AUTHOR’S PAGEMy name is Geoff Smoluk, I am a single parentof a six year old son, named Zachary.I created this project during the pursuit of mydegree in Elementary Education at TheUniversity of North Carolina and as a reflectionof my emotions when I first learned I would be afather to Zachary.This was a great experience for me because itallowed me to recall and record the emotions Ifelt involving his birth and to re-experience hisearly development.My goal was to capture information surroundingthe activities of my son’s birth and possibly atsome future date to convey these feelings tohim.
THE DAY It was a week before your due date and we weren’t thinking you would be early. Thatnight your mother started feeling pains and suspected you may be coming soon. Her belly painsweren’t great enough for us rush to the hospital that night since it was late and we both weretired from a busy day. We decided the best thing to do was to try to get some sleep. If the painsincreased we would then make the decision. I remember neither of us had problems getting tosleep that night even though we were scared of the possibilities the next day could hold. I wokeearly on Friday, September 15, 2006, to your mother shaking my arm and telling me the pains hadcontinued to increase. I could tell from the look in her eyes she knew it was time to go, but shewas looking at me to rationalize everything and confirm her feelings to head to the hospital. Afterhearing stories about false labor, she was hesitant. We both made the decision to head toPresbyterian Hospital in Matthews from our house in Monroe. On the way our feelings turnedfrom an unknown excitement to an understanding that this was real and you would be on yourway today for sure. We finally got to the hospital and nurses put yourmother into a wheel chair to bring her to the doctor’s room. Iremember your mother always being strong throughout carryingyou. Nothing about being pregnant with you had ever slowed herdown; just two weeks prior to the day, she had, in my eyes,unbelievably climbed the heights of Chimney Rock with her bellythe size of a beach ball. Now to see her put in a wheel chairappeared to be beyond comprehension for me.
AND THEN YOUR WERE HERE The doctor confirmed our thoughts that yes, you had decided to make your arrival today and you would be coming very soon. Your mother and I began making phone calls to all your future family to share the news and invite them to come to join us. Nana and Papa were already in town, but at the time were heading to Charlotte Douglas Airport to drop Uncle Paul off. Pappy was trying to finish some business, but would come as soon as he could. Your mother was sad because she knew Grandma and Grandpa lived in Georgia and were too far away to make the journey in time, but they tried to assure her they would be as quick as possible. Nana and Papa were the first to show up and it was a relieffor us to have them there helping us relax as we nervously waited. Icalled Pappy again and had feared he was also too far and would notbe able to make it in time. Zachary’s first picture.
The nurses informed us you’d be coming soon and everyone other than me would have toleave and go to the waiting room. Everything happened so fast after that. Your mother waspushing and trying to keep her breathing in rhythm. I was holding her hand and doing everythingI could to provide her support. Just then you starting to come out and I could see you for the firsttime. I looked at mommy at that moment with a strange look in my eyes as if I was trying tocomprehend what it was I was really seeing. It was 12:26PM and you were out crying up a storm.I cut your cord, the nurse cleaned you, and put you in mommy’s arms for the first time. To bothmommy and daddy you looked like a tiny bundle of love wrapped up all tight in a blanket. I can’t recall what if anything I said to mommyas I was overwhelmed with excitement of your arrival andwanted to share the news and welcome everyone to theroom to see you. I ran down to the waiting room at myfirst chance and found Nana, Papa, and Pappy. I was at aloss for words and even though we all knew you weregoing to be a boy, all I managed to say was “it’s a boy”.Their first reaction was disbelief; it had only been thirtyminutes since they were asked to leave the room.
IN THE BEGINNING We all rejoined in the room and were amazed by how quickly and nearly effortlesslyyou seemed to have entered the world. It was as if everyone had left the room for a trip tothe cafeteria only to return to find the only change was now we had an extra person therewith us. It was a day in my life that changed me forever.
ZACHARY JAMES SMOLUK• Zachary James Smoluk was the first born child to Amanda and Geoffrey. He was delivered at the Presbyterian Hospital in Matthews, NC on Friday, September 15, 2006 at 12:26 PM.• Your weight at birth was 6 pounds 13 ounces and you were 19 inches long.• Zachary James – two names that relate to your grandfather’s names. Although Zachary has little relationship to John, we did note that your grandfather, John, uses the knick-name of Jack. Since many use knick- names, we recognized that a shortened Zachary would be Zack. So there you have it Jack and then Zack. Your middle name is in honor of your mother’s father James.
My Life – My Light – My Warmth I woke from my dream not knowing it to be true I did not know the power of the sun The life, the light, the warmth I did not know the power of a son His life, his light, his warmth Now the dream is true, I know it to be you
Zachary’s Family TreeOlive James Mary Werner Agnes Edward Marie John Elizabeth James Susan John Amanda Geoffrey Zachary
OBSTACLES OVERCOME It is said that the traditional family living in a traditional home produces the best environment for raising children toensure that they develop into wholesome citizens. For the sake of the children many believe that some abuse, frustration,unhappiness, or ridicule should be tolerated for the sake of the child. However, there are times where one person feels incomplete, frustrated, or trapped in a relationship and no matterwhat – they want out. This was our situation and we needed to cooperate to ensure that you would not suffer because of oursituation. Your parents agreed to a permanent separation but promised each other you would remain the center of all of ourdecisions. We recognized within ourselves our relationship could not be repaired or enhanced through personal discussions orprofessional interventions. We promised each other to keep personal recriminations, accusations and personal frustrations awayfrom you and present our new situation in a normal as possible way of handling an adult problem. Our foremost goal was to ensure and maintain the loving relationship we both had for you. That you would alwaysreceive our personal attention and all issues would be reconciled by mom and dad together. While our relationship could not berepaired, your interests remained protected because your mom and I both kept our promises to certain our decisions with yourinterests being paramount. We took an approach where you would live equally with each of us and that we would make every effortto have you spend time with grandparents whenever feasible. We kept you involved in sports and where we could both be there andshare in your achievements. We made and kept promises surrounding holidays and where feasible both of shared time with youtogether. Although we faced a daunting task, your mom and I kind of congratulate ourselves on the way you are developing intoa fine young man. We truly believe our loving approach whereby you remained the center of our decision making was the very bestsolution we could have made. Mom and dad both look at you and we are so very glad that whatever hardship we may haveexperience was fully reconciled in how you so skillfully adjust to the changing scenarios you experience. We see your happinesswhenever you stay with dad or with mom. You have developed with unconditional love for your parents and are developing in amanner that makes us very proud to call you our son. From my point of view, I have no doubt our decisions to raise you outside thetraditional style family was not only a benefit to you, but to your parents who were able to have a strong working relationship thatmaintained your interests in the forefront of all family decisions.
Zachary,You are already six years old – where has the time gone? You wereand remain the most precious event that happened in my life.As I grew, I knew deep within my heart I wanted a son, a son I couldshare my life with and be called by a new name – Dad. A dad ofsomeone I could share my life, someone to teach and guide andwatch grow into manhood.I waited a long time for you, and now that you are six, I must tell youthat you have and are exceeding all my expectations. As you grew inyour mom’s tummy, my excitement grew more intense and then thatday you entered the world and into my life forever. I held you close; Iplayed with your fingers and toes, rubbed your back and felt yourbreathing as you slept upon my chest. You brought a specialexcitement into my life and I wanted to spend as much time as Icould with you.You are a very special treasure in my life and I am reminded of thatevery day as I watch you grow, how you absorb the worldly thingsaround you, how you laugh and how you share your joy. I love yourhugs, I love your closeness and I just love that I am your dad. Best ofall, you complete my life every day that we share together. You arean awesome dude and I thank you for being part of my life now andforever.Daddy