Tuesday, August 31, 2010

***The Final Post***

It's the end of the line for Dawn of the Dad. I've done 365 posts (one a day for a year) and my time as a stay at home dad is almost up. Tomorrow, I return to work as a teacher. The kids come in and the school year begins in earnest.

This last blog entry will sit atop all the other for all eternity. So to put a little cap on experience of blogging about my daily life there are a few things I want to do.

Explanation of this Blog

If you are perhaps a first-time visitor, here's a little backstory...

I took the last year off from working as a middle school teacher to stay at home with my daughter (referred to in this blog as Baby J). I began this blog so that family members who live far away could keep tabs on us and so I could keep a running record of my experience. I figured it would be cool to look back on it someday, to offer it to Baby J when she's old enough.

Dawn of the Dad also became a place where I could think out loud (or type out my thoughts out loud...whatever, you know what I mean). This process of reflecting and ranting and posting has given me valuable insights into the nature of family, fatherhood, and child-rearing. Over the course of the year, there have been some "valuable insights" which have developed into what you might call Super Mega Reflections, big ideas or perhaps major themes that involve parenting. Here they are...

Super Mega Reflections
  • Public libraries are the greatest thing on Earth. There is no doubt about it, libraries were what got us through this year. They have space, programs, and toys designed for little kids. They have a limitless supply of information and entertainment right there for you and your family. They want nothing more than for you to take from them all you can carry. And it's all for free. When you really sit and think about it, libraries are just amazing.
  • The parent who parents less parents best. I'm not advocating lassiez faire, total hands-off parenting. Keep your kids safe, of course. But, let them learn to fall and get up on their own. Let them learn to make decisions, screw things up, and then set them right again. Let them figure things out on their own. Someday you won't be around anymore and your kids will have to get along without you. Help prepare them for independence right from the very start.
  • When you care for a child, you must also care for yourself. Otherwise you will both suffer. Do what it takes to keep yourself healthy and sane. Sleep, eat, exercise, socialize with other adults. Whatever it takes. If you aren't a whole person, you cannot give of yourself in the way that children need you to.
  • Comparing children to one another is an ugly affair. Parents who measure their child against someone else's are really just exposing their insecurities and anxieties. I give you my solemn promise - your child will grow up to be big and strong and smart and happy. If not, your pediatrician will point out the red flags way ahead of time. So relax and find something else to talk about with other parents. I really don't care how many teeth your kid has.
Comment Policy

People seemed to enjoy making the occasional comment on my blog. And as much I appreciated the interaction, I'm afraid I will have to shut all that down now. The problem is that spammers love to post links to pornographic websites in the comments section. And for some weird reason, it's always in Chinese. So because of these Chinese spammers, as of September 1st, comments will no longer be a feature available on this blog. One feature that will be available, however, is a tidy, little table of contents.

Table of Contents
  • Firsts - This here is a list of all the milestones Baby J reached. First steps, first words, etc. Very useful if you are a Baby J historian.
  • Comics - When Dawn of the Dad first got started, I did a comic pretty much every other day. Though I couldn't keep up that pace, all told, I posted about 50.
  • Music - To celebrate milestones and to add a bit of variety to the blog, I posted about ten songs I'd written over the course of the year.
So there you have it. It's been a hoot. I hope you enjoy my musings.

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