How We Got Here

August 23, 2013

I have been around children my entire life. My mother was the fifth of seventeen children, meaning I had new cousins popping up on a seemingly weekly basis. For a while it was just me and my older brother at home with my single mom, but we spent most of our time at my grandparents' house around our cousins. My mother remarried when I was thirteen and delivered two more children into the panorama of my life. Of course, when I got older, it seemed only natural that I would have children of my own, and when I did it was awesome!

First we had Seamus, currently seven, a wonderful boy who is too smart for his own good, bookish, and very imaginative. Next came Duncan, three, the boisterous athlete of the group. He has (repeatedly) earned the nickname "Dunco Destructo" from his aunts. Finally came Kathryn, nearly 2, daddy's little girl, who seems to exert an unusual degree of mind control over her older brothers.

By the time we got to the third little bundle of joy, their mother and I were no longer seeing eye to eye. Quite incompatible actually, and soon were no longer under the same roof. Fortunately, we both still play for our childrens' team, and continue to communicate and work together to ensure that the kids have all the support and love they need. Although the children stay primarily at mom's house, dad still spends all the time he can with them.

Dad being me, I can fill in some details about him as well. I have held a variety of jobs. I have been a butcher's apprentice, an electrician's apprentice, a sheetrock hanger, a bartender, a sportswriter, a car salesman, an auto finance manager, and more. I studied business and economics in school. I am a rabid sports fan, and if you follow this space you can expect to see many sports analogies. I also like to cook, and I enjoy getting my children involved in preparing meals - when it's their turn to feed me, I want to make sure it's delicious!

I mentioned earlier that my mother remarried some years ago. I have some experience being the child of single parents. My mother and father were separated before the beginning of my memory. Early on, my experience was like my kids' now. I lived mostly with mom and spent some time every week with dad. In 1987, my mom joined the Air Force and we moved away from dad, and things were a bit different. I spent summers and Christmases with dad, the rest of the time with mom. I have been applying many of the lessons I learned from that experience in my own fatherhood, and intend to share some of that perspective as well.

I also mentioned my large maternal family. I have lost track of how many members there are in my generation of that family, but the last I knew for sure I had 43 first cousins. Most of us are still very close, and I will almost certainly be sharing anecdotes from the madness of the Connelly family as well.

Now you know something about where I'm coming from. I hope my stories about being a single dad, advice for those in similar situations and (mostly corny) jokes can help.

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