I think the relationship dynamic changed between my wife and I at the very moment Grayson was brought into this world. I knew from that point on she could always win any argument; whether she was actually right or not. She had this baby inside of her for nine months and now nothing. Grayson was her baby. I have never in my life seen someone do a complete personality change like I did with her in the weeks and months following that November. She went from an awesomely funny, partially retired party girl who liked to stay up late and didn’t have the strictest work ethic to a strong independent ferocious-as-hell mother. It was cool to see her really take pride in being a mom. In fact, I still admire that about her to this day.
Fatherhood was something I once thought of as an abstract. I never thought it would happen to me. As a matter of fact, for a long time I swore I wouldn’t have children of my own. I wasn’t mature enough to really understand what it is to be a parent. Hell, sometimes I’m still not. I remember very vividly the moment that I decided I had changed my opinion on future offspring. It was the summer of 2005 and I was sitting on a white wicker porch swing on a screened in porch with a friend of mine. I was spilling my guts to her about how I was miserable with my life and things just had to start changing. I was just babbling a string of consciousness and I blurted out that I wanted a son. She looked at me completely shocked. I paused and realized what I had just spouted.
“Yeah. A son.” I said, nodding to myself and to her. “I’ve put so much negative energy – so much shit into this world that I have to do something to make up for it.”
My friend leaned away from me. In hindsight, I’m sure she thought I was losing my mind. I, up to that point, had been so adamant that I was never having children. I was very vocal about my position as well.
So, basically, I wanted kids because of a strong desire to prove to the world and to myself that I can do something worth while. I can achieve something and have a positive affect on people around me instead of be a complete pessimistic downer. I want to be able to teach someone from the errors and successes that I have experienced. I have a wealth of knowledge of completely random things, and I want to pass these things on. I want my children to know that they are smarter than me and have pride in that. I was a failure in school because I didn’t want to 1) work and 2) really become a geek. (Make good grades and be into comic books and video games and Dungeons and Dragons – All of these before it was anywhere remotely cool.) I want them to have all of the opportunities that I had as a child and adolescent, but I want them to have the wisdom to make better decisions than I did.
I have learned that with children nothing will go as planned. That’s a very hard consequence for me to deal with seeing as how I am a major control freak. Patience is of the utmost importance and I have none. I have never been a patient person but with the help of Grayson and his little brother Jackson maybe someday I will. Another realization for me has been come to the true understanding that my fierce independence can be a great weakness, but can also be my best strength.
Fatherhood for me is an ongoing struggle pitting me against myself. It’s a classic literary device. Conflict is always Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Man, or Man vs. Self. I am a traditional example of the latter; being such an overbearing (at times) control freak and the opposite all in the same day. I know that no matter what I do, no matter whose feelings get hurt by my negligence, my family will be there for me and I, most certainly, will always be there for them. On my drive home from work everyday I get excited to see the two smiling faces of my goofy boys and the one very exhausted but still generally smiling face of their mother waiting for me. These faces have taught me a true and honest love: the love of a husband to his wife and a father to his sons. When you have a family it seems as though that’s all there is and I, personally, wouldn’t have it any other way.