JUNE 2018 480.632.7373 jensenlawaz.com
A Look Back for Father’s Day Doing My Best as a Dad of Four Boys
F or Father’s Day, a lot of dads will receive one of many classic “dad gifts”: a pair of argyle socks, a new necktie, or a 1000-plus-page historical biography to struggle through for the next few months. But honestly, the best gift I could ever get from my four sons is the opportunity to watch as they grow up into a group of truly good people. With four boys ranging from age 10 to nearly 20, there’s so much to be proud of with my kids that it’s difficult to know just where to start. I’ll never forget any of the days that my sons came into the world, but it’s the birth of my oldest son Sam that’s absolutely burned into my memory. Of course, all my children are equally important to me, and each one’s arrival was accompanied by a flood of emotion that’s impossible to put into words, but when Sam first came along, it was the day I first became a father and my life was changed forever. Ever since we’d discovered that my wife, Kristi, was pregnant, I’d been excited to be a dad, but I don’t think the full reality of what that meant hit me until I held Sam in my arms for the first time in the hospital room. “Oh my gosh,” I thought to myself with a jolt, “I am literally responsible for every aspect of this baby’s livelihood!” When we left the hospital, the nurse impatiently watched as I wrestled with the car seat, feeling inept. Hilariously, she had to intervene and show me
how the thing worked — an inauspicious start to my days as a dad, I thought.
In the early days out in Milwaukee, I was in law school and we couldn’t afford day care. To say that money was tight would be a massive understatement. So, to pick up some extra cash, we decided to take on a paper route. Just picture infant Sam strapped in the backseat of our dinky old Honda Accord sleeping peacefully, surrounded by stacks and stacks of papers at 3 o’clock in the morning. Later on, Sam was followed by Ethan, Alex, and Caleb, and each of the boys got into sports. Despite his small size, Ethan got into wrestling his freshman year, and though he won probably only a single match his first season, he decided to stick with it all the way through high school. He was determined to get on the “Tough Club” wall for wrestlers who’d never missed a single meet or practice throughout their entire tenure on the team. Not long after, Ethan joined the volleyball team and quickly became passionate in the sport, working hard to build his athleticism and skill on the court. My third son, Alex, is about to go into high school in a couple months and is trying to figure out which sport he’d like to pursue. So far, he’s thinking cross-country. And my 10-year-old Caleb
is still figuring himself out, duking it out in pickup basketball and football games with his buddies.
It’s always cool to see their moments of glory both in and out of sports, the little things that pile up and make me think that just maybe we’re doing something right with these kids. My oldest is getting back from his mission in Ecuador, and my 17-year-old is gearing up to go on his own mission in a few years. All of the kids like to battle and bicker and argue, but they also look out for each other and make a point to hang out every once in a while. And though there are definitely times when I just want to bonk them on the head, they’re all great kids. They don’t get into trouble, they do their best to make good choices, and they’re all driven in their own ways. Honestly,
for Father’s Day, I couldn’t ask for anything more.
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