A Second Chance
My son was born in 1997. He is a great kid. However, looking back on my life, I wonder if I was a great dad. You see, I never had a father. I grew up with a single, working mother who served in a dual role. I watched from a distance as friends and classmates had fathers, but I never knew what that was. So, naturally, I was worried that I had no idea how to be a father. I’d like to say there is no book that teaches you to be a father, but I would be lying, as there are no doubt hundreds, if not thousands, of such books. I learned that having a book to read does not equal having the skill or natural inclination to do the job well.
Thus began a journey to learn to do something I had only seen from a distance. A journey to fill a void I felt for a long time. And yes, I think we all have that friend that will roll their eyes at a sentence like that….as I can just see him rolling his eyes right now. Regardless of eye rolling, it is how I felt then.
December 9th was a defining moment for me. We have many moments, but only a handful of moments we would categorize as defining. As I stood by the bed watching the doctor masterfully deliver my child, I realized that this was my second chance. As the doctor placed my son on his mother’s belly, I could not help but get momentarily choked up, as a wave of emotion overtook me at seeing this little human. I cannot describe it. It is something you have to feel for yourself. To those expectant fathers, it is something to look forward to. I am more concerned about those men and women that do not feel that wave of emotion. I know they exist and I can only hope that it does not change the experience of the child in some way.
A second chance. I had my second chance to correct the mistakes I made with my first son. I know I sure as hell made some. There are some regrets I have carried for years and while I cannot undo what transpired, I surely can do better this time around. I have to. Otherwise I learned nothing from my greatest teacher….my first son.