I remember when I first met Kat and the laundry list of criteria that I had to meet to be her life-long partner – with a stipulation that she outranks me at home and pretty much everything. But really, everything is equal that is the beauty of it all. On that list we both shared a common interest in being parents – though the number of children was debated for some time but is now firmly at two. We made the decision together to begin a family. This path was challenging: as it began with a miscarriage. So try again we did. Our first was born early. I was in the middle of an experimental run (which luckily I had finished plating and had the flow cytometer ready to go). I got “the call” indicating a level of pain and discomfort that indicated he was imminent, and I quickly set up things to completed, and left the lab in a hurry. He was born at 34 weeks and six days. I witnessed every centimeter of his arrival into this world – up close and personal as I was very curious. When he came out (screaming) the Doctor (a great man who worked with us from the beginning) was no longer concerned about his lung development. He did however have jaundice and was taken away from us that first night. This was one of the most difficult experiences, having a child removed from you due to health reasons. I took only a few days off to help at home with my newborn son, but honestly that was not enough time. Of those few days my son was in the hospital for six of them – more days than I actually had off. There is no instruction manual on how to rear children. There is nothing that really prepares you for a human being that is completely helpless and requires you to provide the means for survival. In our society there really is no expectation for new “fathers,” but there is a lot of hypocrisy suffice it state that out of 190+ countries we (the U.S.A) rank near the bottom. OK. Reframing this position, we all do what we can with the time and resources that we have. I have watched my first born grow into a toddler…into a little boy. Because of my phone I have an excellent documentation of his growth from baby into who he is now. My arrival home is almost always greeted with a screaming “Dada!” which I can sometimes hear from inside my car. He has had to overcome some of his own challenges and I get to be a part of that process – which is teaching me something about patience: something that is essential in this life. He’s into his own things. Every day I challenge myself to be a “watcher” and not interfere (because in the end there can be only one) – to let him be who he is supposed to be. When he wants to put the wheels on the bottom of the car I just take the pieces and help him to place them where he wants. One of my favorite moments (of which there are many) is snuggle time in our green blanket on the couch. I get to be something that I missed out on personally during my development as a child, adolescence and young adulthood. That’s it for now. Until next time – same bat time and same bat channel.

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