From an early age, I knew that I wanted to be a father. When a lot of boys were dreaming about being a firefighter, I had no idea what occupation I wanted, but I saw myself with a family. I’ve always had great examples of fatherhood, including my amazing dad and uncles, so I looked forward to the day I could join this club.
At that time, fatherhood for me was being my dad - strong and supportive. Actually becoming a parent, though, took me by surprise. I realized the day my first son was born that there is no way to understand parental love until you experience it. It is overwhelming and motivating all at the same time. You’re overcome with this unbelievable sense of wanting to take care of this being, to ensure their life is comfortable, and to purely and simply love them.
I’m not sure that anyone ever considers being a bonus parent, as you don’t exactly plan on divorce and remarriage. When Jaime and I became serious, there was some concern as to how my relationship with his kids would develop. What I knew without a doubt was that I loved him, and his kids were incredibly important to him, so they were important to me. I knew that building a relationship with Cooper would be familiar - he’s a boy; I have boys. All I had to do was show him love and attention and make a poop joke, and I would be in. But there was a curveball in this - I would have a Daughter.
What do I do with a girl? Do I have girl dad instincts? It was a little intimidating, but I quickly realized that although I love each of my children equally, each of our relationships is unique, and that is true of my girl. What I’ve learned about Laney is that she has a brilliant quiet confidence. I truly admire her ability to forge her own path, develop her own opinions, and stand for what she believes in. She is thoughtful, much like her father, and genuinely interested in others. We’ve discovered a mutual love for theatre, and I can not wait for the post-COVID world when we can go to a show together.
Interestingly, I have found there is a different feeling of being a girl dad. Although I know my daughter is fully capable of taking care of herself, there is this intense need to protect her. I don’t think I’ll ever be that dad who intentionally tries to intimidate anyone who tries to date her, but I can definitely see myself running a thorough background check on that person and having to be told not to visit their house if they break her heart!
I’m looking forward to learning more about being a girl dad and sharing love with her sweet face!