My name is Adam Woodward. I have been in recovery from alcoholism for 4.5 years. I have 3 sons (13,11, and 10). I never knew my own Dad, and was raised in part by my Grandpa, my Uncle, and other men that showed up for me along the way. I take something special from each of them in discovering my fatherhood.
I came home from treatment in May 2016. I found a house with a few other fellas in recovery. My wife and I had divorced just prior to treatment, and we shared custody of our boys. I did not have a job, was catching my breath, and finding my way. My boys moved back into my life and we found our connection playing basketball, golf, and certainly a lot of hockey. It was as if the more we played together, the closer we came back to each other. We play lots these days, laughing and chirping at each other as they slowly discover they can now compete and beat their Old Man. Neil Young had a nice way talking about Dads. They have become a lot like me.
A friend of mine once remarked that having kids in recovery is like cheating. They are always there, watching you, and giving unsolicited honest feedback almost every moment of the day. There is an invitation to share joy with them, to struggle with them, to endure. To show them that crying is good, and that no matter what team they make or teacher they piss off- that I have their back, no matter what.
I was inspired to film the men from Fresh Start, and the 1835 House, for our Food Truck Event. To laugh with them, hold space for them, and to hear their stories and anecdotes is exactly what I needed this Father’s Day. I find myself pondering what’s ahead in life, and not wanting to ever let em go as we all get a little bit older. I hug em a bit tighter these days.
My share about being a Dad in recovery is a simple. I get a chance to be the man I believe I can be for them, and for me. I do not have it figured out. I have some old stuff that comes up once in awhile. It would be tough to be my son ya know? I am hard on them, I push them, challenge them and man do I love them hard. I go to bed at night wondering if I am messing em up, or if they got a chance to have a better life than I did.
I am blessed. I have some wonderful men in my life that have stood up for me in sobriety. Fellas that have walked with me despite my failures. But the men, the Dads they are, that lean into me with honesty, love and kindness help me be the man that I want to be for my boys.
I honor the men with me, before me, and the boys that will become men this Father’s Day. One day, standing in front of God, I will simply say “Thanks for letting me be a Dad and for the opportunity for doing it the best I could”.
My favorite time with them is when I get up early. Start the coffee pot and remind myself of my Grandad, read something which reminds myself of my Uncle and listen to them breathing as the day begins for me. In that moment I am alive with each generation of Fathers in my life and am in a deep peaceful state of being as I enjoy that precious time when they ain’t yelling, fighting, or making noise! That moment when I hear them, all 3 of em, breath softly and dream loudly.
For everything that has happened I say “Thank You”.
For all that will happen, I say “Yes”.
This Father’s Day (Sunday June 21st from 11am-7pm) we invite you to our Food Truck Father’s Day Drive Thru at McMahon Stadium where you can meet Adam and the Food Truck team. You can order from our delicious recovery themed menu with all proceeds going back to Fresh Start. You can also pick up a raffle ticket for a 2019 Harley Davidson Softail Heritage Classic to be drawn on August 22nd or purchase one via our website
Whatever you do this Father’s Day, we wish you gratitude and blessings.
Mr. Stacey Petersen RSW
Fresh Start Recovery Centre