Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Born to be a Dad

I fell off the wagon yesterday. It was the first time in about five years that I walked into a comic book store and purchased comics. I am now the proud owner of The Walking Dead issues 89, 90, and 91. I wanted 92 but they were sold out. Guess I’ll look on the internet for that one.

            Why did I break my dry spell? I gave up comics about the time I moved back to Savannah for money reasons plus I had started doing the digital scene. Frankly, I got tired of reading comics on my laptop. Reading stimulates all my senses especially the feeling of turning the pages and how the paper smell. I miss my old newsprint comics.

            I made my departure from the no comic’s wagon because I was celebrating. What was the big occasion, you ask? First of all, this week marks my return to accessing my arm on my own. I don’t have to run to the center to get help. Because I am doing this on my own, I don’t have to hurry home to get started. Weird having all this free time.

            Secondly, I got to be a Dad yesterday and not just any old run of the mill Dad, I got to be the type that rides in on the white stallion to help his daughter and back up his soon-to-be-wife. It felt good.

            Roni is on a 504 plan which is basically a legal document that lists the schools responsibilities to deal with any issues that Roni might come across and how the school will handle it. As a special education teacher, I don’t necessarily handle 504 plans but I do most of my work with the special ed version of it called the IEP.  So basically, I got to use all that knowledge that I’m paying the federal government back for and help out my family. Did I mention it felt good?

            I walked out of there yesterday with some new realizations about myself.

1.        I am going to be a good father.

The Big Guy casts a big shadow and I have spent the last part of these 13 years since he’s left trying to live up to it. My measure of what is man and what a man does for his family is all due to Dad’s work on me and my sister. It hit home yesterday how much I’ve learned and am willing to do to protect my family. I didn’t have to but I knew that I was willing to make a jack-ass out of myself to protect my little girl. Nobody puts Roni in the corner, Dammit!

2.        My work ethics are more like my Dad than I thought.

My biggest issue with the staff at Richmond Hill Elementary was not that they were doing a poor job in advocating for my daughter but they didn’t realize they were supposed to be advocating for my daughter. I am so used to looking at my student’s needs and all the basic scenarios to resolve an issue that it’s actually ingrained into my system. Damn you, Big Guy!

 I honestly wanted to dive over the table at the counselor who manages Roni’s 504 plan. I do the same job as her on top of teaching 3 separate classes. I still manage to always try and err on the side of what is best for the kid.

            At one point my Star Trek II Capt. Kirk attitude almost came out when the counselor said there was nothing else she could do. Much Like my buddy Kirk, I do not believe in the no-win scenario much less ever say that to a parent.  It was polite, but I told her she was not doing her job. Khan!!!!

3.      Face it, Tiger. You’ve hit the jackpot!

Over coffee with Kim, I realized that I am really in that once in a lifetime relationship. The forever one that I keep hearing about on screen and song... We fit like Legos, laugh like maniacs, work together like honey bees, and have a chemistry like Bogie and Bacall. It’s the full package, baby!
Kim makes me feel like teenage Peter Parker

Since the engagement, I’ve had this fear about cracks beginning to show in our relationship now that the ante has been upped. Looking at my track record, this would be where the tower falls. Nope. We keep getting better the more serious it gets. She gets me. I get her. It works.

It’s a weird place that society has put me as the Step-Dad. I get to deal with all the squabbles over the remote, making them clean their rooms, and yelling for everyone to “Shut the hell up before I pull over this car.” Yet somehow, I can’t legally sign them out of school nor speak on their behalf with the school unless Kim is there. I’d have no problem with that if real Dad was around but he’s not and I don’t see him ever being a viable source of stability.
1974 Step Dad Hall of Fame Recipient

Yesterday, made me understand how those things don’t matter because I am willing to step up and do what is needed of me by my new family. Furthermore, it’s looking like I have a knack for this. On the day I got engaged, my old buddy, Rags, said that he was so happy for me not just for Kim but for the kids. He has always known that I was born to be a Dad. I like that. I like it a lot. I am starting to believe enough in myself to allow me to know that I got this. After all, I am born to be a dad.


  1. I loved reading this!! I agree, you are gonna be a great dad!! I remember you in school and how funny you were, but I also remember how kind you were. You've grown up and I can see you still have those great qualities and many more. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage and wonderful world of fatherhood. And to Kim.... you've made a very wise choice in picking a mate :))

  2. Egad, has it really been 13 years already?!? It's almost like I can still hear his wolfwhistle echoing thru the lobby of P-B...and yes, you ARE a great dad. F'realz, yo.

  3. The other cool thing about the comics is that you get to pick out the ones to read with your kids and don't care if they get dogearred and torn. It's the quality time and the "I wish I were a superhero" comments. You will be a wonderful dad and partner to Kim. I saw it in you when you were here in Dallas. The best is to see Amber and her love for Sonic the Hedgehog and daniel with Spider-Man. They have really grown since you have seen them. Great job standing up for what is right and challenging what is broke in the system.

  4. I like it Rob! Being a relatively new Step Dad myself, I know the rewards, and the tight rope that is walked. I am glad to see that you are very happy! - Z