You want the best for your child right?
Of course you do! That obviously goes without saying. Who wouldn't want the best for their child? But what do you actually want for the little person who will eventually carry on your legacy?
On Fathers Day 2017 I was presented with a present from my wife (letters to be read at a later date) which asked me what I wanted for my unborn son, or more literally what I would tell him if he could understand me aged 1 day.
Prior to his arrival I wrote five letters to him;
- What are you most looking forward to teaching me?
- What sort of adventures will we share?
- What kind of Daddy do you think you will be?
- How did you prepare for my arrival?
- How did you feel when you found out that you were going to be my Daddy?
All of these letters were from a 32 year old man without any experience of fatherhood. Now, as a Father of a beautiful 6 month old son I have time to reflect on those ideals and not one thing has changed.
There is a huge underlying theme with all five of the letters. I just want the best for my son and will do everything that is humanly possible to make any of his dreams come true. His happiness is my happiness. Now that he is an actual person in the real world, these wants and wishes have just magnified.
My priority is now him. I would rather buy him new clothes than me. I would rather spoil my plans than his. I would rather he had a goodnight sleep to disrupt mine. I would rather he was happy than I was happy.
Essentially, I just want him to have all the love and opportunities I had and to do whatever he thinks is the right thing at the right time. He will make mistakes and will make the wrong choices but it will all make him who he hopefully wants to be. If I can help inform him on those choices then I have done my job.
I want him to have the most amazing adventures and to really experience the whole world and what it has to offer.
I dreamt about the day my wife shook a positive pregnancy test in front of me and the day I sat staring at a blurry screen trying to work out what part of my baby I was looking at. When I found out it was no longer just about me and I was going to be a Dad, it changed absolutely everything. Everything I did from that point felt completely different. I just knew that I wanted to do everything possible to make sure that this new little man could do whatever he wanted and be whoever he wanted.
If I was to teach anything to the little man it would be this... if you think something is truly going to make you happy then do it. If it is something that truly makes you happy then those that matter will also be happy.
All of us would say we would give anything and do anything for our children but we need to make sure that our actions portray this. None of us can really remember the first few years of life but it's these years that shape who we are. If we can't remember these years than how can they shape us? Through feelings that lead to intuition. Which are the hardest things to reverse. So, my biggest promise about what type of Dad I would be, was that from day one I would be a Dad that he could be proud of. It's as simple as that.
The saying "If I can be half the Dad to my son that you have been to me" gets thrown about a lot. But from Dads to sons through values, this is the biggest benchmark going and if my son ever mutters this to his in 20-30 years time then I have won at life.
I muttered those words to my Dad during my wedding speech and I know that regardless of what I had done in my life prior to and post this statement, that I would always be his son.
Similarly, regardless of where my son chooses to live, how he chooses to live or what he accomplishes, he will still always be my son. The same son that I wrote those five letters to before he was even born. Those same five letters that will always tell the story of how proud I am of him rather than what I hope for him.
Peace and love always,