This I Believe

Paul - Bettendorf, Iowa
Entered on November 13, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: parenthood

Fatherhood is all about the lessons learned – This I Believe

It began following a visit to the local Mexican restaurant. What we thought was a beef enchilada gone bad, was really our first child embarking on what would become nine months of discomfort.

Fatherhood is all about the lessons learned – this is what I believe.

My initial reaction to the doctor’s announcement “you’re going to have a baby” was numbness. You see, while we had planned on having children in the near future, we didn’t plan on starting that week.

God has a way of preparing us despite our own timetable. The nine months leading up to our first daughter’s birth was full of anticipation. Helping her take her first steps, teaching her to read and count, encouraging her as she learned to ride a bike, cheering for her as she tied her shoes for the first time, and especially, imparting my own life lessons.

But, the most humbling part of fatherhood has been the lessons this journey has taught me.

I believe patience is a must. Without it, I’m just a grump. With it, parents become great teachers.

I believe fathers should play when their children want to play, not when it fits nicely into our schedule.

I believe we should allow our daughters to swing as high as they want. Their joy of flight far outweighs broken bones/bumps and bruises.

I believe bedtime routines are a sacred ritual – not to be rushed. These moments should be drawn out to allow our children the time to release their highs and lows of the day.

I believe little girls should remain little girls for as long as possible – protecting them from growing up too soon.

I believe our children are a gift – no matter how or when they arrive.

I believe there is still enough good left in the world to be excited about bringing a child into it.

I believe the naive wisdom and insight our children possess can do more to shape a parent’s character than we will ever know.

I believe men who experience fatherhood are lucky. Lucky to be sharing a life with our child. Lucky to learn the lessons of fatherhood – This is what I believe.