lull you in to believing that being a parent is easy and that you are naturally good at it. They are all alone so there is no conflict. You will be tempted to teach this one to walk and talk as quickly as possible but keep in mind that once you teach them these skills it is impossible to unteach them. Be careful that you don't make this one too smart for their own good.

2. The sole purpose of the second child is to demonstrate to you how little you actually do know about raising children. They are no less cute and no less intelligent than the first but powers beyond your control will give them the ability to cut through all those fancy techniques that worked on the first one and force you to rethink everything you thought worked. This one may at times be the infuriating one but they are also the one with the biggest heart.

3. The last thing I have learned is that adding a third child into the mix forces you to switch from a man-to-man defense to a zone defense. The virtues of a man-to-man defense are such that each child gets individual attention and has little chance of getting into too much trouble. The virtues of a zone defense is that you can cover larger areas but now are at risk of being double teamed.

Despite days in which you would like to rip your hair out there are also those moments when these three little characters (or however many you have) will make you laugh like you have never laughed before and amaze you with abilities even you do not have.