Dupré: Musings from an aging father

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 2, 2019

As I jokingly like to tell people, “I was born at a very early age.”  However, I had my four children at a much later-than-normal age. This was after losing four children to miscarriage before my oldest was born five weeks premature. He had a pneumothorax and other major complications from underdeveloped lungs, which kept him in NICU for three weeks, and isolated at home for nearly the first six months of life. “Number two son” was the only one born without issues, but my third son also spent three weeks in the NICU.  My youngest minion, my only sweet daughter, was born with both her feet turned in almost 90 degrees.

It took a lot of time, anguish and joy to get to where we are now. I take great pride in their accomplishments (whether personally deserved or not – their mom also had “something” to do with that). Actually, they get their kind-hearted spirit from my ex-wife.  They get their intelligence from the both of us. From me, they get a sprinkling of musical ability, and a heaping helping of irreverent humor and a love of Classic Rock and Show Tunes.

I have also given them examples of both good and bad life lessons. When I start being less than a good example, I will often reminisce about the incredible journey it took to get them here. All four, including the two sons who were born with severe lung problems, are singers – really good singers. And that is not just a proud dad saying, “My baby just sounds SO good,” but objective criteria such as All-State choir groups, university vocal scholarships, and earned performances at Carnegie Hall.  My preteen daughter has been a cheerleader, dancer, and twirls rifle and flags with fully functioning feet. My children show no effects of the health problems of their birth, and you would never know they had any birth issues.

As an old man, I look at my children and hope they know I am happy with them just for being good people, and I am proud of their accomplishments on top of that.  I pray that they use me as both good and bad examples to guide them in what to do (and what NOT to do) when I am no longer around.  I look at them and think to myself, “They are ready for that day.  They’re prepared.”  I want to stay around long enough to be proved right.

Until then, “Turn your trash music down, and get off my lawn!”

 Gary Wayne Dupré is enjoying his second career as the Administrative Assistant for L’OBSERVATEUR and can be reached at gary.dupre@lobservateur.com or (985) 652-9545. He’s an old man, so STAY OFF HIS LAWN!

Click to report corrections.