My friend, Richard Gittens of Rich Gittens and Associates, sends an occasional e-mail that makes me think, laugh, or cry. While reading his latest installment on fatherhood, I found myself laughing at how well he captures the essence of my own thoughts. By the end, I realized that we father's are not alone in our efforts. I hope you enjoy!
You've survived another year of fatherhood.
For some of us I’m sure that the journey was somewhat less complicated than for others of us. I say less complicated because, in my experience, it really doesn't get less worrisome. Less complicated maybe … but not less worrisome. I'm thinking of when they grow up and go away either to school or to (hopefully) start their own lives. (They all grow up (?) but they don’t always go away. And sometimes they go away and then they come back … and sometimes not alone. In my experience the worries don't ever go away. They just kind of layer themselves on top of one another.
When the kids are still just little ones or maybe young teens, and still at home, at least you can exercise some control, or what sometimes seems like control, over them. Notwithstanding this seeming control though, when they're at home you worry about things like will they fall down or will they choke on their food or will they stick a kitchen utensil into a wall socket.
Then they get older and you worry about things like do they look before they cross the street or talk to strangers or who they're hanging out with or where they are after dark or are they (gasp) sexually active.
Then they start driving or riding the subway alone and there begins a whole new set of worries.
Then they move out ... and the worry becomes will they be able to pay their rent/mortgage or are they doing okay at work or at school or will they fall down, choke on their food or stick a kitchen utensil into a wall socket.
We all know how challenging being a father can be. If it’s not thing, it’s another. But now that mine are gone I know how much I enjoy our occasional get-togethers and being with them - these people that I fathered and supported and nurtured and taught and loved. If yours are gone, or even if they’re not, I imagine that it’s the same way for you. I certainly hope that it is,
Yeah, I know that being a father can be challenging. Yeah, I can see that if it’s not one thing, it’s another. But I believe as strongly as I’ve ever believed … that if any of us had it to do again, we would do it again. Maybe even a time or two more. I know I would. The one big regret in our lives is that we didn’t have more of the little rug-rats.
In any event, congratulations! Superman, Spiderman, The Hulk and the Caped Crusader ain’t got nuthin’ on us. We've survived another year of fatherhood and we’re still strong.
Happy Father's Day!