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Ask the Divorced Guy!
by Dean Hughson

Title: Babies Breath

Is there a father alive who doesn't remember the smell of his babie's curdled milk breath as they laid on his chest? Unfortunately there are some---unfortunates who never got to know their children due to divorce or not even being aware that they were fathers but for those of us who have been involved in our children's baby period as Bruce Springsteen would say "Those were our glory days."

Now I smell my teenager's breaths for different reasons (ha ha) but when they were a few months old I can remember laying on the bed or the floor with them,playing with them, and even throwing them in the air (yes--we did it and yes it can be dangerous).....I can remember their bright little eyes looking inquisitively at me almost saying "Hey, guy who smells like chicken manure (from working in the egg business) and who makes weird noises and sings weird songs, what are you saying?" If I fed them a bottle they would invariably throw up on my shoulder. I can remember kissing my kids and smelling that curdled milk smell and thinking it was the most fantastic smell in the world--the smell of my link to immortality. I can remember them reaching and pulling on my beard,which I wore in those days, and I can remember having conversations that went like this "Look,kid, Mom is dead tired, Dad is dead is 3 have been fed,changed, and rocked and you still won't go to sleep...How about you come into bed with Mom and Dad and sleep in the special place...between them....and maybe you will go to sleep for a while." Sometimes the conversation worked and we would get 3 or 4 hours of sleep and everyone was happy. I would get up at 5 a.m. to get dressed for work and would look back in the bed and there would be my wife and 1 to 3 children and think this is fantastic. If you look at pictures of me then you will see a proud father surrounded by his kids.

My kids are older now---19,18, and 15...but I am still a proud father. They are all too big to toss in the air but we still have some non-sense type conversations..haha....I still sing songs to them sometimes and all of my kids sing a bit like I used to......Their breath smells better than the old days but I love them the same way. In many ways I am more childlike these days--i.e. need more help than they do but it all works.

All I can say is I thank God that I am a father. It has made all the difference in the world. Despite the problems of divorce and other failures in life many of us have faced, my kids bring much joy into my life and I hope that I bring some into theirs. I have an empty lap now that some day, God willing, my kids will temporarily fill with grandchildren but it is still filled with memories---fantastic memories of big eyed kids with inquisitive eyes and soft mind is filled with memories of kids who were indeed a gift. Fathers, enjoy your kids now and forever.

Dean Hughson, called the Dear Abby of Divorced Dads by the KC Star, is the founder of the DIVORCE HOMEPAGE. He has talked to thousands of people contemplating divorce, going through divorce, or the chaos afterwards and gives referrals and advice. He resides in Nevada, the state with the highest divorce rate in the US.

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