The Ups and the Downs

Hi everyone. If you’re here and you’re reading this, thank you. I started out wanting to write a blog about the ups and downs of my own process with fatherhood but then life intervened and my father suffered a traumatic brain injury. So, the blog will now be about fatherhood from both directions. I’ll alternate posts about Alexis and my experience with Shartz (the current chosen name for our incoming daughter) and posts about Dad. It may be a little bipolar but I hope you’ll stay tuned. And if you have similar experiences or any response at all, please let me know. Post a comment or hit me up on Facebook. Let’s span the distance between each other.

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9 thoughts on “The Ups and the Downs

  1. I have been sitting for several minutes trying to think of something to say that doesn’t sound trite (to myself even, let alone to you)–and instead I just keep thinking up the usual platitudes “Hang in there/I hope things improve soon/I’m thinking of you and your family” etc. I thought about just not saying anything–but you asked for comments. So here is mine: I do hope that things improve for your father and your family (and soon), I am thinking of you and wishing you the strength to continue moving forward during this difficult and stressful time.

    Parenthood is confusing and stressful and also incredibly wonderful, absurd, and joyous–based on the you I knew in college, I think you will be a fun, intelligent, caring, and thoughtful dad–which should be good news for Shartz. 🙂

    In conclusion: hang in there.

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    1. Thank you so much for this, Chelsea. It’s true that situations like this bring out the cliches. But the cliches are so worn out because they’re so often true. The whole thing with my dad has made me that much more grateful to be bringing a life into the world. How is your family?

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      1. I attempted to reply to you by phone over the weekend–and clearly failed.

        We are doing well, thank you for asking. Josie started kindergarten a bit over a week ago, and has been enjoying it immensely. That greatly pleases both my inner-nerd and the anxious-mother part of my brain (which is likely at least 30% of my brain at this point). Otherwise, we are all just going through our daily routines while I try to figure out if I want to get a PhD in education or related field, a JD, or just go back for a post-bac in computer science so I can become a software engineer. So we are generally busy, boring, and happy as of now.

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      2. Boring sounds great right about now. Hopefully I will be able to appreciate boring when it comes by again. And 30% sounds low! I fully expect my brain to be 90% anxious father/son for the next 20 years.

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      3. Oh–the parenting anxiety ebbs and flows. 😉 Otherwise our brains would likely implode (explode?….both?)….hope things get to be boring for you sooner rather than later (and in a good way–not boring because they just stay dark/anxious/bad).

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  2. Thank you for writing so beautifully and honestly about things that are so deeply personal. There are many thoughts swirling around in my brain in response to your blog posts: like I want to be there on the sidelines by the pole with Kindergarten Andrew, to offer smiles of understanding and reassurance…and I suppose that’s what I want to offer now for Daddy Andrew and Son Andrew, although I wish that I could do so much more. Please know that you and your family are all in our very best thoughts, and you’re not alone.

    And here’s a dose of cuteness that I really hope puts a smile on your face: we have company arriving this afternoon and when I asked Benjamin “Guess who’s coming to visit us, today?” he said definitively and without hesitation: “Andgel”! Me: “Sorry, babe, Andrew’s in CA and can’t come visit today. Guess again!”. Benjamin (without hesitation): “Lexij”!

    You’re so very loved by all of the Poiriers.

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    1. That put the biggest smile on my face in a long time. Though, I remember his pronunciation usually being more like “Ingyew”. Thank you so much for the kind thoughts, Rachel. We love and miss you guys and hope that we’ll end up in the same city/state/town as soon as possible.

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  3. I didn’t realize how much I missed you until I read the first of your blogs. I would not have survived high school without your kindness and acceptance when I needed it. You are so intertwined with so many of my most nostalgic memories of home.
    I am so excited for you and your little shartz. I enjoy reading your words when I’m up feeding my own tiny human at all kinds of odd hours and they make me smile.

    There aren’t the right words to say to you about your dad. I make my own dad email me every day so that I know he’s ok. I live in fear of the day I don’t get one. Know that your words have touched me and that I am thinking of you and your family.

    Thanks Andrew.

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    1. This is so nice to hear, Lauren. It’s funny, looking back on my high school self, I don’t know if I’d use the word ‘kind’ to describe myself. But I’m really glad to hear you didn’t feel like I was too much of a little shit. I’m certainly trying to move towards more kindness and empathy in my life. It can be difficult at times but this experience is certainly helping. Much love to your new-sized family and to your parents.

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