The moment I became a father I looked through a window at my son. He was sorta purple and wrinkled with oversized hands and feet. He was screaming at the top of his lungs, and my only thought was “wow, this guy is gonna be a handful.” He was my handful and I would do everything in my power to handle him.
I had dreams, mostly of sports, together. I would coach and distill in him all the knowledge my sporting obsession have given to me. So educated, he would be better than me and carry us both to the levels of sport I couldn’t. I dreamed also of being a fountain of wisdom, a clever quote or adage for every imaginable situation that life might throw our way.
I thought of my father, and the security his presence gave my life. I thought of the pride I felt that people respected my father, and generally liked him and his corny sense of humor. He was engaged in my life not so much with rules and discipline, but a broader conversational wisdom from which I drew many of my values. Like any son, I scoured the margins to find some disagreeable ground that would be the fuel of my own fatherhood.
I became a father to twins twenty months later, and that was probably too short a window for me to reach certain realizations about myself and fatherhood. Fifteen years later, I have a bit of perspective. Perspective guides me to a pair of quotations.
“In nature, there are only consequences”
Fatherhood is the same. Everything that I do has a consequence. The consequences are not always linear as the action resonates in the mind of the child with everything thing that you and life have shown them before revealing itself in the realm of value and belief. Sometimes the value and belief comforts me, and at others, it scares me half to death. I place faith and draw comfort in the knowledge that nature and age tend to balance things over time.
“Success is a journey, not a destination.”
I now have a musician, a cheerleader and a soccer player. They are all good students and in my biased opinion good people. They have sifted through life and found their passion, and as their father, I have followed them to open Mic nights, auditorium, cheer gyms, football games, and damn near every patch of grass with goals in Central Florida. Being there, wherever there may be, is the journey that we share and in the best of moments become partners. It’s ultimate destiny remains unknown, but as long as we make it together it will be ours and it will be ok.
Happy Father’s Day