Fatherhood was never something I really aspired to. When thinking of my future, trying to imagine my successes ten years down the line, being a parent was not among them. Like everybody, I have a lot of my own faults–I’ve always been fairly impulsive, impatient, and, though I hate to say it, a little selfish. Not selfish like unwilling to share my toys on the playground growing up, but selfish in that I never wanted to devote my time to raising another person. I was always the kind of man who would prefer to have my own experiences in life (of course, sharing them with my wife was never a problem, as we can do things together) instead of effectively putting everything on hold for eighteen years. I was wrong.
As cliché as this is going to sound, having my son has changed my mind and my life. As many great days as I’ve had in my life, most all of them pale in comparison to the memories of my son being born. Or of his first babbles, or steps, or the first time the weather was warm enough for us to play outside together. When I think, now, of how my life will be ten years down the road, it’s measured by how old my son will be, and what kind of little person my wife and I will have raised.
Don’t get me wrong–it’s certainly not all sunshine and playtime. Raising a child is hard. Especially your first, and when they’re pushing one and a half. He is an absolute handful, and a nightmare when he’s tired, and remember that impatience I mentioned? It doesn’t combine well with a moody child. Still, I’m getting better. In this, he’s helped me identify a lot of my faults, and gives me a perspective by which I can work on them. Ultimately, the good outweighs the bad tenfold, and I can no longer even imagine life without him. Furthermore, I look forward to watching him learn and grow every day.
I believe one of the best things you can do for this world (if children are in your plans) is raise an intelligent, thoughtful, empathetic person to carry on humanity’s legacy in the best way possible. Too many people, I think, breed their personal misgivings and prejudices into their children, and this is a colossal disservice to not only them, but society as a whole. The world, as it is, has enough of that to distract us from caring for each other! I may not be the best person to be a father, but I am confident that my son will be genuinely good person, and cannot wait to see the person he will become–and if that’s not your mindset as a parent, I think you should reconsider your priorities.
I still have a long way to go as far as personal growth and learning how to actually ‘parent’, but that’s something I think will come with time, and I’m really interested to see how we all grow together–my son, my wife, and myself–as a family.
Love and good vibes to you and your family, and thank you for reading!