Countdown to Fatherhood

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This Father’s Day holiday 2021 is the year in which I’ve been gifted with the opportunity to think of myself as an impending father. For so many years, I’ve observed this occasion in memory and honor of my dad, Mike Jones, and with my grandfather, Raymond C. Jones. They set a high bar to follow in parenting; I have many memories and experiences with them to draw upon now that it’s my turn.

My wife, Chelsea, will be the MVP, saying whether I get it right or wrong as the days go by. She is so immensely organized as usual, but in these final months before we officially become parents, I really appreciate her ability to plan and schedule.

We’ve been able to enjoy the doctor’s appointments together and getting the nursery ready for our son. I’ve been thinking of things I want him to experience with me, the way I did with my dad. Of course, there will be a junior set of golf clubs in his future— after he learns to stand and walk.  Soccer balls may already be in the nursery. He will love maroon and white.

In 2021, children already have more technology available to them to monitor their every movement and feeling. I will probably rival any other new dad for most photos taken every day of our son. I have loved seeing photos of your children, and I am excited to be able to share some of mine with you soon.

Any of us who are bringing new lives into the world at this time know that our children can be anything they want to in life. Our fun will be in watching him grow up, and loving him every day of his life, and learning a lot from this experience. While things were quiet, sort of, and before the 2am feedings arrive, I made a list of hopes, wishes, and dreams for our son, all made without consulting him of course! I welcome your advice and expertise, so please feel free to comment on my blog. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there!

Hopes, wishes, and dreams that a father wants for his son will vary from dad to dad. Some dads want their sons to grow up and take over the family business; others don’t. As I was growing up, I remember that some of our client families might see me in my high school and college days and say to me, “I’ll bet you will one day be doing what your father is doing for your firm!” Growing up, I always knew that was an option but fortunately it was not a carved-in-stone expectation. My dad especially wanted me to be whatever I wanted to be in life, without the pressure of feeling like I must absolutely accept the family business as my future choice with no options.

In fact, he was very supportive when I expressed a desire to study graphics, film animation and the movie industry as a teenager. I’d had some initial success in designing with Macintosh computers and in school, we had access to some great resources. So, my first thought was to give that a try, knowing full well that I had parents who supported my choices. I had some great design teachers, and I really enjoyed my studies, but Bryan-College Station was often on my mind.

My dad had the pleasure of working together with his dad for many years, but my grandfather had a lifetime of doing things “his way,” and wasn’t necessarily as welcoming of technology as my dad was. In fact, my dad was very creative and had some great ideas. My grandfather’s people skills were unmatched. Everyone loved Raymond, but since my dad had also grown up here, all his classmates loved him too, and we had two generations of business relying on our firm.

For our son, I hope that he might want to be like his dad at least in loving sports. The first four letters of the alphabet will learn could very well be E-S-P-N, four fine letters to be sure. I want to give him the world, like most dads, but I’m going to encourage him to wok as soon as he is able to earn his own spending money. It’s what they have to contribute with their own money that defines how they feel about the cost of something.

Dreams for our son are that he will join others his age in making a difference in our community, for as long as he wants to live here. His work may take him out of town eventually, but there is a reason Chelsea and I love living here. We’re surrounded by family and friends. Together we all try to help one another when we can.

Technology changes are going to be simply amazing in the next decade. Perhaps when he is 12, we might be up to iPhone model 24 , or there could be a brand new champion for phone communication. Whatever is faster than 5G will likely be standard for any phone.

As he grows up, the Midtown Park development across the street from Callaway-Jones will be complete and I will cherish being able to take lunch breaks and meet with his Mom as we, together, spend as much time together and just take time to enjoy his growth and progress everyday.

We’re going to spend time together, he and I, working on greeting cards and presents for his Mom at all the holidays. At first we’ll use crayons and as soon as he can, I’ll teach him Adobe photoshop, version 92, no doubt. He and I will do adventuresome fun things as I did with my dad. There will also be the “man code” of things we “Don’t Tell Mom” about right away, because she might worry about our safety. I also am fully aware that he and Chelsea will have their “Don’t Tell Dad” list, too. Fair is fair.

My mom simply cannot wait to hold him in her arms and that will give me a chance to take photos of his every smile, laugh, first step, and first words he says. It really doesn’t matter whether he wants to become the sixth generation of our family-owned business. It will be his choice, and his own free will.

In the meantime, I’m thinking that if he wants spending money as he’s growing up, he can count on a job each summer and school break and likely some of his school friends will want to work here, too. Whatever he wants, we are going to try to make his future happen, as he dreams he wants it to be. It will be fun seeing him go to the schools I grew up going to, and maybe they will still be on the same campus, but in time, all things must change. The excitement is watching the progress and joy that comes with each day of being a dad. I’ll begin to know that experience in September.

To all of you who are celebrating Father’s Day this year, may you know how special you are and how respected you are, for the men you are and the men you are raising. No greater gift to our community and country could we ask for is another generation of great Brazos Valley men you can count on, whose word is their bond, and who care deeply for our country and our hometowns. Happy Father’s Day 2021 to all of you!

Cody D. Jones ‘02

Owner & Community Member