Exceptional Fictional Fathers

Trevor from our DadBlogger group asks

When you look at film, literature, or television, who are the fathers who stand out to you as exceptional (for legitimate or dumb reasons)?

The first fictional father that came to mind was Ned Stark from Game of Thrones. While the HBO series did paint him in a positive light, in the books I felt he was the ultimate man of honor. I think most of his deeds and who he was still sends waves of repercussion through the series. I want to aspire to be that kind of father, one that leads by example and is ever-present in my kid’s life because of who I am.

Overall I think fathers in fiction are often misrepresented as figures that don’t do much beyond being the providers or at times enablers. Homer Simpson is probably the worst offender at being an exceptionally bad father, loving and caring but just the quintessential bad father.

Harry Potter has a parade of father figures from Dumbledore to Hagrid but the one that stands out is Sirius and he is quickly taken out of the series just as he is going to establish a relationship with Harry and actually become a father. His own father being dead is definitely a presence and shows up but not in the way that Ned Stark does in the Game of Thrones series. In a way there are glimpses of what a good father could be, but not quite a full picture in the series. I do think that Sirius could have been exceptional and different as a guardian.

Come to think of it a lot of the literature I have written has a lot of matriarchal themes where the male really take a secondary role to parenting and making decisions about child rearing.

Hurry up and wait

The role of a father during a birth is kind of difficult to prepare for. Entertainment has always wrapped childbirth around the fact that the Dad either faints or is yelled at expletives during the “pushing” process. Other times they show the father pacing around outside until the baby cries. So I really had no clue about what to do or how to act. My wife kept telling me that it was a possibility that she might go into I hate you mode in the middle of it. I did not have an ounce of anxiety about my role, more about the birth in general. I did have a goal in my mind, lets wait at home as long as possible.

My wife works at a hospital. We had visited the “birthing” rooms and even visited the mother/baby triage area before a couple of times. I got used to the weird protocols of basically being non existent in most situations. “Wait here, they’ll call you when you can come in.” became pretty routine. The last visit before the birth was a “OMG my water broke.” which was met with me being extremely skeptic about the whole process. We went, we waited, they did not attempt to make my 8+ month pregnant wife any more comfortable at all. They sent us home and said, it was just the mucus plug. Yea, you learn about weird crap during this whole process and overproduction of something call mucus plug is part of the deal.

She was to be induced that week, we knew it was getting close, I knew she wanted the baby out but I told myself she will be miserable in the if she goes to early. My sister had spent 30 hours in “labor” and it was not a good experience at all. I knew that if they sent us home with what seemed like pre-labor pains it was not a big deal.

We spent that night home and during the night my wife did experience some contractions but they seemed to be hours apart still. I worked from home the next day just in case and during the morning the contractions seem to be happening closer but not every 15 minutes yet. After lunch things got fast and furious. We hopped in the car and headed to the hospital. At first it seemed like we had plenty of time, got some fast food quickly and headed there. I was even having a work call on the car when she said “DRIVE FASTER.” Then I knew things were going to happen and I probably made her wait a little too long.

I was wrong though, there were still hours until the actual birth happen but she was was getting ready for the pain to be controlled. Some friends had told us ask for the epidural as early as you can, and we did, and you know what it still took forever to get her from triage, to the room to actually get the epidural. It was a busy day for births, I think 10 people had come in before us. That said, we were in the hospital and the baby was coming that day.

This post is part of a series!
Hurry Up and WaitHere she comesAnd who the F@ck are you?Talk to ME Dr!

Constant Fear

“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
― Elizabeth Stone

My wife finds it hilarious, I find it a little disturbing. The first words out of my mouth when the test came back positive were “I’ve never got anyone pregnant before.” You would think something more eloquent might have come to mind, but nope, that is what came out. I had been in long term relationships before that could have produced a child, even tried to have a baby. It really never worked, not even a little bit.

I had seen friends and acquaintances go through the horrible miscarriage roller-coaster. I had even accepted the reality that my only way to parenting was going to be adoption. I respect adoption and in many ways admire it, in fact it might be something that we still do some day. I never felt any level of failure because of not having a kid before, but I knew for the other person in the relationship it was at times devastating.

I always tried to not only stay positive but encourage the other person. I still to this day believe that procreation should not be the only reason to enter a relationship. To me that is silly and it basically diminishes the many reasons to have a life long partner.

Still, I never got anyone else pregnant before.

Then the fear started to set in. I overthink things and have become very good at rationalizing fears and casting them out, this one was a new one though and one that does not go away with a good night of sleep. The viability of a fetus is measured in percentages. The genetic testing also gives you percentages. Numbers, number and more numbers. The thing that normally give me solace provided little or no comfort.

Things started to calm down as some milestones came and went. Ultrasounds help! as a Dad try not to miss them. They bring a level of reality and calm you down a bit. Information is always a double edge sword that can work against you but try your best to just take it for what it is. I did lean towards the side of wanting to know more to be prepared.

I say fear is the new thing in my life, constant fear that something can go wrong. Funny enough it was one of the feelings that I was less familiar with because growing up the way I did I had experienced things that had made me not fear much in life. Now the health and well being of our child is a constant fear that I am starting to get used to and channel in a positive way.

Screw Your Blogroll

I feel so disconnected from blogging. It is almost like I am coming back to an old room where there are cobwebs all over and I need to not only clean but figure out what is new. The lack of post has not been because of the lack of topics to write about, it has been a mixture of time and also that venting to the internet feels more life facebook prayers than actual writing.

Enter having a baby.

I am amazed at how much this has changed me already. I thought I would be a lot more cynical afterwards towards parents and rather than joining their club I would be like, screw you I feel no different and I am still a parent.

Could not be further from the truth. This is a weird exclusive club. You can describe it, you can even dabble on it by babysitting… but the level of constant worry and fear that comes with being a parent is really amazing. It does not leave, you just learn to live with it.

I love the fact that my best friend has been a parent for years and I can talk to him about all my crazy thoughts without being judged. So the next logical step is to put those thoughts out in the internet.

I am going to try to document parenting from my point of view. I already see value on my perspective growing up in a different culture and seeing the kid obsessed culture here in the USA.

For now I am starting slow, dusting off my blog and cleaning up. Joining a very cool community for Dad’s that blog and starting to soak up information as quickly as possible.


So it finally happened, the thing I had pretty much thought was out of the question after my 20s went by without having a child. My wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Funny enough, back in those days I would have been trying to come up with a cool name to talk about her on the blog and keep some semblance of “privacy.” Now most of that is gone. If you want to know who I am, you can find that pretty quickly and by proxy you could find my who my wife and child are. That said, we did take some precautions and decided to not blast baby pictures all over the place and just keep something up that we can “control” who has access to them.

I did not think I would feel this different after becoming a parent. The buildup to the day was somewhat interesting with people that barely knew me telling me how I was going to be a great father. I think I will be, I know I will try my best. It still feels odd when someone says it. Even in her tender age of a week old I can already tell she seems to be comforted by the sound of my voice. I also cannot really take credit for that since it was my wife who diligently reminded me to sing to her belly every night.

There are many things that are still unknown, but the most amazing part is how much of it really comes naturally if you let it. Fear is something I am not used to. I am not an anxious person by nature, a little paranoid and someone that loves to plan is more my thing… but with a kid that is not how it works. There is really no control over the outcome of a lot of things now. It does feel amazing though. It is magical to see how the world changes when you start to look at it through a child’s eyes. I know soon she will go from differentiating some shapes and sounds to actually recognizing faces and voices.

Happy is not a word that can accurately describes how I really feel. Full of love is probably a lot closer.