Medlin Law Firm - June 2019

The Medl in News

JUNE 2019

must have put them under. I try my best to carry forward that tradition, remaining calm during every new parental challenge that comes my way. In particular, I’ve found my father to be a major source of inspiration. Not only do I look back on his gentle patience with greater admiration, but I also recognize how much he sacrificed to be there for his kids. As an engineer with the phone company, our father always had plenty of work to do, but he never let that get in the way of spending real quality time with my siblings and me. We’d build things in the garage, go camping, and head out to baseball games. Knowing now what kind of time commitments my father was juggling, I can’t help but be impressed. Now that my daughter’s getting older, I look forward to continuing my father’s example. Being a lawyer is busy work, but I don’t let it keep me from spending quality time with Nadia. I will make the time to do puzzles, play games, and watch her play with her friends in the park, although I confess it’s getting hard to keep up! Nadia’s at that age when she’s really developing a personality, and I’m struck by howmuch she reminds me of myself when I was her age. She loves everything to do with being outdoors and definitely has a bit of a wild streak in her. I was worried when she started climbing on furniture as a baby, and now she loves zip lining! This may be the best surprise of being a dad: watching your child mature into the person they will become. Nadia’s in her kindergarten years, and I already admire her incredible capacity for joy. She’s always quick with a laugh and seems to constantly be able to find something to smile about. Just as I learned frommy parents, it seems I can stand to learn something from my daughter, as well.

THE SURPRISES OF FATHERHOOD

What Becoming a Dad Taught Me

As cliche as it sounds, you never really know how much love you can feel for one person until you become a parent. I heard this adage time and again while my wife was pregnant, and I was sure there was some truth to it. But when my daughter Nadia was born, I was still caught completely off guard. Nothing could have prepared me for when I saw Nadia’s tiny face for the first time. The amount of compassion and affection that hit me was like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and from that moment on, the emotion just kept building. Becoming a father has really let me experience love on another level. Of course, love wasn’t the only surprise when it came to being a dad. There is no instruction manual for raising a child — no matter how much advice my wife and I got, it seemed like every day brought something unexpected. I definitely wasn’t used to feeling so scared all the time. You’re trying to take care of this little, fragile person, and suddenly the world is filled with potential dangers. The moment we brought Nadia home, I became acutely aware of stairs, forks, coffee table edges, and all the other formerly harmless parts of our house. As nerve-wracking as this was, I still wasn’t prepared for when she started learning to jump and climb on things. In these anxious moments, I found myself falling back on my parents’ example. Nothing makes you understand your parents more than becoming one yourself. The rules that used to frustrate me as a young boy suddenly made a whole lot of sense, and the ways my parents enforced them became far more admirable. They were always extremely patient with my siblings and me, and they were never short or snappy with us, no matter how much stress we

To all the dads out there learning and growing alongside their families, Happy Father’s Day.

– Gary L. Medlin, Esq.

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