Two Dads

I've been looking at photos this past week.  An online video of a dad being unkind to his child was heartbreaking to me.  I found myself searching for positive parenting stories online and ended up looking through a ridiculous number of boxes and albums of my own photos. All the kindness and positive parenting stories I needed were in there.  Every single one.

I am so grateful to know so many families who live with the principles of peaceful parenting.  I happen to be very well acquainted with two dads who exemplify those principles. As I have looked through photos these past few days, I found myself wishing I could share them all here.  Seeing the joy and love and fun in these pictures have taken away any sadness I felt from that disturbing video.

I've chosen not to put the photos in any kind of order because all of them just are lovely images of two dads who love and trust their kids.

Broc and Drew

Mark and Brenna

Broc and Tyler searching for Shark's sTeeth in Gainesville, Florida

Broc and Mark both had a lot of challenges in their parenting journeys.  Both were divorced when their kids were very young. For those of you who may be reading and don't know us, Mark and I have two kids, Brenna and Logan.  Broc has three children from his previous marriage and he and I have been married for almost 13 years.  I'm sure that doesn't even begin to explain the complexity of it all but you get the general idea!

 It's difficult being a dad under the very best of circumstances and these two men had to find a way to be close to their kids in spite of the numerous issues that often come from divorce.

Mark and Brenna in Austin

Broc and Lindsay in Austin

Some men would have just given up.  However, neither of them ever did.  I have seen them both struggle with the sadness of missing their kids, with the worry of the financial strain and with trying to juggle schedules so that they could find time from their jobs to travel to see their kids or to spend time with them during the too short visits . They have missed out on so much. It has not been easy for them or for their children.

Mark singing with Brenna, Family and Friends in Orange Park, Florida
In spite of the struggles, I've seen them both  rise above it time and time again. They have chosen to simply love and be kind to their children and spend as much time with them as they possibly could.

Mark and Logan 
Broc and Logan
Broc and Drew

With all of this, neither of them chose to parent with punishment, arbitrary consequences, grounding, restrictions and demands..  Instead, they parented with the principles of  listening, trust, kindness, respect, patience and fun.

Broc and Brenna

Broc with all Five Kids in our pool in Florida

Broc and Lindsay
Mark listening to Brenna tell it like it is!

Broc with Logan and his bunny

Broc and the boys. This may be what happened to Broc's back!

Broc and Drew at his college graduation
Mark and Logan with his new bike
Mark and Logan playing with a gadget 

Mark and Brenna at her Senior Voice Recital

I realized while writing this that my words would never convey what the photos do so simply.   So here it is.

 They are my partners in peaceful parenting.  Two dads who love and trust their children. I am so grateful to have them both in my life.

Broc with the Tall Kids

Mark, with Brenna and Logan at our home in Asheville this past Christmas


Justabaldman said…
Be lying if I said I wasn't a bit misty-eyed after reading that post and seeing those pictures. In a crazy and complicated world, we often forget that the simplest thing to do is to love a child. Your extended family knows that well, and continues to inspire. Thanks for sharing!
Sandra Dodd said…
I've met almost all of those sweet people! Marty and Holly have met Mark, and someday I hope to as well. I'm glad to know you and your enlarged family, Gail.
So much LOVE!!! What a great blogpost and tribute to both dads. Thanks again for sharing it with the Unschooling Blog Carnival, Gail. I always love your writing. <3

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