Unwritten guides to fatherhood

Life has a funny way of catching up to you..and by catching up I mean roaring up from behind in a Porsche and screeching to a halt in front of you. Here I sit, almost exactly 2 months away from the birth of my daughter…from my first child..and I ponder what it means to be a father.

When we look for examples of what fatherhood means, most people often look to examples close to home, as in lessons from our own parental figures.

My father, Lon was a good father to me, and he still is. He has 4 children, myself, who is his oldest and im 26;my younger brother who is 24, my stepsister who he adopted as his own and as far as we are all concerned she is my sister and she is 23 and my youngest half-brother who is 17. Dad has always had to work, for as long as I have been alive he has worked 6 days a week for long hours in order to best provide for our family. Even when my brother and I lived with our mom and we were only with him part time he worked like that. Dad makes a lot of personal sacrifices in order to best keep the family safe,healthy and happy, and one would think that is what a father would do and has to do.

When I was younger I don’t think I fully appreciated everything Dad did for us. I was a teenager and I didnt have everything that a lot of my peers in high school had..no Ipod,no cell phone and I had to earn the right to get my permit and license(which I never did with him, I got it when I turned 18). I wasnt upset about this, I didnt lash out and rebel but I was jealous of my peers and wished we could afford to get all those luxuries but I stayed grounded.

I think what it means to be a father is to be able to put your child and your family above all else, including yourself and often at the expense of your health, wealth and own personal happiness. To work long hours, come home and take care of what you need to and then go to sleep until you are needed again. My father always did this, and I never really appreciated it until now that I am on the cusp of being a father myself.

Will I be successful at being a father? I would hope I would but only time will tell. I am however very excited about it, and am having no delusions of grandeur about running from this or skirting my new responsibilities. My daughter, Mikaila Ann Knieriem will come into the world and be very loved by everyone around her, and especially by her father and mother. I still have some time to prepare for her birth physically and mentally (not even close to the physically as her mother though ha ha)

So to sum it all up, I am so happy for the lessons on fatherhood I learned from my own father and all the other fathers I have been around in my life. I will take their lessons to heart but my parenting style will be my own..good or bad I will pass this test..after all I have to

have a good day

D


Your 20s and how people perceive them

Hi, my name is Devin. I am twenty six years old, in a long term relationship that is going on 9 months (and is definitely leading to more) and here I sit 2 months and some days away from the birth of my girlfriend and my first child..a daughter we named Mikaila Ann, and I am perfectly happy with how things turned out.

Ever since I actually turned twenty years old all I hear about is how your twenties are supposed to be spent (especially after you turn 21) Many people have the idea that your twenties are supposed to be a time of discovery;of having fun with almost all legal restrictions that are on minors lifted. I still know a fair amount of people that like to spend their nights bar hopping in Downtown Eugene and drinking shots and expensive beers and taking a cab home (if they go to their home….). In all honesty I was never really suited for that life..the partying life that many other 20somethings like to live..Dont get me wrong, I did my share of it.

Before I met Sahalie and started down this current path I am on, I wasnt exactly your standard young adult anyway. I had trouble finding a good job until I was 23 and found my current job and also up until last December I was living and helping to take care of my elderly Great-Grandmother. When I did go out, in some cases I would go out by myself and see a rock show downtown, drink a couple beers and go home by 11 or 1130. On some occasions, one of my best friends would invite me out for a night with some of his friends to go out drinking. The people we went out with were his friends…its not that I felt unwanted, but I most of the time felt unnoticed, and that is simply because they didnt know me very well. Im sure that I could of gotten to know most of these people better but my working nights only gave me two night a week to go out doing anything, and it was mostly one night because my first night off would be reserved for me catching up on sleep.

Still yet when I would go out, I would never drink very much. I still lived with my grandmother and I felt it disrespectful to stumble in the house, drunk and pass out on the floor. I was so careful about my alcohol intake that I would use an app on my phone to keep track of my alcohol intake and my Blood Alcohol Intake.

My point of writing this being that I was never suited to the fast partying, loose and fun lifestyle that seems to be almost advertised (in media) as the way to be in your twenties. I was always cautious,and careful and didnt want to make a fool of myself in public. I was never suited to date around..Sahalie is my first true long term relationship and I dont honestly want anyone else. I believe I am well suited to be a father. I want it. People keep asking me “arent you freaking out, you’re young to be having a baby, and young to be a family man…you know what? I am not freaking out because whats there to freak out about! Im ready to be a father, im ready to be a provider and even ready to be a husband one day! This is the life I always wanted, I just didnt really know I wanted it til now.Its true that my soon to be born daughter wasnt exactly planned but not a mistake because mistakes are something you regret. I regret nothing in my life, and if i missed out on a phase in my life so be it! Im having a kid im not dead, im sure my beautiful girlfriend Sahalie and I will go out and do things still, just not all the time.

Im no fun at parties anyway!

Life is what you make it,make it a good one and regret nothing!
D


Life Changes

My it sure is crazy how life can completely change in just a short amount of time. I find myself lost in a sea of changing currents, however there does seem to be a few guiding lights to help guide me out of the murky waters,

As some of my inner circle knows, my life has been absolutely insane for the past 5 or so months. First, a little over 5 months ago I met my beautiful girlfriend Sahalie. She is amazing and perhaps one of the greatest people I know.

About a month and a half after she and I became an us, my 91 year old great grandmother Molly passed away. I had been living with her for quite a while, at first because I wanted to but towards the end because I needed to, as she needed help and I willingly took up the mantle of caring for her. It was hard when she passed, as I wasnt so used to being in the house that I was living with her in, but Sahalie was my saving grace. Ever since she got sick and I had to rush her to the hospital she was staying with me in the house..and eventually her staying became permanent as I asked her to live with me full time.

I know some think it to be crazy how we date for a month and a half and move in together but she helped me through my grief and sadness..and now we could not be any happier together and are looking forward to whatever life throws at us…together.

Now, the newest thing in my life is that due to circumstances beyond my control, Sahalie and I have to move out and find a new place to live. Up until now we had been living in my Great Grandmothers house. We knew that we were gonna have to move but just not when. We know now and are in the process of finding our first place together.

There is also some more news that most in my deep inner circle know, but I am not going to share it so publicly. There will be some sort of public announcement soon but til then its on a need to know basis

Piece of advice people…have your older relatives stay away from reverse mortgages…they are a scam that preys on older people to get their houses when they die

stay safe out there

D


Molly

I somewhat recently had a major loss in my life.My Great-Grandmother, who I have known and been partially raised by passed away a little more than two months ago today. I know it has been two months and some might say “she was old, get over it” you dont just get over things like that…ever

Her name was Molly Faulhaber and she was born on August 20,1923 (though she would of told you very differently). Since she was around for so long, she had a hand in helping raise three generations..My own (My younger brother,three cousins and myself), My mothers (Mom and my aunt Cathy) and my grandfather John Jr.

She is what we would call our Family Matriarch. We had all our family gatherings at her house, and it was mainly because of her that our family even got together at any time. Every major holiday (Christmas Eve,Thanksgiving,Easter) we would all gather at Grandmas house, eat a delicious dinner that she usually cooked, and be a family.She was always happy to cook and host those evenings because she loved her family and loved hosting us.

Grandma Faulhaber had a pretty interesting life, I remember all the stories she used to tell me, from things about when she was a teenager and WW2 broke out, when President Kennedy (one of her favorites) was shot and so many things. Though I will admit that I didnt find all of her stories interesting (she is very opinionated about many things) I am happy that I got to hear them. She lived an incredible life and I am glad I got to hear of it.

When my mom died in 2003, Grandma even offered to take care of us and let us live with her for the rest of our school years. Though we would end up going to live with our Dad anyway, it was pretty incredible that her, in her late 70s at the time would be willing to take care of 2 teenage boys was pretty great..she was selfless like that.

For the last seven years, I was living with her. At first I moved in with her after I turned 18 and decided that I wanted to move back to Eugene from my Dads in Canby in order to graduate high school with my best friends. She took me in without a second thought, all i needed to do was ask. After high school I went to college for a few years. I wasnt at first as I didnt have money for such things but she told me that she would help and that I pay her back when I get a job(which i did). Though I didnt take a full course load at community college (I didnt want to ask her to pay that much) it was incredible for her to do that. I later found out that she actually took out a loan from her bank to help with that. She didnt tell me she did, she just did. She also helped me get my drivers license and learn to drive among many other things. Later, when I decided to quit college and get a job, she put up with me while I was broke and jobless looking for work.It was hard for a while but she didnt put me out on my ass. But,however in her last years I lived with her because she needed help. I had a good job and I could of moved to my own place, but she needed my help, so I at 24 and 25 years old, the age that a lot of guys are living up the single, 20somethings life,I was taking care of my 90 year old grandmother.  It made dating hard, as many women wouldnt look past the fact that I was not living at my own place, but I didnt care as she helped me so I needed to return the favor.

Im not going to go on about how she died. She died after living a full life where she to got know her Great-Grandchildren and almost was able to get to know Great-Great Grandchildren. She lived through 9 decades and saw the world change drastically around her,saw things like The Great Depression.WW2,The Cold War,9/11 and many other events that shaped history, saw 15 presidents elected,2 get shot,one resign ,one nearly get kicked out of office and one become the first African-American President (much to her chagrin unfortunately). When she was born, TVs were still an idea and the Internet wasnt even a thing. She raised a son and grandchildren and great grandchildren and never asked for a dime. She lived an incredible life and im happy to have known her

Rest in peace Molly Faulhaber August 20,1923-December 25th 2014


Chapter 2: Separation Anxiety

Marriage is really a changed thing these days, and it was in the early 90s. Half of all married people end up divorced (in sure it was slightly different in the 90s though) but that was no exception for my parents.

With our constant moving that we did I cannot say that I ever really had a “neighborhood I grew up in”. The closest thing I had to that was Great-Grandma Faulhaber’s neighborhood, which with Brandon and I constantly visited over the years. sometime In 1993 or 1994 we moved again, this time to some podunk little town in Northern Oregon called Boring.

Before you ask, yes the town is as boring as it sounds. We lived in some small place out in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. In fact, on the first night we were there I remember hearing coyotes outside of our house…thats how remote it was, but when you are a four year old kid who doesn’t go anywhere without your parents, having a fun town to live in is not exactly an issue. But in any case, we were all one big. happy family (at least it appeared that way).

Now if my parents had issues in their marriage, not a lot of it was obvious to me, as they both did a very good job not hashing out their issues in front of my brother and I…but they did have issues. I do remember a few fights they had, but as far as I knew it never got physical. Honestly, if it ever did, my bet would be on my mom doing the hitting as my Dad is an eternal pacifist and my Mom had quite a temper.However though, whatever issues that they had, they eventually came to a head as they got divorced, as for the timeframe, I don’t know but I know it was before I started kindergarten.

Im gonna honestly say, as I look about 20 years later, I don’t think my parents were ever really that good together. They were only married for about 4 or 5 years before they separated, and I know they had their fights, and had conflicting personalities. They did have me though, and my mom was pregnant before they were married so im guessing having me might of been a reason for them to hurry and get married, and then they had Brandon as well, but my parents were not really meant for eachother, and that is fine. Not every family is perfect and I know if they would of stayed married for my brother and my sake that both of them would of suffered, and as a domino effect it might of spilled out into my brother and my life, (not in any abuse kind of way mind you) and at least they had the sense to end it before things got really bad and I do thank both of them for being adults about it. I didnt expect a white picket fence kind of life anyway. At least I didnt have to grow up in Boring!!!!

Brandon and I went with Mom and left Dad in Boring to go back to Eugene. At first we lived with Grandma while we looked for a place, which meant that I would start school at nearby Awbrey Park Elementary for Kindergarten.

Having our separated parents was interesting. Obviously, Brandon and I were to live with our Mom and Dad got to take us up with him every other weekend. I remember that Brandon and I actually really liked visiting with Dad back then ,as it was a lot of fun between the three of us. We would go up with him, rent a movie and buy a pizza and have some family bonding between the three of us, it was actually a lot of fun!

I dont remember or know anything about the divorce proceedings, Dad didnt try to fight for custody as far as I know and Brandon and I were not at all involved in any of it (we never talked to attorneys or judges or anything). The most I remember of it was on the day their divorce went final, my mom called up my dad and said happily (and perhaps a bit mockingly) “Happy Divorce Day Lon”!!! That was just like her…she had a bit of an attitude about her…


(Devin:The Story of Me) Chapter One:An Origin Story

As far as beginnings go, mine is is pretty inglorious. In fact, I do not exactly remember every event sequence for sequence but I will certainly give it a shot. Most of this when it comes to my early years (pre-kindergarten, etc) are things that I have learned from my parents and other family members, so if anyone who is in the know notices some things out of sequence, you know why.

I was born on a almost-summer day on June 12th 1989 in a medium sized college town known as Eugene, Oregon. According to what I remember my mom telling me, I was born sometime around 11 in the morning, as for how long she was in labor,I honestly have no idea because that is not really information I ever asked for.

A little about my parents…My moms name was Kelly and my dad was Lon. My parents dated in high school (where they met) and considering the 9 month pregnancy, that would mean my mom became pregnant with me about a year after she graduated high school (and a month after her 19th birthday).

My Dad, Lon was a semi-truck driver, something he would do in varying forms for a long time. If I had to describe my Dads personality I would describe him as fairly easy going but with a slightly strict and a little intimidating side. He was the kind of person that you really didn’t want to disappoint. As for the strict part, he was not strict in a traditional sense, because he never gave me any hard punishment (no spankings, nothing verbal or anything like that) but he expected the best from me and for the most part I wanted to show it to him. I think my Dad tried hard to not be like his own father, and to be the kind of Dad he wanted to be, not the one he grew up with. My dad has two siblings, one brother, Alan and a sister Franki. From what I remember, my Dad grew up in Reedsport, Oregon and moved to Eugene in high school.

Now a little about my Mom, Kelly. My mom was kinda hot-headed. She had a temper and a mouth that was legendary, but never with me or my brother. I can never remember her having any career aspirations (or never mentioned to me) but she was perfectly happy working retail jobs and being a mom. My mom hardly ever punished me, even when I was legitimately bad, she would never spank me or do anything like that. Sure I was grounded and other things like it but never anything too intense. My mom had three siblings, two sisters, Cathy and Karie and a brother, Scott.. Mom grew up in Eugene as well..so I guess Eugene is in the family

The first few years of my life were pretty unremarkable, Very few significant events and nothing too out of the ordinary except for one incident when I was two.

When you are two years old, most kids can be sort of pesky, especially to teenage girls. I was at my Step-Grandma Bevs house being watched by her while my parents were at work. I imagine I was being annoying to my Aunt Franki and trying to get into her room and she did not want me in there. At one point she shut (slammed?) the door, but what she didnt know was that my left index finger happened to be in the door and..well the door sliced right through it and knocked it clean off! Luckily I was not maimed as Bev managed to get the severed digit on ice and whisk me to the hospital, still kicking and screaming the whole time. The hospital managed to reattach my finger and in fact I am typing with it now, and it has color and a growing nail (albeit the nail grows in weird) and feeling in it! 23 years later, I still joke around with my Aunt and call her “the finger cutter”

I was an only child for a short while because about 2 years and 1 1/2 months after I was born, my brother, Brandon was born. I cant remember if I was excited to be a big brother, though as most kids usually are I imagine I was.

Because both of my parents worked during my first few years, I was babysitted a lot when I was young. Though I was at Bevs during my finger severing, a lot of the time I was at my Great-Grandma Faulhabers house, who Brandon and I affectionately referred to as “Grandma Willie” as she had a dog named Willie and I guess as kids you make up your own things to call people. Often joining Brandon and I at “Grandma Willies” was our cousin, Matt. Matt was 4 months older than me and my Aunt Cathys son. Brandon, Matt and I grew up together and we were all pretty close. We remained close to our cousins when Matts brother, Aaron was born several years later (though admittedly Brandon was closer to Aaron than I) and even when a few years after that our cousin and Matt and Aarons sister, Melissa was born. Matt, Aaron and Melissa were all our Aunt Cathys kids and we were all pretty close. My Aunt Karie and Uncle Scott had kids too but they both lived kinda far away back then and we never got to know their kids like we did Cathys.

When Brandon and I were young, we moved around a lot. We lived in various places around Eugene and Springfield (the adjacent city to Eugene) and we also lived in Junction City, Oregon, Lewiston, Idaho and a place called Boring, Oregon (and it was exactly as the name implied). When you are that young, you dont really care so much about all the moving, as we didnt go to school yet and didnt exactly have a group of friends yet, but I remember we missed going to Grandma Willies and hanging out with our cousins. For the most part, we were all a big, happy family, as far as my brother and I knew..but there was trouble brewing underneath the surface…


Devin:The Story of me..Prologue

As A writer, I am constantly looking for new methods of communicating the written word. In my journals and in the bowels of my computer I have many different things that I have written. Countless memoirs and musings; half written short stories;A 200 page fantasy novel that I still have not finished;several free form poems, soliloquies and haikus . One of the items im most proud of is my handwritten 130 page autobiography, or as I call of it “My Life (At least what I remember of it).

Why would someone like me write my own biography? It was a means of self discovery. A way for me to look back at my life and reflect on some of the choices that I have made, and the events that have shaped me to be the way that I am now.

Originally, I only wrote it for me. I told myself “I might be writing this, but I dont really need to share it with anyone”. But I realized that the beauty of the written (or in this case the typed word) is the ability to share it with others. So I decided yesterday that I will use the power of the internet and my blog to publish one chapter of it a day.

I have about thirty chapters, so over the course of the next few months, I will publish one chapter at a time. As for the frequency, I am already pretty infrequent with posting on my blog anyway…besides, I dont think very many people read this anyway…

My intro

Contained in these pages is a factual account of my life from my early years all the way to my 19th year when I graduated high school. The people and events contained in these pages are all real and in no way are made up. As for complete accuracy, I cannot guarantee that I remember every event, as I am not extremely good with remembering things from my far past. The meaty part of this story will begin around when I was in 5th grade, when I determined that my life went from strait and narrow to convoluted and different than your normal child.

I will do my best to not reveal any information that I deem the public should not be informed about with other people, but full disclosure with events in my own life (though I can think of some people that would have it coming). As for any family or people that are very much a part of this story that might be reading, you might learn a thing or two about me, but if anything I do puts you in a bad light I do apologise but many of these events are many years in the past and understand that my feelings at that time might not be something you like to read but if you are still in my life right now, then im over it .

As for my less (or not at all) involved readers (if there are any) thanks for reading and feel free to post comments or questions but understand that I will not reveal any information about other people. Have a fantastic day and happy reading!

“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald


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