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Being Dad

By Jamie Deen

I’m a dad. The height that I wear my pants is climbing as we speak. I’m a dad. I’m not as funny as I thought I was. I’m a dad—un-cooler by the minute. I’m a dad. I’m too strict. I’m too serious. I’m too cautious. Guilty, guilty, guilty—I’m a dad.

How do I explain the love and devotion I have for my boys? It’s tough to say; everyone loves something, but until you have a child, it’s hard to quantify. Your heart is outside your body. It’s the love Brooke and I have for each other packaged into two little boys who are growing at an alarming rate.

Having children is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s also the most fulfilling. I grew up kissing and hugging my dad a lot (maybe not so much in the high school years), but I still do to this day. Expressing love for each other is so simple and so important. Loving the daylights out of ‘em is the easiest part.

The part I struggle with the most is trying to keep the boys out of harm’s way. The bubble wrap suit has crossed my mind more than a few times. Seriously, someone invent that thing already.

It feels like every sharp corner is your enemy, and like many people, you fear the unknown. The only difference is that as a parent, you’re no longer worried for yourself—you worry for your kids. You worry that as they grown and wander through this unknown terrain that they’ll experience hurt, pain, or disappointment.

Do you have any idea how many sharp corners lurk in the shadows and crouch around every turn? I can’t put a number on it, but I know it’s a lot. Just like now though, I know that the hurt and the ouchies will disappear and will make them stronger than before—that they will make it through the shadows. And I know that Brooke and I are raising smart, kind, driven, and adventurous boys. I shouldn’t worry so much, right?

I just can’t help it. I’m a dad.

Jamie Deen - Jamie Deen is an entrepreneur, businessman, author, and son of American cooking and lifestyle icon Paula Deen. Jamie has been an integral part of the now legendary business The Bag Lady – the famous sandwich delivery service that launched Paula Deen's success. Working with his mom and younger brother Bobby, Jamie delivered the "lunch-and-love-in-a-bag" that kick-started his mother's professional cooking career in Savannah, Georgia.