Dear Adam: Thoughts on Being a Parent

28 Oct

Dear Adam,

If you want to know what it takes to be a great dad, look no further than your own Dad. If there is one thing I have done right in this world, it is that. I chose the best possible man to be your Dad. It could have gone wrong so easily… bullets dodged and all that… but I think, for once, I did something right in my life. So one day, when you find yourself with a tiny bundle in your arms and you wonder how you will ever raise a decent human being. Just look to your Dad – you can’t go wrong.

And while your Dad and I have our issues, and always will (when you grow up, you will have issues with most people, it is normal). Together we are a pretty good team. Because we love you. Yes, we disagree and have divergent opinions on many things, but at the very core of our mismatched agendas we have one sacred thing in common. We love you. The love we share for you is what guides us in what we do as parents. We have an unspoken agreement that we will always do what is best for you. Sometimes we have to look deep within ourselves to see what that thing is. Sometimes we fight about it. But over time we have learnt to look past our egos and petty needs. We have learnt to turn away from our selfish perspectives and look at it from your perspective and what is best for you. And when we do that, our need to do right by you is what guides us and helps us get it right.

You see, no child asks to be born. But all parents decide to become parents. This decision doesn’t happen before a child is conceived. Nor does it happen once you find out that a baby is on its way. You don’t even have to be biologically related to the child. You become a parent when you decide to be a parent. I know when I decided. And I know when your Dad decided. And then, after you came along I realised that decision was bigger than I ever thought it would be and I had to decide all over again. Being a parent is not something that happens to you. It is something that you choose to do. Anyone can father a child. But to be a parent – that is a conscious decision. It is a decision to be an adult. To be responsible. It is the acknowledgement that it is time to grow up and commit to contributing meaningfully to a child’s life. It is a momentous and challenging decision. There are many people out there who are not able to accept this challenge. One day, I hope that you will accept the challenge and that you will rise to the occasion. I can promise it will be the most rewarding decision of your life.

Lastly, a thought on finding a Mommy for these children. One day, when you think you are ready to have children, find yourself a lovely lady who will love them more than anything. Yes, she will love them more than you. It happens. Or should I say, she will love them differently to you. As long as she still loves and cares for you, understand that, for a while, children will take a lot out of both of you. So make sure you are ready for what children will do to your relationship. It will change, but if you do it right, I believe it will change for the better. So make sure you find someone who will protect and defend and cherish your children with everything that she has. That’s what you look for in a Mom for your children. Don’t ever resent the love she gives to your children – she is nurturing and protecting your children. They are an extension of you. She is not there to nurture and protect you. That’s what I did for you – that was my job as your mother – but it won’t be her job. And if I do my job properly you will grow into a man who is strong, confident and secure. Someone who doesn’t need to be nurtured like a child. Someone who is stable and well-balanced. Someone who loves deeply and sincerely and gives with a generous heart. Someone who will be the best example to his own children.

Love,

Mom

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