I Am Dad…

Kanani

Nine months of hell, a life time of heaven….I didn’t have a chance to see her little body come into this world. At that time our (old school), doctor still was not letting the husband experience the birth of their child. As I sat in the waiting room for what seemed days, the concern for wife and daughter (or son) was unbearable and the anguish, exhausting.
Yes, we didn’t know what we were getting, how novel an idea. It was exciting, it was a mystery, it was wonderful, I was a mess and they didn’t sell beer at the hospital . Dr. Saiki comes in and tells me I have a new baby girl and all is well. He was a great doctor, a little on the gruff side but we liked him. His wife was a Hawaii senator and very popular. So, off I go to see my wife and new daughter wondering what life had in store for us. Knowing that this life changing experience would forever leave its mark, it was a big mark, I was a dad.
As I entered the recovery room, I could see my wife looking as if she has been run over by a mack truck. “Get this kid away from me!” she screamed. I knew she didn’t mean a word of it… probably a  natural reaction. My comments would have been far more expletive I’m sure. I could never be a women, as weak as I am. So, I gave her a big hug and told her how proud I was of her. That didn’t help out much either. “Everyone please leave me alone”, and out the room I went. My job for the moment was done. I gave her some space and she rested… She was my hero.

I remember like it was yesterday Donna running to me with the news of her pregnancy, no easy task. By the sixth year of our marriage we decided to have kids. We were missing that very thing that made a family special and meaningful. And, try as we did, we could not get pregnant. At first it was just plain fun, but then… and we did everything, every which way, I wasn’t the stud as I thought I was. The cycle method, the temperature method and who knows what was tried. And then it happened. We went on a weekend spree into Waikiki to stay in a hotel and just have some fun together. Bam! That did the trick. Nine months later and here we are. So much for science.
So home we go, with a new addition and a new outlook on life. Yes, it was life changing. We were ready for anything. This girl that I knew my entire life had become my soul mate, friend and lover. Who would have know back then, that we would be together like this now, I would have laughed at the thought of it… I’m not laughing now.
And so it starts, the learning, the growing, the experience of fatherhood. I was young and naive, but my willingness to succeed overshadowed my clumsy attempt at being the super dad. I had no clue about it, I just knew it had to work. I don’t remember reading a book or taking a class about fatherhood. What I did know was the example set by my own father in my life. Remembering the times we had together, lessons learned, it seems that earlier knowledge is packed away somewhere ready to come out when the time comes. It almost seems natural. But, Donna on the other hand, seemed to be the super mom, knowing exactly what to do, when and why. She went… I followed… If you’re a guy reading this, there is much wisdom here…keep your mouth shut and learn from your women.

And so it begins… Part 1

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“All that work, all that money”

Cupid has a funny way of introducing himself. I am no ladies man, but I do have my moments, and one of those moments happened in the spring of 1970. Like a thief in the night, his arrow was low and slow but accurate and effective. I didn’t even see it coming. I had no clue what happened and I just accepted it and went on. Sometimes you just have to do things without question or reason. Sure, it’s a little dangerous, but it’s a risk/reward type of thing. And so, my courtship with Donna begins…

The risk: I’m not sure of the why and the how factor in falling in love, I only knew it happened and I was going to do everything in my power to keep it that way. I had a good job, was still living at home and was just as irresponsible as the next guy. No big bills, no kids, no nothing… at 21 years, I could do anything.
My thoughts about Donna had changed over the past few months, from that plain Jane of a girl into a beautiful, bright and spirited young women. “What the hell is happening here?”. Whatever feelings I had before about her were gone and forgotten, and I was overtaken by a myriad of emotions and uncertain feelings about myself and the future. I was committed 100 percent, but I was just not sure about Donna. I knew she liked me, but hey, where have I been all these years? I’ll tell you, in my own little world.
Donna was a social butterfly. She knew lots of people, had some great friends and was enjoying life in the tourist industry… Meanwhile I was sort of quiet and reserve, not very quick to meet new people, and always wanting to stay in the back and blend in. Let’s hope that old saying, opposites attract has meaning here. My plan was simple and direct, dinners, dancing (remember the 70’s was the disco era) and never leaving her side. I was going to bombard her and break her into submission. Little did I know…

Risk and Reward… Part 2

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So for 6 months or so we ate, danced the night away and became attached to each other. I was spending all my earnings on this women, all my time, and I didn’t care in the least, I had motive, I had drive, I had a mission to complete. And then it happened.
I had to go to work in Maui for a few weeks and leaving my women behind made me a little unsure of what the future would hold for me, for us. I was used to seeing her almost every day and I didn’t like leaving. The day before I was to leave we went out on the town, and on the way home I looked for a quiet place so we could be alone. I had decided to step up and take this relationship to another level, yes, I proposed.
Have you ever done something and wished you could take it back. For what ever reason this was not the right time for this. I knew this as soon as I popped the question. Donna tried to be as polite and unhurtful as possible, and then she says, (I remember her exact words), “maybe we should date other people” OMG! Are you kidding! I was pretty upset, not that I had spent all my time and coins for nothing, but because I honestly thought we were a serious couple with a future together. Where did that come from? Cursing the sky for what I had done, I left her house and went to Maui for the longest 2 weeks in my life. My life was taking a dive.

The Reward: I don’t remember about my 2 weeks in Maui as I’m sure you can understand, all I thought about was this girl I loved. You see, during our rather short courtship I came to realize that I couldn’t live the rest of my life without her. I have never felt this way about anyone before, and I was having a hard time dealing with this situation.
A few days before I was to come home I received a letter from her. A Dear John letter or so I thought. So I opened it and half heartedly read the letter only to sit back up, open my eyes wide , and reread out loud, “I suppose it’s true what they say, that absence makes the heart grow fonder” (yes I can remember that like it was yesterday). Quickly, I called her on the phone, and I told her how much I missed her and loved her. She did the same.
Home from Maui, she picked me up at the airport and we talked about the past 2 weeks. Now, I’m not going to question why or what just happened and I never did, at this point I didn’t care. Just let it go… As we gave each other one last hug and kiss, and just before heading home, she, yes I said SHE, proposed to me right then and there. Dazed and confused I said yes, of course. Go figure.
Inwardly I wanted to string her up to the nearest mango tree for putting me through all this torment and anguish. But how could I be mad, I will never know what went on through her mind during those past 2 weeks. Never questioned it and never will. The reward alone was worth the effort, pain and emotional setbacks. I will never do this again. That night I thanked my lucky stars for this day and I layed in my bed in wonder for what was about to happen.