X Interview #2 Todd Deckard, Bloomington, IN, Drug Free Dad of 4!
As a wandering soul full of more questions than answers, I’ve had a lot of people say prayers for me. But, in my nearly 34 years on this planet, I don’t think I’ve been as moved as I was by a prayer Todd wrote for me this spring. His faith and love of family shine through in his interview for drugfreedad. Thank you, Todd! xdfdx
Todd and the Family
1. What are your personal drug and alcohol-free recreational outlets? What are your favorite things to do with your children?
I’m a big family guy so most of the recreational time I participate in is centered around my wife and children. I have three daughters and a son (A is 8, E is almost 7, AG is almost 5 and A will be 3 in November). We spend a lot of time in the yard, swimming, working together as a family on house projects and lawn work, taking advantage of community events, trips to the museum, Family Movie Nights (at home) and Board Game Nights. We are almost always in the process of reading a chapter book at bedtime. Right now, we are about 89 pages into Peter Pan. We are heavily involved in our church and spend a lot of time as a family there. One of my favorite things to do with my family is share music and play guitar with them. Sometimes it is just me and an acoustic. Sometimes we go down to the basement and plug the SG or the Les Paul into my old Fender Performer amp and rock out. Their love for music revitalizes me and reminds me of my own obsession with it.
2.What pieces of art, music, literature, etc., inspire you at this stage in your life?
I read constantly. Scripture, books on leadership and developing strong classroom and community cultures, books about straight edge and hardcore. I also love old film. Nothing really highbrow: I’m a huge late night monster movie fan and I try and share that with my wife and kids, although not very successfully. I still listen to a TON of hardcore and I’m still inspired and enthused about straight edge bands. Kids have a better scene than ever today. I’m geeked on it.
3. What does being a good father mean to you?
Being a good father means, to me: loving and nurturing, challenging and leading, providing and protecting, guiding and disciplining, engaging and modeling and showing what unconditional love should look and feel like.
4. How does your partner feel about your drug-free choices? If single, how do your closest friends and family members feel about your drug-free choices?
My wife loves my straight edge lifestyle and is fascinated by the culture. I think she appreciates that she and the kids will never have to know what the ravages of an addicted spouse and father feel like.
5. Why did you decide to be drug and alcohol-free as a father (or beforehand)? Are there other major life choices that complement your decision?
I chose a drug free lifestyle because I saw at a very early age in my own life and in my family’s life what addiction does to a person. I decided at one point that I didn’t want to have any part in that lifestyle and I never looked back. It has informed my marriage and my parenting tremendously.
6. How do your experiences as a son influence your choices as a father when it comes to drugs and alcohol?
I saw my family at various levels and ways of being wasted, violent, addicted, remorseful, habitually returning to the choice to use. That isn’t for me and mine.
7. As a son, what is something you would you like your dad (or mom) to know?
I forgive you. I hope you forgive me.
8. How do/will you talk to your children about drugs and alcohol? How have/will you address drug and alcohol use among the friends of your children?
My kids already know about drugs and alcohol and they already know about straight edge. They love the music and the lifestyle, as they understand it, but they won’t always be in this hedge of my parenting and home. I really do pray that they make the best choices they can in life and take responsibility for their choices and actions.
9. How do religion, political ideology, or other philosophies play a part in your choices as a father?
My faith informs EVERYTHING about me. I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I read Scripture and have relationship with God everyday. Some people in the scene have cast that down as another crutch. I find that ironic because so many kids in straight edge make a religion and idol of it. It really looks and sounds like fundamental and fanatical religion! We are hardwired to worship God as human beings and when we don’t have that, we will worship something else. It’s true. My faith isn’t a crutch. It empowers me.
10. If you drank/used drugs, how will you address your past with your children?
I am always very up front (no pun intended) with my kids about my life experiences. They are at an age right now where they have that superman view of Daddy. That won’t always be the case but I try to be as real as is appropriate with them.
11. What pitfalls exist for drug-free fathers? How successful have you felt at overcoming them?
I don’t see any pitfalls? Pitfalls would be hangovers, choosing to use over choosing to engage your family, failure to lead them and provide for them because you are consumed by addiction. I don’t have any pitfalls except my own propensity for sin. That’s where grace comes in.
12. What are your greatest hopes for your children?
My hopes for my children are that they are launched into a life fully engaged, fully prepared and mature and that they develop a dynamic and organic relationship with their Creator. Thanks for offering me this experience! God Bless. XXX
x xdfdx x