From Good Guy to Great Father
I recently got the chance to catch up with one of my guy friends I had lost touch with over the years. When I first met him, he owned a bar, was animated, and extremely sexy. He was single and played as hard as he worked. But he was genuine. He would do anything for his friends, when they needed him. I honestly don’t think I ever heard him say no, to anyone. Even when he should have.
I came across him years later actually by mistake, I was looking for a former classmate from college and they happen to share the same first name. I had heard bits and pieces here and there through the years about him, how he was doing, what he was up to, etc and always meant to get a hold of him, yet never did. Life seemed to take over every time and soon he was pushed back in to the past. When I found him this time, I made time.
He might had done something I could never see him doing way back when, become a father. The picture I saw was of him, but he had two boys on his lap. I was curious so I sent him an email, and I’m guessing my appearance had changed so drastically over the years he didn’t recognize me at first. We were both thirty-one when we first met, he was older than me, by three months.
Now fast forward eleven years later. He did finally remember me after a few days. We emailed back and forth, but in his latest reply he left a contact number, with a suggestion we stay in touch. He had always been really sweet to me, so I took down his number and text him later that night. Again he had no idea who I was! This time was my fault, I didn’t tell him who I was in my text. He called a half hour later. We talked for over an hour, bringing me up to current on him and I the same. I was surprised to find he’d got married, had two kids, and was divorced. The man I knew back then lived everyday like it was a Saturday. Now Saturday for him comes once a week, and this past one he spent hanging out spending all weekend with his two boys. I could hear the change in him through his voice; he loved being a father. He didn’t use his divorce as an escape route to get out of his parenting responsibilities, that was when he started earning “Atta Boy” points.
Usually in a divorce, most children are placed with the ex-wife. Not in this case. The way he spoke of his boys and how he couldn’t imagine going a week without seeing them was genuinely moving. That’s not something I hear very often about a father. I never thought he’d be a bad parent, just didn’t think he’d ever be a parent. It was nice to hear that having kids had grounded him and gave him emotional depth. Not only has he stepped up to take parental responsibility, he’s doing it completely by himself.
Becoming a father had elevated his good qualities to great ones. It’s no secret that raising children is not easy, but I have to give him credit, for taking the high road instead of the low. He wasn’t told by a Judge he had to be a father, he chose to be one. He did what every parent should do, single, divorced or married. He put his kids before himself. Which a lot of times gets lost in translation. I had always liked the man he was before, but have to admit I found myself liking the new improved version more by the minute, and we talked for a long time. It never fails to amaze me the kind of impact a child can have on someone’s life. Having nieces and nephews in my life caused me to experience emotions I never thought I’d have. So yes I understand what he means when he cant go a week without seeing them. It was nice to meet that side of him. Having kids brought out his best qualities, effortlessly allowing him, in my opinion (and that’s the only one that counts ) to graduate from good guy to great father. Hats off to you for stepping up and being a positive force in their life. I have no doubt that they, one day will follow in your footsteps with their children and become great fathers as well. I don’t need to tell you who you are, you already know.