My son, Jackson. Not my car, though. I’m not quite that lucky.

First Post!

I’m brand new to Medium, so go easy on me if I mess something up. I hope to write about a variety of topics here, but I wanted to introduce myself beforehand.

I hold fairly strong opinions on a few topics, such as gun ownership, parenting, and foreign policy. I plan to cover a lot of those in future posts, and I welcome reasoned and factual correction to anything I post.

I bounce all over the place with those beliefs. My wife and I practice peaceful parenting, and our son Jackson is high-needs. This isn’t the same as special needs in the conventional sense, but it does require more of us that we expected out of our first child.

Not that that’s at all a bad thing! Jackson drives us crazy sometimes, and I think new or expecting parents need to hear that it’s OK to feel that way, but we do love him and we wouldn’t trade him for the easiest baby in the world.

With his high needs comes high intelligence, and at 13 months he’s already running around, drawing associations between objects and their purposes, and letting Mom know when he needs a diaper change (by grabbing a diaper and putting it between his legs). He’s learning words and phrases at a rapid pace, and we’re beginning to look at Montessori programs for him.

I’m very proud of Jackson, as you can imagine.

Unfortunately, I’m living a great deal of this wonder and excitement vicariously. My job takes me overseas a lot. I’ve been in Afghanistan for the last three months. This isn’t my first trip. I did Iraq in 2011 with the Texas Army National Guard, and my first trip to Afghanistan was in 2013 as a civilian.

On a helicopter flight in Afghanistan, 2014.

It’s not a bad way to make a living, but it’s difficult when you’re watching your son grow on a laptop screen.

Thankfully, I have a wonderful wife, Amanda, to keep Jackson on the right track.

I suppose it’s important to clarify that I had no idea what sort of parent I wanted to be going in. I knew nothing about children. Sometimes I think that I still don’t. Next to my wife’s mountains of experience with children, I was worried that I wouldn't be of very much utility.

As it turns out, I figured out where I could fit in, and went for it. I love cooking, so I took over cooking dinner every night after work. I got to where I looked forward to cracking open a Devil’s Backbone (an India Pale Ale brewed in Virginia, where we live) and pan-searing steaks for dinner while Amanda kept Jackson entertained. I had less enthralling responsibilities as well, but Jackson doesn't permit me to put him to sleep at night, so I consider it fair trade for what Amanda has to deal with every night.

All three of us together!

I miss it all, and I can’t wait to go home. I hope to use Medium as a way to talk about things I’m interested in, partly because writing is cathartic for me and because Facebook doesn’t lend itself to my rambling writing style quite as well as I need it to. Amanda’s suggested I start some sort of blog, and I honestly find Medium fun to write with so far.
I’ll try to write regularly. We’ll see how that works out.

Thanks for reading!

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.