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Sunday, June 21, 2015

The dad who also feeds Raya

I think have done a great injustice on this blog. I think I've made it sound like I'm the one who does it all. I'm not and I don't. I'd be lost without this guy:

We were kind of just babies when we got married. I don't think we really had a clear picture of what we wanted out of life, but we knew we didn't want life without each other.
I chose well, and I like to think he did too. We make a good team. The kinds of challenges we have faced in the last 5 or 6 years have tested us in ways we had never been tested in. I think we have also found joy in places we hadn't found it in before though, and I think we have gotten better at being happy in whatever our circumstances happen to be. We've learned to lean on each other and to trust in God and His plan for our family.

I am a stubborn person. Too stubborn for my own good much of the time. Remember how I make it sound like I do everything? That's because I TRY to do everything. Sometimes I can manage what I take on but most of the time I fall short in places that I wish I didn't fall short in (i.e. keeping a tidy, clutter-free house and forgetting to do things that I said I was going to do). With all the things I'm juggling, I feel like I'm constantly dropping something and barely keeping my head above water. I've been sick for about 6 weeks now too and the kids are home for summer break, which is wonderful but demanding, and I know I'm not the easiest person to live with. Somehow, Donny finds the patience to handle me though.

He has always been a very hands-on dad. He started changing diapers from day 1 of fatherhood (okay, maybe more like day 3 or 4 because nurses & our moms were changing them the first couple days). Things got off to a little bit of a rough start with our first one and he was always right there to help me when she didn't want to eat for those first few weeks. He has cleaned up a lot of puke and poop too. He has never batted an eye about being on his own with the kids, whether it was for a few hours or a few days. Bodily fluids sometimes make him cringe and/or gag and I know that seeing his kids hurt is particularly hard for him, but he does what needs to be done when it needs to be done.
baby #1 in 2003
He never complains about anything and he listens to me when I complain about lots of things. I have had some rough days in the past couple months dealing with the paperwork/eligibility/logistics side of things and even though there's not usually anything he can do to fix the problems, he knows exactly how to help me work through the panic mode I always go into and he's patient with me and my panic mode. I know that can't be easy!

He teaches the kids things. He encourages them to find and develop new interests and he helps them figure out how to do that. He teaches them to set goals and make a plan to reach them. He teaches them to talk positively to themselves and about themselves, and he just genuinely loves them for who they are. He sees their potential and tries to show them that they are not limited in what they choose to do or accomplish in life. He is a constant, steady positive influence in my life. This is the part where I would normally say something like "I could never do it without him!" but I can't say that. In the last year, we've seen a young family member with young children be faced with that exact situation. It happens, and it can happen to anyone, so we never say never. We've always had a morbid sense of humor about the subject, which I think has been healthy for us because it has allowed us to talk about an awful but important thing. So, all that being said, I am pretty sure I could survive without him, but I sure hope I never have to because he is my partner in all this craziness and he keeps me from losing my mind. I knew I made the right choice by marrying him and nearly 14 years later, I am still seeing every day why that was the right choice. Marrying young brought unique struggles but in a way, we have grown up together and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

3 comments:

  1. It's true that you don't mention him often but I for one remember you saying he's training the older kids and taking them to karate(?) and it wasn't that long ago that you mentioned he stayed with the kids for a few days so I don't think you've given the impression that he is not involved, from what I remember, quite the opposite. The blog is mainly about Raya so of course most of the time that's going to be the topic. Anyways, I just wanted to mention that as far as I'm concerned, it never came across like you do it all and he is absent.

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  2. I love this so much!! I think it's depressingly common for dads (in general, but especially in the snamckie community) to be distant or uninvolved or worse. I love hearing about other dads who are amazing, and I certainly do not talk-up Gabe as much as he deserves either. Here's to having amazing life-long partners who turned into fantastic dads! (I'm toasting with a diet coke...it counts)

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  3. Donny is by far one of the coolest dudes I know. Glad I can call him a friend. He made a lasting impression on me in a very short period of time. Wish I lived closer. If you're ever in Oregon look me up.

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