When I heard that the Clinton family had added a baby girl as a new addition to their family, I remembered when I first became a father.
Those were the days of anticipation and what the future would bring when starting a new family. Our first child brought pleasure and excitement to our families. I was the first of three to deliver a grandchild to our parents. Those were the days. The sleepless nights, diaper changes, and the most fun initially was the daily bath. My wife was not fond of water so playtime with my infant was bath time. After the bath it was bedtime and I would sing a few repetitive songs as my little sweetheart faded into sleep.
Eventually, we moved into solid baby food and feeding was a messy challenge that continued until she could feed herself.
Since we both worked, we were able to hire a nanny to take responsibility for the child while we were away. Those were the days. When our first daughter was almost four, we had our second daughter. By this time my wife got used to bathing the new baby and we were sharing the tasks of raising two lovely daughters.
As they grew older we put them into daycare. When they were of school age they started at daycare and were delivered and picked up from school by the daycare. When we finished work, we picked up the girls from the daycare. Both girls developed good social and communication skills at an early age. I commend the daycare and elementary school for this development.
In 1992 with a 7 year old and a 4 year old my marriage collapsed. As a divorced father, I now only saw my girls weekly.
If you read my earlier blogs you would see that I became a terrible father. I would miss my day with the girls regularly. The tears in their eyes would leave a lasting impression of the lousy father they had.
I regret those days, but fortunately they had a strong mother and the girls made it through middle school, and then completed high school at the University of Winnipeg. My oldest girl graduated from the U of W’s Public Relations and Management program. She has since moved to British Columbia. My youngest just completed her Masters in Social Work at U of T and calls Toronto home.
I’ve tried to patch my wrongs with the girls and maybe I have…..or maybe I haven’t. I’m still there for them after all these years, and the communication is positive. They do know who their father is.
If I would have to do it all over again, divorce would be out of the question. After all, I am a father.
I don’t know who wrote the IF CHILDREN (written below) however, I wish I had the chance to read it 30 years ago. In closing, I will share it with you:
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.