Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thoughts on being a father part 2

(part 1 here)
Having a girl is totally different and I'm not even sure why. With Holden, I feel a
sense of responsibility, that need to step up to the plate as a role model and set a decent example for what it means to be a man. With Nadia, I feel like all I can do is worry about her.

It's not all bad. I feel protective of her on a whole other level than I did with Holden. I guess this means I'll be even more conscientious of how I act and present myself, since after all she's going to form her entire idea of the way men are from me, and the whole "role model" thing is still important, just in a different way. The difference is that with Holden, I know he's going to have his challenges and his hardships, but I trust that he'll be OK one way or the other -- in fact, I'm going to make sure of it. With her, I have no idea whether she'll be OK or not, nor do I feel like there's anything I can really do to affect the outcome.

If this sounds despairing, it's only because I (admittedly) can't put myself in the place of a girl who's growing up and I don't know the first thing about what she would be looking for when she looks to her father. It's my own limited capacity to think beyond my own shallow experience that robs me of the confidence I need to be the right kind of person to raise this girl. One thing I know is that I feel more love for both of my children than I ever imagined I could, and I'm willing to do absolutely everything in my power to give them both the best life possible. And if things still don't turn out totally perfect for either of them, in spite of my best efforts, then I guess they were never going to anyway.


Austin said...

sounds like a fairly healthy way of looking at things; you love your kids, do your best, and don't blame yourself if they make choices you're not happy with because they're their own people.

I bounce between 2 parents in 2 of my favorite movies: overbearing Marlin of Finding Nemo, who didn't want to let ANYTHING happen to his baby, and neglectful Dr. Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, who claims he TAUGHT his child self-reliance. Hopefully Morgan's upbringing will be balanced somewhere in between there, but I agree, the love for your child can't be measured and I can't think of any movie character to compare it to.

Congrats again, and miss you guys, as always.

Jacob I. McMillan said...

Cool thoughts. I don't know which TV/movie dad I'd compare myself to. Sometimes I think I could be Donald Sutherland in Ordinary People (if you haven't seen it, think dork who wants to connect with his son but doesn't know how). Then other times I think I'm destined to become Randy Marsh from South Park (wants to stay cool forever, but just ends up embarrassing everybody). Hey, this is a good topic for another blog. Thanks for making me think about it.