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I signed up for parenthood

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POSTED August 12, 2009 2:25 a.m.

Several years ago, a young mother stood directly behind me at the check-out line at the grocery store.

I could sense her frustration as her child, for whatever reason, threw a tantrum.

“Hey, I didn’t sign up for this,” she uttered.

No doubt those words caught my attention. For starters, I didn’t know about the sign-up part when it comes to parenting.

But all kidding aside, I did make a promise long before my son was born.

I simply promised to be there for him. Based on that, I did sign up on this thing called parenthood some 14 years ago.

For the exception of one slip up that occurred at a drop-in daycare facility years ago – it was actually a funny story based on some confusion straight out of a sitcom – I’ve been there for Josh every step of the way.

I was there to pick him up every day during his preschool.

When Josh was in kindergarten, I can remember arriving at his school on my mountain bike several times, having to make do since I was stranded without a car. Back then, my son actually preferred riding to and from school in the child seat of my bike.

I helped coach his early years of youth baseball. As he moved up the ladder, I played the supporting role, attending every game and nearly all the practices. In particular, I enjoyed hanging out with the other baseball dads, bonding after a couple of the out-of-town games.

When Josh was in elementary school, I gladly played an active role, serving as a volunteer on numerous occasions and chaperoning various field trips including the state Capitol building tour in Sacramento and the Tech Museum in San Jose.

And when Josh’s CYO basketball coach Pat Miller was in need of an assistant, he didn’t need to look too far.

I was right there at the practices and games. Besides, Pat and I had talked plenty of hoops over the years.

Josh is now a freshman, beginning his first day at high school just this week.

He had no problem with me being there for the round-up session, consisting of standing in long lines for class schedules, photos, receiving student body cards and getting an assigned hallway locker.

Now, I probably would have been embarrassed if, say, my mom was there on the unofficial first day of high school.

I’m just glad my son doesn’t think that way.

Josh should know one thing:  I signed up for this.

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