What does being a father mean to me? In my mind it’s all about reponsibility. It means taking care of my family, including my wife and daughter unconditionally. The way I see it, being a father is a lifetime commitment, not too unlike marriage. I will know my daughter better than anyone else with the exception of my wife. Sure that’s likely to change when my daughter reaches college, yet it’s my aim to stay in touch as best as possible. The apprehension following my parents divorce in the mid 1980’s left me reeling, my dad was nowhere to be seen. It crushed me to not have my dad near, as we were very close. There’s a reason I’m an affectionate and sensitive person today and I’d like to believe my dad has a huge part in this.
The void in my life after my parents divorced was huge. I become an introvert, completely reversing my outgoing personality of the blissful pre-teen years. Those post-divorce times were rough on me and the family. It should then come as no surprise how I embraced my college girlfriend’s dad. He was a wonderful man and took me under his wing. I learned so many amazing things that when the relationship between his daughter and I crumbled… I wondered if it was okay to still call him. Of course I didn’t, but it was a setback of sorts.
Eventually I got it all straightened out and was able to meet this great woman who became my wife. Some time passes and here I am, staring parenthood in the face. There are days where I feel I will know precisely what to expect since I’ve been around kids almost my entire life. Entertaining kids is a hobby of mine just as people watching is. There are other days where I just don’t know what to expect.
Like any big changes in life, it’s “the unknown” that will play tricks on the mind. Will the crying drive me insane? Will I be overprotective or too relaxed? Should I be an APer? Most importantly, will she be healthy? How we handle these unknowns is what identifies our character.
Call me crazy, but I look forward to the first time it’s daddy and baby time. I will cherish how a person will be completely reliant upon me for supervision. I dream about how great it will be to take her camping, to watch a baseball game, or pack up the car and go for a little road trip. Don’t be fooled though because I’m completely captivated about seeing the world through my child’s eyes. This will be my favorite aspect of my new life. Is it a burden to be a father? Hells no, it’s an honor.