Fatherhood & Flat Tires

{FORWARD}

I wrote this post about a week ago, and then deleted it.  The original post was very down on myself for where myself and my family are, because we had to dip into the rainy day fund for newer tires (they were used tires but new to me).  After rereading that post I realized, although at the time being upset about money and worrying about the future LIFE WASN’T BAD! (Which is what Korina tried to tell me when it happened.) Now, we are allowed to feel the way we feel, i explore that in this post a little. At the time I felt down on myself. But I didn’t need to write a post on that.  Instead I realized something different.  I’m a dad who still needs to call his dad for help. And that’s okay.  Please enjoy this dive into my thoughts…

Fatherhood and Flat Tires:

I have a lot of pride.  Well maybe it’s not pride, maybe it’s that I don’t like putting people out or asking for things. Is that pride? I don’t know, you tell me.  Regardless, while out in the middle of nowhere, at 11 at night, my tire burst on the side of the highway.  It literally made me stop and evaluate where I was in life. Nothing like a flat tire can make you stop and evaluate everything.  I drive a beat up 99 Toyota Camry, the same one I’ve been driving since I was about 17. The car has toured around carrying drum sets, PA’s, and the bands I was in. It now carries around car seats and strollers and diaper bags and I love it.  It’s really cool to see the transformation it has gone through. As beat up as Camy the Camry is, I love her.

Driving along happily singing Hamilton I had Korina, her sister Mallory, and a sleeping Killian in the car.  Then suddenly a loud bang and the smell of burning rubber. The car shook as I pulled over to a safe spot and got out to inspect the damage.  The feeling of “Why does this shit happen to me? Can’t I get a break?!”

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Oh, Great…

took me over and I immediately felt like a failure. Like this deflated tire was the physical manifestation of my life.  Far, far from the truth.  A year ago I was an assistant manager at a vitamin store barely making enough money to get by, pregnant wife with a budding crafting business, and things were good but I knew things were going to get rough if I didn’t make a change.  Now, I have an amazing job, Monday through Friday and I am off by 3:30pm and life is pretty amazing, it’s an entrance job, but it is more money than we have ever made, insurance is great, time at home is amazing and like never before, and we can put money in a savings account for the first time in our seven year relationship.

I shouldn’t have any woes at all.  But for some reason the beast of “I’m not good enough” washed over me when I saw the flat tire.  I tried to shrug it all off and I grabbed the jack and spare out of the trunk.  I thought to myself this is all gonna be okay, changing the flat for the spare will be a great Ego boost, do something manly and you’ll go buy some tires and things will be great you have the savings. I decided to use this as an opportunity to teach Mallory, who is 16 with her learner’s permit, how to change a tire.  It’s going great, I am frustrated but happy I can make something good out of the situation.  As I dig into the gravel to jack up the car, I mention it can be scary when your jack slips and the car falls.  Literally the moment I say this the jack slips in the loose gravel and the car smashes down. “See, like that.” I laugh.

I try two more times but the same thing happens, my jack is too small to handle the loose gravel we have stopped on. I begin to get more frustrated and mad at myself for not being able to do it. Korina, who is always right, told me to cut my pride and call my dad.

I wanted to call my dad, I love my dad, he is awesome.  But, and this is where the pride thing comes in I guess.  I feel like I should be for Killian the way my dad is for me. My dad has about 27 years of dad mileage stacked up, I have barely 8 months. It’s crazy to think that I am going to be preparedfor the situations my dad knows how to handle, but for some reason the beast of doubt whispered in my ear that I wasn’t good enough to be a dad. And that’s why I was so frustrated.  I want the experience, I want to be able to calmly look at a situation and go, “oh yeah, easy, I got this.” And I know I will get there, I just wanted to be self sufficient and let my dad know he did a good job.  I still have things to learn, I still have dad workshops to go through.

I cut my pride and called my dad.  He came out with a wider jack pumped the car up flipped the tires and we were good to go.  My dad, just swooping in and making things look easy. The type of dad I want to be.

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He didn’t make me feel bad about it he was just there to help with his 27 years of dad experience. And that is probably the biggest dad lesson I got that night, just be there to help when needed.  At this moment in time my “be there to help my son moment” is just administering some Tylenol at 3am, rocking him while he cries from the pain of his teeth popping through his gums and tell him he will be okay until he falls back asleep head on my shoulder.  Crisis like these, I am good at, and I will get better at all the others in the future.  Or at the least I will fake it until I make it.

Thanks for reading. What are your thoughts on calling your dad, or mom, or whoever taught you how to be a dad, when you need help?

(Even when you feel like you don’t, remember) You’ve Got This!

-Dillon

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3 comments

  1. I love the experiences you capture here. My husband and I have similar moments where we wish – somehow, someway – we could morph into the calm, resourceful parents that we had. But, we are who we are. And we have some great mentors now. It sounds like you do as well. Thank you for writing this, for recording your inner self. And, I have to say, your post reminded me of one I published last month 🙂 https://unlearningblog.com/2016/07/06/to-grow-write/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read! I guess it all comes with experience haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. […] still learning how to be this new Dillon and I’m reminded of my post Fatherhood and Flat Tires. I keep thinking I’m supposed to have 27 years of fatherhood experience when I only have 7 months. […]

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