Friday, July 5, 2013

Home



All of my life, I've felt a struggle to feel 'at home'.  I've never felt like I really fit in.  It started in the  neighborhood I grew up in, and flowed into my school years.  I would always see certain people together - cliques, friends, groups - whatever you prefer to call them.  But I never felt like I belonged.  In some ways, I never really wanted to fit in.  But I think we all have the desire to be liked and included.  It's basic human nature.  

HOME.

At this point in my life, there is one place where I feel more at home than anywhere else.  Where is that, you ask?  Well, my two faithful readers, I will tell you.  It is the place where I am both most comfortable, yet uncomfortable at the same time.  Comfortable because of the love I feel, yet uncomfortable because I'm so afraid I'm going to screw it all up.  The place I am talking about is fatherhood.  

HOME

Have I mentioned that I love being a Daddy?  It's everything I thought it would be, but also so many things I never thought it would be.  This little person that came into the world has been relying on Leigh and I for everything.  Everything.  I remember the first moment I was alone with Will at night, when Leigh went to bed.  I was so worried I was going to break him - he was so tiny and innocent and beautiful.  I didn't want to mess up.  It was terrifying and exhilerating all at the same time, and the love I felt in my heart for this little boy that God had given us was overwhelming me.  It brought tears to my eyes - tears of joy.  And it still does to this day.  When I try to imagine all of the love that God has in His heart for His Son, and for me, and then I compare how much I love Will to that, it seems so massive, yet so very microscopic compared to God's love for me.  But I would do anything for Will. So whenever I doubt God's love, which does happen - not going to lie - I try to think of it in terms similar to those.  It's about the only way I can get my small mind around it sometimes.  

HOME.

So when I talk about this feeling of being 'home' when it comes to fatherhood, it's the feeling that this is what all of the years of waiting were leading up to and preparing me for.  The first three years have flown by.  Will is learning and growing every day and it's so true what they say about it going by in the blink of an eye.  I had a hard time when he first went to preschool.  I'm sure kindergarten and first grade will be much more difficult.  But he will be fine.  Man it's hard to let them fly, but you so badly want to help them spread those wings and do it.  It's sort of a big contradiction, this parenting thing.  You spend every day trying to teach them, prepare them, but most of all love them - and let them know what is waiting out there for them in the world we live in.  But suddenly the day comes when they begin to spread their wings, and it's like a tug of war inside of you.  One side is jumping for joy and rooting them on.  And the other is sad because he's not your baby anymore, and you aren't sure if you really want to let go.  

HOME.

My goal as a father is to let Will know that he is loved.  That he is important.  That he matters. That he can do anything he wants and go anywhere he wants in life.  He is still at that age of innocence that I love, where everything is a new discovery greeted with enthusiasm and curiosity.  He does not know a stranger, and we make friends everywhere we go because of his joyful enthusiasm for people.  I know someday he will lose some of that, because of the 'don't talk to strangers' mentality of today's society.  But I hope he never loses his desire to connect and relate to other people.  I want him to treat others with respect, because that's what my parents instilled in me as I was growing up and I hopefully haven't done too poorly with that. 

HOME. 

I love being a daddy, because it is here that I feel home.  I am not perfect.  I make MORE than my fair share of mistakes.  Every day is a learning experience and Leigh and I walk through it together with Will.  He is such a sweet boy and my prayer is that the best of me rubs off on him and the worst of me stays behind.  He's already picked up on some of my bad habits, and I feel bad that I've let that happen.  But in this moment - this forty-first year, tenth month, fifth day of my life - I have found a place I can honestly say I feel comfortable in.  God has called me to be a daddy, and I am trying to live it out as He would have me do.  Will is such a precious gift.  Every day he makes us laugh for one reason or the other.  He is full of life and has made me feel full of life once again.  I thank God every day for Will, and for being able to finally share in this journey called parenthood with Leigh.  This is right where I want to be.  

HOME.

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