Husband speaks about joys, challenges of fatherhood

Categorized as  fatherhood,  funny Mr. Schrock,  interview, Father's Day

Last week, in honor of Father’s Day, I wrote about the one who gave me life and then graciously allowed me to keep it. This week, I’d like to honor the other man in my life – my husband.

The fact that you are reading this at all is directly attributable to Mr. Schrock. If not for years of encouragement (see “boot in backside”) and a certain offhand remark by him to correspondent Denise Fedorow, I would be doing nothing more than transcribing full time, raising boys, and using my time at the coffee shop to catch up on my reading.

I have to give him a lot of credit. It’s not always easy being married to someone with a pen and a printing press who regularly shares with an entire community what happens at one’s address. For a private person who shuns the spotlight, it’s a sacrifice at times. That’s why his absolute insistence that I do this means a great deal to me. On the days that I declare my intentions of quitting and going back to being anonymous, he simply says, “Oh, no, you won’t,” and hands me my pen.

When I first met him at the age of 18, Mr. Schrock wasn’t much of a baby person. If you have to be a prolific kisser of other people’s babies to make it as a politician, then his career in politics was rather murky. But when it came to his own babies – well, now. That was a different story.

The transformation was amazing. Suddenly, I watched this man who would recoil in horror at the mere thought of a dirty diaper fall head over heels for an infant who bore his name and looked like him. He was giving baths and changing diapers as though he’d done it all his life. Like a duck to water, he took to parenting.

In a perfect world, babies would be born to perfect parents who always knew what to do and never responded in anger or were too busy or too tired or too – well, human. The reality for every family, however, is that two sinners get married and make little ones. While we can’t give our children a perfect home, we can certainly give them a good one. By “failing forward,” doing all we know to do, loving ‘em like crazy, and praying like mad, we can give the next generation a solid foundation.

Mr. Schrock has said many times over the years, with a twinkle in his eye, “God knew what He was doing, giving me all boys.” I, for one, would have to agree.

Because he was one once upon a time, he has an innate understanding of how a boy thinks and what makes him tick. When I, as a girl, am in full meltdown mode over a boy-related issue, he calmly analyzes the situation and dispenses sound wisdom along with whatever action is required. He is a wise and faithful leader.

This week, it’s his turn to sit for an interview with the would-be Barbara Walters of Wakarusa. Listen in as he shares his thoughts on fatherhood.

Q: “What has surprised you the most about fatherhood?”
A: “The one thing I was surprised at when I first became a father was the amount of responsibility I felt, that I’m now responsible for another human being.” It was, he told me, rather scary.

Q: “What is the biggest challenge about being a father?”
A: “Feeling like I’m staying ahead of each one and giving them the attention they deserve. Figuring out what attention each one needs and trying to be wise with each one.” He added, “Watching them grow up,” and admitted rather sheepishly that “deep down, I’m a somewhat sentimental person” and that this part was a little tough.

Q: “What do you enjoy the most?”
A: “I’d say it’s when we’re together (not doing any one thing in particular).”

Q: “Who has impacted your own fathering?”
A: “My parents influenced me, sure, but there’s been a myriad of men I’ve asked advice from over the years.” Altogether, he said, they’d had a “combined influence” on his life.

Q: “What is your heart’s desire for your sons?”
A: “That they would grow up to be godly men and have a support system which, in the end, will equal success for their lives.”

Q: “What do you look forward to in the empty nest stage?”
A: “Living my life as a continuing influence in my children and grandchildren’s lives.”

Q: “Do you have any advice for young fathers?”
A: “Lead with a firm love and resolve that no foe will take your family.”

Q: “Now, for one last hard-hitting question. Do you think you can handle it when the boys bring girls home and the ratio around here equals out?”
A: (Laughing) “God will give me grace.”

Thanks, hon, for being such a source of strength and wisdom for your sons and I and for allowing me to share it with my readers. Happy Father’s Day!

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