Enjoying the job of fatherhood

Published 11:05 am Wednesday, June 17, 2015

To this very moment, I can vividly remember the moment when Stephanie said “we” were pregnant. It was surreal, exciting and terrifying all in the very same moment.

My heart skipped a beat, my stomach bottomed out and there might have been a moment when I looked like a squirrel frozen with indecision in the middle of the highway.

Over the past few years, as our family has grown even further, I have found myself living through many of the points of advice people gave me when I first became a father.

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There was advice on how to change diapers, how to calm a fussy baby and lately, how to help a third-grader through a mound of homework.

But even though there has been advice from others, there was one voice that seemed to always creep into my head whenever parenting issue came up. That voice, other than my wife, was that of my father.

As a child, I can always remember my father being very honest with me. When handing down some much-deserved punishment, he would say such things as “this is going to hurt you a lot more than it is me.” You see, truth. He was right.

As my children grow older, I have started seeing them do things and pull stunts that I tried pull at their age. There are tricks my boys try to pull on their sister and I see my wife making many of the same faces my mom would make.

I just don’t remember seeing my parents laugh at the things I did as much as Stephanie and I do at what our children do. Sometimes, it is almost impossible to be mad at them for something they’ve done. At times, I find myself being proud of the latest trick or stunt.

As I become a more experienced father, I also find myself thinking and saying, “if I had done that at your age, my mom or dad would have done …”

Through it all, nothing has brought me to my knees more than a comment made recently by my oldest son, Clayton, who turned 3 in January.

On a drive home one day from his school, as we discussed what he did at school, he just out of the blue said “hey daddy, I’m going to get bigger one day and be a daddy just like you, daddy.”

You want to talk about a gut punch. It’s hard to believe many times that I am a father. Why in the world would a person so irresponsible as me be given such an amazing responsibility of trying to help raise three amazing children?

The fact is that God has given me this job, this opportunity, this responsibility and I’m going to continue to give it all I possibly can to not screw it up.

Because at the end of the day, if there is one things I have learned about parenting — and the biggest piece of advice I could ever give others, including my children — is that being a parent is simply doing the best you can and doing everything you can not to screw it up.

As a proud father, I wish all the fathers a happy Father’s Day this weekend. Enjoy the time with your children and try to teach them something that won’t get you or your children in trouble with their mother.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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