P.O. Box 1387 (30298) 121 Royal Dr. Forest Park, GA 30297
To all the dads out there, happy Father’s Day. Believe me, the balance of trying to be a good father and a good business owner is very familiar to me at this point, and I know how exhausting it can be. I hope that on this special Sunday, you get the chance to put your feet up and enjoy the company of your loved ones. On a related note, I’m proud to share that Pye-Barker has brought three more fathers onto our team! Our new outside sales rep in Savannah, Duke Walters, has an adult daughter, and our new rep for North East Georgia, Cory Ragsdale, is raising a son and two daughters. We’ve added a new territory in Central Georgia and the man we hired for the job, Shawn Lies, has two kids at home. I’d like to welcome these gentlemen to the team and congratulate them on being great dads! I know just how many surprises there can be when it comes to figuring out fatherhood. Babies really don’t come with instruction manuals. I was acutely aware of this when my daughter, Jessica, was born. I don’t think any amount of advice could adequately prepare me for the overwhelming sense of love I felt for this little bundle of joy or for all the stresses and concerns that would arise with trying to keep her safe and happy. But no matter what twists and turns fatherhood threw at me, I was certain of one thing: I was going to parent Jessica with kindness. I wouldn’t call my dad a workaholic, but he certainly was one of the most driven individuals I’ve ever met. He’d been that way his whole life; becoming a first-generation college graduate in a working-class family takes gumption. The same can be said of rising through the ranks of a company and helping it completely rework its business model to meet the demands of a changing market. But, as much as I hate to say it, that same relentless energy doesn’t go hand-in-hand with raising kids. FIGURING OUT FATHERHOOD REFLECTIONS ON BEING A DAD
no distractions. But even when he wasn’t suffering from these terrible headaches, he was high strung. He had his first heart attack at just 38 years old. Needless to say, he was not a “touchy-feely” kind of dad. I learned later in life that he would talk up his kids and their accomplishments to others, but we certainly didn’t see that approval or affection at home. When faced with raising my daughter, I honestly had a better idea of the kind of father I didn’t want to be than what I wanted to strive toward. I was determined not to be quick to anger and to be patient, understanding, and let her know when I was proud of her. Of course, I wanted Jessica to respect me and my wishes as her father, but I never wanted her to fear me. No child deserves that. Thankfully, I didn’t have to figure out parenting alone. As I mentioned in my Mother’s Day article, my wife Margaret was an absolute superhero when it came to raising Jessica. I most certainly couldn’t have done it without her. This month we’re celebrating our 29th wedding anniversary, so to her, I’d just like to say thank you for being such a wonderful influence on our daughter and me. Fittingly enough, we just celebrated Margaret’s parents 50th anniversary in beautiful Helen, Georgia. My in-laws have definitely proven to be an inspirational example as parents and as a couple. For all the stress of being a new father, Jessica really did help me find a sense of peace, even as an infant. Sitting in a chair rocking her to sleep, I’d usually end up dozing off myself. Once, while we were showing a friend some photos from this time, he asked, “Did you ever take any pictures when y’all were actually awake?” All I can say is that I’ve known no greater sense of peace and contentment than when your baby is resting on your chest sleeping. It’s the little bonding moments like this throughout your child’s life that makes being a dad the best job on earth.
To be fair, my dad was prone to migraines. When he got home from work, he didn’t want to talk to anybody: no loud noises and
Happy Father’s Day!
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