Daddin': The Verb of Being a Dad

Inspired by the book, by Dion McInnis

Monthly Archives: February 2015

What’s Daddin’ about?

At a recent presentation to the Association of Business and Professional Women, I was asked about Daddin’.  I used the opportunity to explain and read the last chapter which is essentially a love letter to my first granddaughter who had not yet been born at the time I was writing the book.

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They Never Fully Grow Up

My youngest son is 22 years old and tomorrow he interviews for a promotion at his workplace.  If the interview is successful, he will become the operations manager for a multi-million-dollar sales outlet.  All the while, he maintains his school, fishing, social life and relationship.  He’s juggling the elements of a man’s life.  I am fortunate to witness the growth, just as I have in various ways for his brothers as they have grown into the men they are, and the men they will be.  But they never fully grow up…thank goodness.

Today was grocery shopping day.  As he headed out this morning, I asked him to add to the list that we keep on the refrigerator any specific items that he wanted to be sure that I purchased on my evening run to the neighborhood Kroger.  As I left the house hours later, I took the list from the white note pad without giving it any attention.  I folded it around a small stack of coupons and headed out the door.

After perusing the produce department, I paused at the meat case to scan over the list to keep me on track for the evening’s shopping.  Many of the items are hastily written, so reading the list is sometimes a study in cryptography. Tonight was no different, except for the two items in his handwriting.  Clear as day, were his items:  pizza and Cap’n Crunch Cereal.  I held the list, chuckled and shook my head.  Inside the man is still some boy, and I hope it stays that way forever.

Later, I shared the observation of the list with him, complete with the context described above.  He laughed, “I guess my tastes haven’t caught up with the rest of me,” he said with a broad smile.

There’s nothing like daddin’.

To Breathe Is To See; To See Is To Listen

Inhale.  Exhale.  One breath at a time.  Each day, each moment.  If you have lost your breath, catch it. Then see anew.

With lungs full of air, I am enjoying the view of my sons at their respective ages of 33, 29 and 22.  (I also enjoy the view of the three granddaughters, 4, 1 and 1, but today’s message is about daddin’, not granddaddin’). I had been airless for quite a while; it is not a condition that I recommend staying in for very long.  They have a term for that!

Keeping abreast of my sons is a combination of watching Facebook, talking on the phone and conversations when paths cross; the oldest uses Facebook as if on a mission and his siblings reject the medium completely; the middle son places phone calls several times a week as part of his drive home from work and on weekends; and, the youngest lives with me so our paths cross when his crazy schedule (work, school and fishing) overlaps with my crazy schedule.  Of course, there is a mix of calls, emails and face-to-face for the scattered crew of three.  One of the verbs/chapters of the Daddin’ book is about listening, and the process is still as rewarding and valuable now with three men as it was then with three boys.  It is an honor and a gift to be able to “listen in” on their lives through whatever channels are afforded me.

Of course, all the verbs work together…listening leads to growing and playing, and all those things involve learning, and every breath involves loving.  (Those are some of the chapters of the book for those of you who have not read it).

No matter what verb we’re talking about, or what story I am hearing, or questions I am trying to answer, or….  it is living.  Living.  Each day, each moment, with lungs full of air.

The boys are men (though there is, and always will be, a bit of boy left in them), their lives are changing, their dreams are developing and in each opportunity to witness their lives I know in my heart that they are living and loving.  It doesn’t get much better than that.