If someone had told me that the birth of my children would bring me eternal happiness, I would not have believed them. Since becoming a father, I quickly learned how special children become and the pure joy that they bring to parents.
The year was 2006 when my wife was pregnant with our first son and I was a nervous wreck. Not knowing what to expect from it all, I was a bit confused. The unexpected would soon be happening: I was about to be responsible for another life—a baby boy—and would be adding another chapter to our lives.
I remember the entire experience from the time she gave me the great news until the delivery day, and of course many moments thereafter… including that goofy Lamaze class. I made the best of it and actually had fun.
Fatherhood Confusion as a Youngster
I was confused about fatherhood at a young age because my father wasn’t around when I was young, even though I had somewhat of a figure in my life. He was a fairly decent man to my brother and sisters and me, but not being my biological dad made it feel different for me.
He was active with me and gave some very good, sound advice about life back then. I remember saying, “someone will take care of your sisters but no one will do it for you.” That stuck with me for years and it didn’t dawn on me that he was giving me a lesson on being a man who will someday have to provide for his family.
He said it one day after I asked him, “Why are you always on me about everything?” I was perplexed because at times I felt like he didn’t care because he had other children from a previous relationship. I just didn’t understand very much as a kid. He and my mother parted ways when I was about 17 years old but to his credit, I was equipped with most of the skills needed to be a decent father one day because of him.
The Beauty of Bonding
Our last child was born in the summer of 2012 and I was better prepared. I wasn’t nervous because by this time everything was similar in terms of the pregnancy. The previous six years were spent solely being with and bonding with my oldest but now he had a baby brother. At this point, we had to make them both feel needed and wanted, which is the essence of loving your children.
Now we had to help with homework, attend sports, school activities, birthday parties, nurture, etc. I can expand forever but all of those things made the entire family closer. My favorite is taking my children to the park and then off to their favorite eating spot. The happiness in their faces transfers so freely into my soul because they become ecstatic.
As a father, it makes me very happy to spend precious time with my children. Nothing else matters when those moments occur and it’s a win-win proposition for everyone involved.
Breaking the Cycle
After high school, I understood the importance of having a father around to articulate many lessons and create a relationship to where a positive path could be set. To lay the groundwork for what a man should be and to guide you to avoid the pitfalls of life the best you can. Knowing all of that I vowed to be the best father I could if ever blessed to have children so that I could break the cycle of the absentee biological father.
The big payoff is that my children will see it from their own experience with their dad involved in their daily lives. They will grow up with a different awareness and insight than I had. My oldest said to me, “I’m not having kids until I get married” which was music to my ears. Now, who knows if that will be true or not but it made me believe that he understands the concept, though it might be vague or skewed just a little.
Breaking the cycle has intensified my happiness because of the long-term, generational effects it could have. The only control I have is to show my children things that can benefit them, implement good values, etc. There are many young children that aren’t raised by their biological fathers and those men (along with the one that was in my life early on) should be commended for taking on another man’s responsibility.
Hope for my Offspring
I pride myself on being a simple person so, therefore, being happy is easy for me as long as my children (at some point) understand how important this journey is for all of us. As your children explore different encounters throughout their lifecycle, they will learn how to adapt and adjust to many situations. My hope is that my sons view this pilgrimage as an opportunity to pass such values to their kids so they can experience this powerful happiness as well.
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