Friday, May 7, 2010

Thoughts on Fatherhood

Today my son, Brendan, turns fourteen.

FOURTEEN. How the Hell did THAT happen?

Brendan is possibly the sweetest human being on this earth. He is entering his second teenage year and he's still sweet to this very day. Long may his disposition last, although I worry a bit about him being walked over by people. Real life has a way of smacking you in the face sometimes.

Not to be cliche about it, but I remember the day he was born as clear as if it happened yesterday. He was six minutes old when I held him for the first time. I looked into his blue eyes (and scrunched up little face) and said "Hi! I'm your dad. Ready for me to buy you a baseball glove or some Lego?"

I was up all night his first day on this planet and was a little weirded out by the fact that I now had this little eight pound human who totally depended on me.

Fast-forward fourteen years. It's been a pretty cool ride. My son (and daughter who is nine going on 25 and will get her own blog mention on her birthday later this month) has taught me so many amazing things.

That's right. The kids taught ME.

Being a dad taught me patience, responsibility, tenderness, humor, and love. And so many other things.

In essence, being a Dad taught me to be a man.

"I thought this blog was about you trying to become an author, Rich?"

Yeah, yeah. I'm getting to that. Allow an old man to gush over his first born for a bit.

One of my biggest issues when I was younger was the 'Big Idea --Poor Execution' syndrome. I would have all these ideas in my head and never finish them before moving to the next thing. "Oooo! Shiny!"

See, that sort of thing just doesn't work when you have kids. You HAVE to finish what you start for them. There is no other option. Unconditional love is sorta like that.

For many years I put aside writing. Oh the ideas came and went, but the 'new me' knew I couldn't finish what I started (between putting food on the table, school runs, practices etc.) so I didn't write for a long time.

Then, about a year ago my son said to me "Dad, you tell really good stories. You should write them down."

I thought about that for a while. I blogged earlier about books that influenced the concept of the series. But it wasn't until Brendan told me to write stuff down (well that and ongoing support from my partner) that I actually started to 'put fingers to keyboard.'

Now, one year later I'm shopping the first book around and working on more. Will it go anywhere? I don't know.

But what I do know is that I finished a 100,000 word novel. All because a boy who is rapidly approaching manhood taught me to do it.

Thanks son. And happy birthday.

I hope you're not too old for Lego.


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