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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Kyla's Korner - Musings of a Mother (06/19/11)

By Jennifer Fischer
Mother of little angel, Kyla Audrey Fischer

There are lots of “fatherly” images we can recall from TV shows.  From Howard Cunningham to Cliff Huxtable to Al Bundy, dads have played a vital role in the lives of their children.  But ask any real-life father and any real-life child, none of these dads mirror the day-to-day challenges & rewards of fatherhood.  Obviously I can’t speak from experience, I’m only the Mommy.  But there are moms in sitcoms too, so I kinda “get it.”

I have been blessed with knowing lots of great dads in my life.  I feel exceptionally blessed because I really don’t know any rotten ones.  Sure, there have been some moments where I shake my head in wonder at what some of them did or might have been thinking but all in all, I’d take any one of ‘em.  However, there are three men that truly stand out among all in my lifetime.  

Charles Xavier Mahaffey came in to my life when I became best friends with his daughter Michele about 25 years ago.  I can’t type this now without my eyes welling with tears, as he was taken from us at far too young an age to a massive heart attack.  Chuck was everything a dad should be:  proud of his children, strict, loving, full of fun and a love of life.  He was a hard worker and excellent provider but while his kids never wanted for anything they were never spoiled brats.  I see Michele raising her wonderful daughter with the same great qualities her father raised her with.  While Emma will never know Grandpa Mahaffey personally, she will be surrounded by great stories and memories that others will share with her.  Chuck truly was a second father to me in so many ways.  I think of him often, and loved him very much.

I often joke that the only reason I married Kevin is because his brother Greg was already taken.  That’s not far from the truth.  Greg is just as amazing as Kevin and in the same breath, as completely opposite from his brother as two siblings can be.  From physical attributes to some obvious personality traits Mr. and Mrs. Fischer could have named them Mutt and Jeff.  Greg is a first-time grandpa (from his oldest son Jason) as of March 2011.  He is also the godfather to Kyla.  There was never a split second when we wondered who Kyla’s godparents would be.  Kyla’s godmother just happens to be Greg’s wife, my amazing sister-in-law Bernie.  Because of all our age differences, my niece Kari is 24 years older than Kyla.  So I get glimpses of what life will be like with Kevin & Kyla in another quarter of a century:  scary at times, but mostly beautiful.  Kari can still send Greg into a plethora of emotions with two simple words:  “Oh, Daddy!”  Depending on the situation and inflection it can mean, in no particular order, “I love you,” “I need help,” “I need money” or “You drive me crazy.”  The love in Greg’s eyes for his three children makes me so proud to be his sister-in-law.

My incredible husband never thought he would be blessed with fatherhood.  After seeing him in action for two years, and during my pregnancy, I can not imagine what that would have been like.  As a “late in life” Dad he has, in my opinion, many advantages to those 25 years his junior.  He’s traveled extensively, had the opportunity to establish his professional career, and has mellowed in a way only added years can provide.  He jokes that his two young ladies are going to put him in an early grave but truly nothing makes him happier than trying to keep up!  His daughter keeps him young-at-heart in a way only a two year old can.  There is literally nothing I love more than watching the two of them together.  His smile, her laugh, their silliness together…  I would pay any price to keep that going.  They already share a bond that makes my heart melt, and I know they are going to have a close and loving relationship.  Every mom I talk to tells me that there is just something so special about a Daddy and his daughter no matter what age.  I am looking forward to seeing our little girl mature into a strong, smart and amazing woman thanks to the incredible examples her dad will set for her.  Of course with Doug Giles as one of Kevin’s role models for fatherhood, I expect nothing else!

Like Emma, Kyla will never know her Grandpa Fischer.  I never had the pleasure of knowing Kevin’s dad either.  He was gone long before Kevin and I met.  But I know what a fantastic man he was from all the loving stories his family tells.  Every member has their own favorite stories, and Kevin has no shortage of anecdotes.  What touches me deeply, though, is how Kevin often says that he will be taking care of us after he is gone just like his dad did for his mom.  His dad was a great provider like Kevin is now, and he set an amazing, memorable example for him after he passed away.  Certainly that is nothing any spouse or parent wants to think about.  Yet it is one more example of my husband’s never ending love and generosity.

Now that I am a parent, and as I age, I truly recognize the sacrifices Dads make for us.  Many of us wouldn’t be where and what we are today without them.  Whether they are with us here on earth or in spirit, we are so lucky to have them and love them, and to be loved by them.

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