Aaron Brinker doesn’t ever want his son to think he’s too tired for him.
This was previously published on The Real Matt Daddy.
Before my son was born, I remember a friend telling me that he had older parents. He loved his parents, in particular his father, but he never felt like they were there for him. He told me they would come home from work and sit down, exhausted. They weren’t the overly interactive type of parents. It was something he said he hated about his childhood. I never forgot this conversation. It stuck with me as something to always think about.
Now, I am an older parent. Life and infertility problems made having a child difficult for my wife and me. It wasn’t until my 39th year that I became a father. The day my son was born, I made a pledge to him based on what my friend told me. I promised him that I would try to always be there and be a part of things. I would work hard to not always be tired and not miss out on his life.
I can tell you that I do get tired. My three-year old son has the energy of ten men, and he can sometimes go on for what seems like an eternity to me. I have determined to laugh, play, and love as much as possible. I love playing hide-and-seek, building blocks, and teaching the alphabet. I want him to know I am never too tired for him. I think I had one of my opportunities to prove this point earlier this year.
Living in Southwest Oklahoma, we don’t always see a lot of snow, and this last winter was no different. I have never really liked snow. Even as a child, snow was never my favorite thing to see. My son, Xander, had asked to see snow, and for the first time in my life I actually wanted it to happen.
It didn’t start snowing until late one February evening. I knew that it would be warm the next day, and I wanted to give Xander an opportunity to see snowflakes while they were still falling to the ground. At 11 o’clock night, long past his bedtime, I bundled him up and we ran through the snow in the backyard. I taught him to make snowballs and snow angels. We even tried to catch snowflakes with our tongues.
We laughed and played hard and our pants were soaking wet. It was cold outside but worth every minute. When we finally went inside he told me he had fun and that he loved me. The next morning, I made sure we went outside early so I could teach him to make a snowman since the snow was already melting.
I hope when my son is grown these are the type of memories he recalls. I don’t want him to remember me as tired and disinterested all the time. I want him to know that I tried to make everything count. After all, he only has one childhood, and my responsibility is to make sure it’s as good as possible.
Read more in the Real Fatherhood series.
Images courtesy of the author