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Here’s to all the dads out in Ruhenstroth

by Karen Brier

Father’s Day is Sunday and I am once again racking my brain for ways to show my husband how much I admire him. As a man, as a husband, he’s wonderful. But as a father, he literally amazes me. I don’t think either of us knew how much being a father would mean to him, how it would change his life. When we first met, he was afraid to so much as touch a baby, as if a baby’s foot was unstable nitroglycerin that could explode at any moment.

Despite those fears, from the first moment we knew we were expecting, he was supportive and involved, just always with the slightest hint that this was all about me.

Then our son was born. From the instant he saw him a magical transformation occurred and he went from being a good man to a great father. I can still picture him, wearing his surgical scrubs, holding the baby and instinctively doing the first “daddy dance” to calm and soothe.

Because I had a C-section, he took the night shift for the first months to help me recover. He learned to change diapers and clothes, mix formula and warm up breast milk. He read “The Baby Whisperer” book and took to heart things that made our son who he is today: always explaining what he was doing, using complete sentences, and always being gentle but firm.

But then, life got off track. We were both back at work and life was insane. We were dropping off at day care early in the morning and picking up late at night. Eating fast food and depending on housekeepers, laundry services and others to take care of our lives.

In 2009 we got a wakeup call when Jacob was diagnosed with dyslexia. Fred resigned from his position as a senior software architect and started the Brier Patch Homeschool. He spent months learning to be a Barton tutor and working to repair the emotional damage that too often goes along with dyslexia. Today, our son is confident and has learned to not only read at or beyond grade level, but to love to read, to get lost in a story and to write his own stories and make up wonderful characters.

Our life changed in so many ways. The daily screaming stress of getting out of the house, making it to school and work on time, racing across town to pick up from after school care — all gone. We no longer have maid or laundry services and we almost never have take-out because we eat home cooked meals together every day. Fred takes care of us in so many ways. And though there are times I wish we had the second income, I know that what we’d lose is so much more valuable.

So for my husband and all the dads of Ruhenstroth — thank you. We love you. Happy Father’s Day.

Reach Karen Brier at RuhenstrothRamblings@yahoo.com, or 790-0072.