The Beast of Burden

What does being a father mean to me? In my mind it’s all about reponsibility. It means taking care of my family, including my wife and daughter unconditionally. The way I see it, being a father is a lifetime commitment, not too unlike marriage. I will know my daughter better than anyone else with the exception of my wife. Sure that’s likely to change when my daughter reaches college, yet it’s my aim to stay in touch as best as possible. The apprehension following my parents divorce in the mid 1980’s left me reeling, my dad was nowhere to be seen. It crushed me to not have my dad near, as we were very close. There’s a reason I’m an affectionate and sensitive person today and I’d like to believe my dad has a huge part in this.

The void in my life after my parents divorced was huge. I become an introvert, completely reversing my outgoing personality of the blissful pre-teen years. Those post-divorce times were rough on me and the family. It should then come as no surprise how I embraced my college girlfriend’s dad. He was a wonderful man and took me under his wing. I learned so many amazing things that when the relationship between his daughter and I crumbled… I wondered if it was okay to still call him. Of course I didn’t, but it was a setback of sorts.

Eventually I got it all straightened out and was able to meet this great woman who became my wife. Some time passes and here I am, staring parenthood in the face. There are days where I feel I will know precisely what to expect since I’ve been around kids almost my entire life. Entertaining kids is a hobby of mine just as people watching is. There are other days where I just don’t know what to expect.

Like any big changes in life, it’s “the unknown” that will play tricks on the mind. Will the crying drive me insane? Will I be overprotective or too relaxed? Should I be an APer? Most importantly, will she be healthy? How we handle these unknowns is what identifies our character.

Call me crazy, but I look forward to the first time it’s daddy and baby time. I will cherish how a person will be completely reliant upon me for supervision. I dream about how great it will be to take her camping, to watch a baseball game, or pack up the car and go for a little road trip. Don’t be fooled though because I’m completely captivated about seeing the world through my child’s eyes. This will be my favorite aspect of my new life. Is it a burden to be a father? Hells no, it’s an honor.

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About lessinges

Seattle native, discovering life! I like ice cream, cold cereal, and The Amazing Race.
This entry was posted in Storytelling. Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to The Beast of Burden

  1. brookem says:

    yay for kitty naps! meow.

  2. Amanda says:

    You taunt me. You know that right?
    Enjoy your Father’s Day nap.

  3. jungle jane says:

    I hope you bought your wife a very nice gift for Father’s Day, Egan. And made her breakfast in bed.

  4. Airam says:

    Rest up dad … you’ll need all the shut eye you can get before Anna is here to keep her dad up …
    And I have to say that I like Jungle Jane’s way of thinking. A lot.
    How was the movie?

  5. meno says:

    Sappy is good. A sappy man is a fine man, and don’t you ever forget it.

  6. Lynn says:

    Naps rock! Good for you! Happy soon-to-be Father’s Day.

  7. Cherry! says:

    Whoa! Only 50 days to go until you’re a DADDY!!!!

  8. Airam says:

    What a beautiful and heart-warming post. THe fact that these thoughts are even going through your mind shows what a great father you’d be. She’s not even here yet and you are already worrying about her and being protective of her. I’m not a parent and I know how much it irks you to have non-parents give you advice but if I may?*
    The time you spend with your daughter will be a wonderful, memory-making and so full of surprises. You will teach her so much but you will be so shocked at how much she will teach you. I don’t think anybody really knows the true meaning of patience until they’ve held a screaming child for hours on end trying to calm her down by walking around, rocking her, trying to give her a bottle, asking her softly what’s the matter, kissing her face .. anything to make her just stop(and yes this happened to me), until she finally falls asleep. Some peole have it in them, some people learn how to have it.
    This is your daughter and nobody will love her or care for her or keep her safe more than the two of you. And Anna already has a lot of love but just wait until she finally gets here … you will fall in love with your daughter over and over again. And that’s something that will never go away.
    *I think that me having 6 nieces and nephews around all the time and being “mommy” to 23 kids should give me a bit of a pull.

  9. Amanda says:

    What a great post, Egan. Seriously. I think you get it, friend. I really think you do. And I don’t think I can say much more than that.
    Shocker, huh?

  10. tori says:

    You are going to make a wonderful father. The best piece of advice someone gave me before my first baby was born was that I shouldn’t try to follow any particular theory of what is right, and that I should do what *I* thought was right for our family no matter what anyone else said or thought about it. Follow your heart and you can never go wrong. I’d like to think I’m a pretty good mom, and it is because I follow that advice. I take bits and pieces of all different theories of raising kids and use what works for us. My kids seem pretty happy and secure, so I think I am doing ok.
    Honestly just the fact that you are thinking about this stuff means you will make an excellent dad. In addition, you are such a lovely person. I can’t even express in words how much I think of the person that you are. I am honored to consider you a friend, and your family is lucky to have you. Happy Father’s Day! I know you will do awesome at the dad thing.

  11. justrun says:

    I imagine it will be very similar to how you feel now in that you’ll run the gamut of emotions and experiences. For all the things you know, there are a thousand things you don’t. And who would want it any other way?

  12. Chris says:

    One of my favorite parenting experiences to date was teaching my daughter the alphabet. I remember the whole process geeting some of the letters, needing help along the way, the cute reactions when she missed one, and then – the first time she got the whole alphabet all the way through – a moment!

  13. nessa says:

    Happy Father’s Day.

  14. Lynn says:

    Treasure every moment…it passes all too quickly. Sounds to me that you will be an incredible dad to Anna!

  15. brookem says:

    what a sweet, heartwarming post, egan. anna is going to be one lucky girl. you have such a kind heart and contagious spirit. and from the sounds of things, your wife is one amazing gal as well!
    anna will be surrounded by love and happiness all over the place! your words about her and your thoughts on the experience as it is nearing closer are truly captivating. i hope that one day you will save all of these posts about her as it’s leading up to her birth and after, for her to see and read. imagine what an experience that would be for her to see her dad’s thoughts on all of this.
    happy father’s day, again!

  16. furiousball says:

    this was a painful father’s day for me. reading this made me realize how hard i’m going to have to work to make 800 miles seem like a trot down the hallway for my son. thanks buddy.

  17. brandy says:

    Oh Egan. You should write cards for Hallmark. I would defintely buy what you were selling. This was the most touching Fathers Day posts I read and only one that made my steel-hearted self cry.

  18. Rachel says:

    I wish that Devon’s father had the same outlook that you do. If everyone had this viewpoint the world would be a much better place.
    Anna is incredibly lucky.

  19. qt says:

    Nice Father’s Day post, and thanks for visiting my blog. Saturday was “dad’s day” in my house – my dad was in charge of entertaining three girls for several hours while my mom did her thing. I have so many great memories of those days – bowling, roadtrips through the Cascades, the library, movies, etc. Nothing was off limits on dad’s day!
    It sounds like you are on the right track~and I agree, see if you can bank the sleep somehow!

  20. naynayfazz says:

    I am sure you will a great daddy just by this blog entry. The good thing about being a parent is making sure you do not make the same mistakes your parents made with you. You’re lucky you are so in tuned with your feelings. Most people aren’t able to express themselves well.

  21. Churlita says:

    Happy expectant father’s day.
    It sounds like you’ll be perfect at it.

  22. carrie says:

    There is no doubt that you’ll make a wonderful Dad!
    Hope your Father’s Day was great.

  23. patches says:

    You know more about parenthood fifty days prior to Anna’s arrival than many parents know after they’ve had the kids around for ten years. I enjoy your enthusiasm. All the preparation in the world, doesn’t make being a parent any less daunting. But, seeing the world through the eyes of your child makes it very rewarding.

  24. L says:

    Did you do anything yesterday to celebrate your impending dadhood?

  25. Candace says:

    Oooh, look at you with your AP link and all that. πŸ™‚
    Happy Belated Prenatal Father’s Day!

  26. celeste says:

    Its so amazing to see how excited you are Egan! I do hope that even though you’ll have your hands full with her once she’s born, that you’ll share your stories and keep us updated πŸ™‚

  27. Chris Durano says:

    Good read Egan! I had the pleasure of watching both Chris Gardner (Pursuit of Happyness) and Tony Robbins speak two weeks ago and watching them was truly life changing. I WILL make sure my kids know who their Father is and one question Tony brought up was “Who’ll be your children’s biggest influencer; you or the drug dealer down the road?”

  28. Cake-Lady says:

    I thought about you a couple of times this weekend. It’s too much to write at this moment but will write about it and tell you.

  29. Katy says:

    Bring back Speedo sphere!!

  30. Good for Me says:

    Happy Father’s Day one day late.
    I have lots of thoughts about your post here. For one, I’d like to hear more about the affects of the divorce on you and how you coped with it. How old were you? I ask because my boys and I are walking through this now. And though their dad is very involved with them, I know there are still many challenges that they face now and will continue to face. Just curious to get another perspective from someone who went through it and turned out healthy and happy. (feel free to email).
    The other thing is that though you may have been joking about the AP comment, you and Mrs. Lessinges will definitely benefit from getting on the same page on parenting style before Anna decides to make her way into the world. You seem to be the sort that would do that, but in case you’re not, trust me, parenting style differences can cause a lot of angst in a marriage relationship -and a lot of confusion for a little one. Anyway, sorry for preaching at you – really not my intention πŸ˜‰
    Whatever you choose, you will be a great dad. Just the fact that your priorities are straight and you have such an amazing outlook on the Anna joining your life…it’s pretty amazing.

  31. Michelle says:

    yes! Happy Father’s Day! You’ll make a great dad! I know my own dad has been one of the biggest influences in my life, I couldn’t have made it to where I am today without him!

  32. egan says:

    Brookem – you got first comment and didn’t make a huge deal out of it? I’m very impressed. What’s the kitty update?
    Amanda – please tell me how I taunt you? You’re more than welcome to live vicariously through me and I will not sugar coat the nights where Anna cries all night long, but you know those will also make her that much more adorable.
    Jungle Jane – yeah, somebody equally as bizarre as me. Great comment once again.
    Hannelie – I’m awake now. I’m a big time napper.
    Airam – Jungle Jane is hilarious, but be careful if you happen to view her blog. Lots of vulgar body parts. The movie, Knocked Up, was pretty damn funny. Crude, but I laughed out loud often which I think is a good thing. Thanks for asking.
    Meno – I’m embracing the sap, must be the forestry dork in me.
    Lynn – thanks for the Father’s Day well wishes. Soon enough it will be a reality.
    Cherry – how the hell are you? yes, it’s down to 50 days now. It’s gutcheck time as they in the various sports.
    Airam – this comment of yours is magnificent. I must let you know I did cry while reading it the first time. Let’s see if it happens again…. (hold on)…. okay, I was able to fight back the tears this time around. Um, you have plenty of parental credentials in my book for someone without kids.
    Oh, I have to clarify something for the record though. I have NO problems with people who aren’t parents giving advice. Perhaps we got confused here. Aren’t all of us kids at some point? We learn a lot about being parents through our own growth. Sure, being a parent does help, but just growing up is also a large part of the equation. Make sense Airam? Sweet.
    Someone told me that I will love this daughter of ours like nothing else I’ve loved before. I don’t doubt this one bit. It’s going to be such a great day when she finally arrives.
    Amanda – are you okay? That was way too short. Thank you for what you said. I know what you mean and very much appreciate it.
    Tori – well you may have thought you were at a loss for words, but the love and compassion you share for other people is undeniable. We’ve never met and you’re showering me with love. That takes a special person who’s very secure in herself. Thanks for sharing and saying such wonderful things about friendship and becoming a parent. Merci!
    Justrun – that’s so true. I think it’s important to not know everything as it teaches us to keep learning.
    Chris – that does sound like such a sweet thing, the first time going through the alphabet. So cool.

  33. egan says:

    Nessa – thanks, I’m closing in on fatherhood. t-minus 49 days.
    Lynn – this may kind of come out wrong, but similar advice was given to me last year before my first Ironman. Just have fun because you never have your first one again. I like to think I will use that same advice with a kid’s growth. They do grow up fast. I’m sure my mom still sees me as the hyper seven year old. I will do my best to cherish every moment.
    Brookem – how did you know my wife was so amazing? Do I brag about her enough or should I ramp it up? Crap, for some reason this made me cry thinking about her reading my thoughts. Sure she may be upstairs inside my wife’s belly as I type this, but that won’t remain the case for much longer. What a great idea. I need to find a way to make these post will be accessible for as long as possible. Great suggestion.
    I guess I never really thought about her reading my pre-natal thoughts. Brookem, thanks for the tip and the lovely words regarding this post, my wife, myself, and Anna. Thank you, thank you.
    Furiousball – I’m kind of confused by your comment. I figure there’s some sarcasm here, but not sure where. Sorry dude.
    Brandy – wow, you cried? Thanks for letting me know this. I’m not sure I have the credentials to write cards, but I can pay to blog. That’s a fairly decent tradeoff.
    Rachel – thank you. Devon is very fortunate to have you. You’re a tremendous asset to him. I love your stories about his growth.
    qt – hello and welcome to my blog. Hey, it sounds like you live in the greater Seattle area. Can you link me to your blog? I somehow lost your link. I’m staying up late now to practice for the future.
    naynayfazz – such a kind thing of you to say regarding my feelings. I’m kind of a sap without becoming a parent, now it’s game over so to speak.
    Churlita – only time will tell on the perfect thing. Next year will be the real Father’s Day and in two months I get to see how it’s really going to work.
    Carrie – thanks for your blessing about parenthood. I wonder if I need to read more books than I am.
    Patches – are you trying to get free cat food? Wait, now you’re commenting as a human. Thanks for the vote of confidence. What a nice thing of you to say. A year from now we’ll see how I feel about this fatherhood thing.
    L – we went and saw a movie and had dinner at Pacific Place. It was pretty nice and relaxing. A very good weekend was had. Thanks for asking.
    Tall Chick – I figured you’d like the AP link. I’m glad you’re still around. How’s the family doing?
    Celeste – it’s so exciting to read a comment like yours. You better believe I will sneak away to blog as often as possible. I have to serve my addiction right?
    Chris Durano – hey buddy, what’s up? That’s cool you saw them speak. I really want to see that movie as the relationship between the father and son is so amazing from what I heard. Speaking of parents… any word on the Michelle?
    Cake-Lady – now that’s one hell of a teaser. Checking your blog right now to see if I can find anything there.
    Katy – ha, what’s a pool? I’ve been so so so bad about swimming. Like it has been two full months since I was last there… two fucking months. The regulars are going to wonder if I’m still alive. How’s life over there?

  34. egan says:

    Good for Me – wow, you’re asking me some great stuff here and you better believe I’d love to help with this I will answer these questions here, but feel free to email me or Skype me. (damn Skype is cool, but I don’t know anyone other than two users).
    Divorce: I really struggled with this one for a couple years, but I didn’t realize it until I was in my mid 20’s. The loss of my first brother really through things out of whack. When my dad left, my oldest brother became a huge part of our lives. Sadly I lost him suddenly and my world was turned upside down at the ripe age of 16. I believed I was closer to my dad than my mom and it tore me apart when he disappeared. I bottled it all in and never once saw a counselor. [wiping tears away]. There was a lot of mystery in how and why my dad left so it was rough.
    No longer was my dad at my baseball games or swim meets. Come to think of it, this is roughly about the time I started to lose interest in organized sports, about 9th grade. I had a few really close high school friends and they were very helpful.
    Here’s where it’s going to sound odd, but the passing of my brothers in 1989 and 1991 really turned me around, especially after 1991. The death was so sudden that it taught me to not take things for granted and express myself with anyone willing to listen. Eventually I got comfortable with sharing myself and my stories and was able to grow. I have no idea if any of this helps, but let me know if you have any questions.
    Parenting styles: I think my wife are on the same page here. I get the feeling I might be a bit more laid back since I grew up in a large family without much supervision. But I’m aware of this and will do my best to keep in mind things have changed since I was a child. Thanks for asking about this and it didn’t come across as preaching. Thank you for asking these great questions Good for Me.
    Michelle – reading this comment and combining it with the picture on your post is such a wonderful thing. Congrats on once again on your graduation.

  35. Amanda says:

    To be honest with you, your post had me crying. When I cry, I have a hard time coming up with words. And coming up with words affects comment length. You know how hard it is for me to be brief. Besides, Airam had just left that really nice comment and I knew that others were going to leave similar ones. So, I thought I could go a day without writing you a novel. It felt weird, though, writing a short comment and am now making up for it with this one.
    So, you want to see the world through your kid’s eyes? Reminds me of a song……
    Oh, and the taunting? Well, that’s was from your 2 line post you wrote prior to adding this beautiful one. I’m glad that you don’t mind me living vicariously, though. It has been both a good thing and a bad thing when it comes to my own “baby fever.” I’m having a hard enough time keeping it together when I hold that new baby niece of mine. So, please don’t sugar coat anything. I need the reality check!
    Ok. I think I made up for my lack of comment yesterday.

  36. ruby says:

    You are going to make a wonderful father!

  37. Amanda says:

    Oh! I was going to tell you yesterday when we were talking and then I was going to in my last comment but again got sidetracked. But you were talking about Skype yesterday and again in your response to Good for Me. I have had Skype for the past month and a half (I downloaded it when I was trying to figure out the podcast stuff) but can’t figure the fucker out. You should teach me.

  38. Parenting will be your greatest joy and your greatest challenge – and you are already a dad!
    I don’t think that men, in general, realize their significance in a child’s life. I enjoyed reading how you feel about the phase of your life you are now entering. You will do a fabulous job – just remember that no one has the answers; no one is perfect; and the best you can do is your best.

  39. Tim says:

    Being a dad is the most awesome thing in the world. You’ll be a great one.
    Quick story about the first time I had daddy and baby time. Kenslee was 5 days old and Kym and her mom went to the store for about an hour. So, all was good until I went to change her. At the exact moment I opened her diaper, Kym and her mom walked in the door, and Kenslee proceeded to simultanously pee, throw up and shoot a liquid poop across the changing table. It was quite an experience.

  40. leiselb says:

    SO cute! Such fun…..

  41. egan says:

    Amanda – you have been “atoned”. I’m not even sure you can say it that way, but I’m sticking with it in true Amanda fashion. Airam’s comment was something else. It was so sweet and well thought out I had to take it in chunks.
    I know the song of which you speak and damn do you ever sing it well. Feel free to live vicariously, as that’s how I roll. I will do my best to share all about parenthood and keep it light for those not as interested.
    Ruby – well thank you for saying so. Who paid you?
    Amanda – Good for Me turned me on to Skype. It’s actually quite cool, but I only know a few users on it. You can add me “eganfo” when you log in next time and we can give it a shot. The audio and video combination rocks. Such a cool way to IM.
    The Exception – this is what I hear about parenting. Now I just have to witness it first hand. True, no one does have all the answers. A father’s role in a child’s life isn’t to be taken lightly. I know what an impact my father had on me and then when he was gone… something was missing inside of me. (dammit, crying again). Thanks for the comment.
    Tim – this will no doubt happen to me too. I’m wondering if a white changing table is perhaps a bad idea. Thanks for passing this along and I appreciate the kind sentiments.

  42. egan says:

    LeiselB – yes, that’s what I hear people say. Any other insight?

  43. Amanda says:

    Very well thought out for being written so early in the morning. Teachers are smart, yo!
    Want to know how I heard about Skype? My Harry Potter podcast that I listen to. Yeah. I said it. Jealous?

  44. egan says:

    Amanda – jealous? no. But give me your Skype user data so I can add you. I suppose I can find you next time I fire it up. Uh huh, Airam is a smart cookie. HP in the house!

  45. Amanda says:

    That was from a TV show…I wasn’t really asking if you were jealous. I told you I’m a tad out of control.
    I’m pretty sure that my skype stuff is the same as everything else I have sign in stuff for (sapphire314). Creativity for log in shit is overrated. I have too much other stuff to try and remember.

  46. brandy says:

    Amanda… Harry Potter podcast? We need to talk. Immediately.

  47. brandy says:

    Oh and Egan, can you write something new? I’m totally primed and ready to be the #1 commenter today. I mean, I even stretched and have been drinking lots of water. Just a thought.

  48. liv says:

    you’re going to be great. really great. you can see the past and have a future in mind. excellent post.

  49. tori says:

    Brandy isn’t going to be first if I keep stalking your blog. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with me?
    However, we are leaving in a few minutes so I can go to the gym and workout and the kids can play with their friends there, so I bet that is when you will post something and I will miss being anywhere near first like I always do. Whatever. I don’t need to be first. My jeans are too tight (not my super expensive new ones that I posted the picture of), and I need to work out more than I need to be first.

  50. sandra says:

    The fact that you’re thinking so carefully about this means that you are going to Rock. Capital ‘r’ intentional.

  51. Amanda says:

    Brandy…oh hell yes Harry Potter podcasts! You’re right. We do need to talk. I’m going to e-mail you.

  52. Cheryl says:

    I have no doubt you’ll be a great dad. And I know there are a lot of decisions to make, but I think that the best way to parent is with love and you definitely have that covered already.

  53. Egan – fabulous post … you commented in the comments that you need to find a way to make sure these posts are available for a long time so that Anna can read your pre-natal thoughts.
    It’s not high tech or anything, and there’s likely a better way but I have been printing out the posts I’ve written and have put them in a binder for V to read when he’s older … just a suggestion!

  54. egan says:

    Amanda – you’re not out of control at all. If anyone is, I am. We got to get all Skyped out soon, you hear me. The jealous thing was lame humor on my part.
    Brandy – you and Amanda need a private room? I will make sure muggles make their way in there.
    Brandy – I did write something new, but you apparently were too busy doing other stuff to secure the top spot. Someday.
    Liv – thank you very much for saying such a sweet thing. That’s very kind of you. I reflect often, maybe too often?

  55. egan says:

    Tori – you clearly missed your opportunity to comment first. Amy beat Brandy, but commenting first really isn’t a big deal. I love how the tightness of your new pants came up in this comment. How very interesting.
    Sandra – thank you for saying that. I do believe this to be true as well. Much appreciated.
    Amanda – have you and Brandy hooked up yet? Get with it and use QT Pro yo!
    Cheryl – thanks, it’s amazing how much love can make things better. I truly believe that and support this idea.
    Chaos Control – that’s a great idea. Actually my blog provider, the great Typepad, will create hardbound books from my blog posts. I might have to investigate this option.

  56. sizzle says:

    from the looks of it, i think you are going to be an awesome father.

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