A life so changed
You have no idea what you are doing when you have a child. You learn and you grow and after you get the basic needs and care down you start to wonder what kind of person do you want to teach them to be, which in-turn shapes and defines the person you are. You take lessons from your own childhood and you correct or you amplify. You make mistakes, how you deal with those mistakes is more important than trying to be perfect. You understand at some point that anything forced will be rejected and it’s better to give guidance and allow them to learn for themselves about what hurts, what’s important, how to look at all sides, and how to define a code that gets you through the chaos. If you do your job right, you are rewarded with the slow process of pulling back, watching them make their own choices and let them ride the bike without you holding it up anymore as they go and you watch them go; saddened by the little kid who no longer needs you as much, but grateful that the thought of that doesn’t scare the hell out of you.
My son, Nathan, over the years, has become someone I admire. He works hard, he does the right thing, and he has a big heart. He’s smart and he has the tools he needs to face life and not let it make him bitter; to push further and take failure as a mild setback and success as only a step forward. Most importantly, to think for himself and not just follow the status quo and to be unapologetic about being the voice of difference.
Today is my son’s 18th birthday. The law now recognizes him as a man but his actions have defined him as that already.
Happy Birthday, kid.
Also, I’m still calling you kid.