There’s only two ways to really look at every decision you make as a father: either you’ll do it just like you’re father or nothing like him. That goes for everything in life, because the any choice in life we make is binary. With all the exposure I have to children via my godson, nephews, and my own students, I’ve gotten a good grasp of the ins and outs of what it takes to be a full-fledged father. Some of my colleagues remark that we ought to have licenses for parenthood, and I almost tend to agree. As a baby-raiser, you’re a gaga-interpreter, a butt-wiper, a food-hunter-then-preparer-then-feeder-cleaner-repeater, a gyrator-stirrer-shaker-human-bassinet, sleep-deprivation-survivor, and model for every sound that comes out of this little human. It’s a tremendous responsibility that takes almost as much time as living itself, and fatherhood administered properly, is a gift some don’t appreciate often enough. You’re a first-hand future-creator-vis-a-vis-this-little-person. He / she doesn’t need to be Neo, Joan of Arc, or Patrick Ewing, but they’re a reflection of the person who spawned them. That’s why, when I have an inner dialogue with my dualities about my experience with the fatherhood done unto me, I always come back to the fact that building the strong relationship with my future son comes first. As far as I’m concerned, everything else comes secondary and tertiary. The process in my evolution towards this role has humbled me to no end, and I’m ever grateful for it.
Which is the first part of the pattern-breaking …