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Balancing act of fatherhood

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By Vincent Daly

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I sometimes wake from a deep slumber without any predisposed thought to my current place in life. Time in effect is meaningless. I'm not a husband, father, or any other descriptive label assigned to define my existence. I'm just simply me. The guy trying to figure out the big picture. Then some sight or sound disrupts my stream of consciousness and much like a well oiled machine the disparate pieces of my existence click back into place forming the man I've become with all the inherent responsibilities as well as the joy of fatherhood. Certainly I've evolved as a dad but yet I wonder if the uninhibited man of the past which continues to resurface during my early waking state shouldn't still have a say at the table.

The question of balance affects both parents. My wife can melt my heart with a simple glance, her countenance still having the effect of quickening my pulse in her presence. Her inner beauty shines through as well by way of comforting words and exceedingly generous nature. A wonderful caring mother to our children, I'm fortunate to have been graced by her love. And yet she too has encountered the growing pains of evolving into a parent. I would imagine for many parents it's the root of many contentious escalated battles over seemingly harmless subject matter. So how does one meet the challenge without subordinating the man or woman that lies beneath the surface?

I think the answer lies in one's determination to not quit. The solution will come but only over time with sacrifice, compromise and dare I say enlightenment. I draw upon this new found knowledge not from some late night self help guru or online oracle but rather my one and a half year old daughter. I was leaving my home a few nights ago to attend a martial arts class. My daughter, aware of my imminent departure, raced to the door, positioned herself between the door and I, then looked me dead in the eyes and told me in no uncertain terms "No leave!" As I bent down to gently pick her up to reassure her I'd return, she backed me up with a shove to my nose and told me once more emphatically, "No leave!" My wife got a chuckle out of it and honestly so did I. But I really admired my daughter's gumption. She made a stand and was not going to succumb to any drivel doled out by her parents designed to make her cave.

Too often as adults we waver to placate others including ourselves. As we evolve as parents we also need to recognize the value of the foundations rooted in the days before we embarked on the journey of parenthood. Seeing the world through the unfiltered eyes of a child can remind one of the importance of dreams, ambitions, and the strength of love for one another.

I still marvel at being a dad. Each day brings new beginnings as well as a chance for renewal. Therein can be found the unspoken power of family, the door that's always open for the dreamer within.

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