"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day...

Father: a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector or provider.

On October 19, 2005 my checking account had a balance of -$28.11, my savings account was overflowing with a $1.79, and I had $53.00 in my pocket. I was also preparing to be a father for the "fifth" time. The arrival of Addison Reid Bailey was anxiously being anticipated. Addison would be my fifth boy and my second boy born that year. 

Earlier that year, on March 3rd, Ryan William Bailey-Brown (his name has since been officially changed to Ryan William Bailey) was born. Addison's mother, Kelly, had been a on and off again relationship for almost five years. Ryan's mother, Rhonda (who I'm very proud to call my wife now), had been a good friend for over twelve years. My other boys, Logan (15), Austin (13) from my first marriage, and Bryce (9) from my second marriage gave me a total of five boys.

(L-R) Austin, Addison, Me, Ryan, Bryce, & Logan

 Shakespeare once said, "Tis a happy thing to be the father unto many sons". I can't disagree with William, but I'm pretty sure he didn't have my situation in mind when he made that comment. With that being said, I never dreamed I would be in this position at 40...I also didn't have any idea that I could love a group of kids more than I love mine. 

They give me a tremendous amount of joy and happiness. They mean everything to me.

2005 was a very tough year to say the least. Ryan was born in March without any family or friends having a clue, Kelly found out that she was pregnant with Addison in May, and my grandmother, who I adored, lost her battle with Alzheimer's in June.

And that was just the first six months of the year.  

Throughout the whole ordeal the toughest part was the conversations with my parents and my oldest sons. The first conversation in March was tough; the second conversation in May was brutal. I was a son and a parent, and because of my irresponsible behavior I let everyone down. I felt embarrassed and ashamed...I blew it and I knew it.

Through it all my parents rallied behind me and my boys displayed maturity, humor, and insight beyond their years. They were, and are, amazing. Logan, my oldest and most articulate son, communicated to me that this sort of thing happens all the time at his school and that there were numerous moms that had "babies" with three or four different men and some of the kids didn't even know who their father was. I thanked Logan and shared with him that was just the standard I wanted to be held to. Logan also suggested I look into getting a "bus" for my next company car seeing that a minivan or SUV would not be able to handle all my kids. 

Logan and Austin's mother, Tracey, offered the best, if not the fairest and funniest advice, when she suggested I become a Mormon and marry both of them. I like HBO's "Big Love", but I don't think so. I must say though, Tracey's line is one of the funniest lines I've ever heard...I still laugh when I think about her saying that to me. And if that wasn't enough, my nine year old, Bryce, upon hearing the news for the first time ask me with the most serious look on his face; "Daddy are you married?" 

Oh boy...
I can still see, and hear, Logan and Austin laughing historically in the much for a completely serious conversation.

In the end Austin, my 14 year old at the time, gave the most poignant and insightful advice of all. He said, "Dad, they are your have to take care of them". And though it never crossed my mind not to take care of them that was just what I needed to hear. When it was all said and done, and most of the time there is more said than done, the only thing that mattered was me raising and unconditionally loving these boys. They only get one mom and one dad, and I'm their Dad...I'm your daddy too Reese. Come to think of it, with six kids, I feel like I'm everyone's father.


 sbb  19.6.10  ( My Father's Eyes . Eric Clapton) . 734

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