Warning! Dad-to-be stream of consciousness ahead.
It’s really happening. We are three months from bringing another human being into the world. It’s scary. Yet at the same time, it’s so magical. It doesn’t seem possible that life can be formed within another human – in this case Mrs. GYFG. We are blessed with the opportunity to be parents. And I count my lucky stars every time I see that glow coming from my wife – the future mother of our child. I think my fixed gaze makes her a little self-conscious but I’m just trying to soak it all in. She is amazing and I can’t help but think about how great a mother she will be to our baby boy.
Deep down I have been waiting for this opportunity my whole life. I didn’t get to experience what it was like to have a father and a mother actively engaged in my life. Yes, I had parents but it was solely biological. The best and only thing my parents did for me was to give me life. It pretty much stopped there. They were not there to guide me or advise me. They were not there to hold me and comfort me. They didn’t hold me accountable for my actions. And I don’t have fond memories of family vacations or traditions to carry on.
You see, my parents cared more about getting their next fix than they did about spending time with their kids. And time is what kids want most. Time. That’s all I ever wanted. That’s all my brothers ever wanted. Time. We just wanted to spend time with our parents. We wanted their attention. We wanted to learn from them. We wanted their love. Unfortunately, they were not in the right frame of mind to give us what we needed and wanted most.
But don’t feel sorry for me. I turned out okay despite my upbringing. I have been blessed with so many altruistic people that have entered my life. Growing up the way I did, I learned what type of parent I didn’t want to be. Even better, my experiences growing up have shaped me into the man I am today and the father I am to become in the near future.
For those who do not know my backstory, let me give you the cliff notes. I grew up on welfare, with drug addicted parents, and a father who spent the better part of a decade in and out of prison for the manufacturing of methamphetamine. It may appear that I was dealt a crap hand but don’t let that fool you. In this life, each of us always has a CHOICE! In this particular instance, I had the choice to be the VICTIM or the VICTOR. I chose to be the victor. Yes, statistically I should be in prison, but I decided to re-write my fate.
However, this post is not about my childhood or my backstory. It’s about the new role that I will be embracing with open arms in another three months when our baby boy is born (November of 2018). I seriously can’t wait to be a father. You may laugh but I’m studying up. That’s right: I’ve got books, and I’m listening to podcasts that are geared towards Dads.
I think a lot of men make the mistake of not preparing for this chapter in their lives. As men, we will go all in preparing to become better athletes. We study and prepare to advance in our careers. We go all in with our hobbies. But why do most men wing it in fatherhood? I believe that you should approach every aspect of your life with passion and dedication. Being a dad is no different. If anything, it might just be the most important thing to do on this earth.
These thoughts are inspired by the book Manhood by Terry Crews, which I read earlier this year, when I was inspired to save the following passage:
“I took in all of the stuff I could absorb about how to be a better husband, how to be a better father. As I did, I was struck by something. As men, we will study how to be the best architect, the best football player, the best actor. We’ll spend all the time we can find on our careers. But we need to be spending more time studying how to be a great husband, how to be a great father, how to be a great man.”
We didn’t know we were expecting at that time but this passage resonated with me and I knew I would refer back to it eventually. I decided right then and there that I would be all in when it was my time to enter fatherhood. I would put my best foot forward by preparing. Reading books. Listening to podcasts. Teasing out insights from parents that I look up too. Making space in my daily routine to be the best father I can be. To be the dad I didn’t have.
I honestly can’t wait to teach my son everything I know. I also can’t wait to soak up the lessons our son is going to teach us as parents. I know I’m about to experience a new level of love and affection I’ve never experienced, or really known to exist – I can already feel it coming on. This extra level of tenderness in my being is something that will affect everyone in my life, most importantly my wife and my son.
I look forward to being there in the delivery room when he enters this world and takes his first breath. I want to be there for his first word and I hope it’s MOM – because I need him to know how lucky we are to have this amazing woman in our lives. I can already see him taking his first step. His first day of school. His first girlfriend. I can’t wait to be there for as many of his firsts as possible.
Wow! We are really doing this. We are bringing a little boy into the world. I just have one question – does this dad role come with training wheels?
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