Sometimes you need to hear something in different ways to really understand it. This tweet says it one way.
This poem, by John N. Morris, says it another way.
The second and third verses seem to resonate with more people, but there’s real insight in the first verse.
This first verse says we need other people, who don’t feel the same love we do, to help raise our children. They offer inputs that parents find hard to give — stepping back and letting your child struggle through the water of life. The big things and the little things.
For Julia, In the Deep Water
The instructor we hire
because she does not love you
Leads you into the deep water,
The deep end
Where the water is darker —
Her open, encouraging arms
That never get nearer
Are merciless for your sake.
You will dream this water always
Where nothing draws nearer,
Wasting your valuable breath
You will scream for your mother —
Only your mother is drowning
Forever in the thin air
Down at the deep end.
She is doing nothing,
She never did anything harder.
And I am beside her.
I am beside her in this imagination.
We are waiting
Where the water is darker.
You are over your head,
Screaming, you are learning
Your way toward us,
You are learning how
In the helpless water
It is with our skill
We live in what kills us.
One dad I interviewed recently summed it up nicely –
“Being a dad means having constant doubt but not letting it stop you — Have I been too hands off? Should I have been pushier? Should I let them make up their own mind? Do they know enough to make up their own mind? Will they regret it if I let them? Will I regret it if I don’t? — There is no control experiment you can do. You just have to trust you’re loving them in the right way.”
Previously published on Medium.com.
Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com