I may not always be able to be there for my children when they are experiencing new things that they are going through.
There is a person I look at in the mirror. Most of the time I’m happy with who I see. I see a boy, a man, a husband, a father.
The latter of those is the person I see most of the time when I am looking in the mirror. Because most of the time I’m looking back at myself I am seeing a spitting 6-year-old or 6-month-old version of myself standing right next to me as I get ready for the day.
I see the struggles, the pain, the joy, the excitement, the energy I had at both of those ages. Although it is difficult for me to know what I was like at six months old, I can only imagine what my life was like at that time.
While raising two boys much like myself brings me much joy, it terrifies me.
Those same struggles I went through, I don’t want them to suffer with. The same pain of life that I went through, I don’t want them to experience. That’s not to say that I want them to live a sheltered life and not experience any struggles and pain, just not the things I went through.
I hear the stories from my 6-year-olds teacher about how he struggles to sit still in school. She isn’t worried about him academically, but he has an energy level that is verging on disrupting the class.
I see me.
I watch as the energy of that same 6-year-old sends him on the shortest path from A to B with complete disregard for what is in his way whether it is a toy, a couch, or a wall. He will always find the shortest path.
I see me.
I look at our 6-month-old and see someone who is a ham for attention. Who the moment you look at him he smiles with joy and just wants you to give him attention.
I see me.
None of this is bad; however, I know exactly what they will be going through as they get older. Sure the times, situations, and people will all be different than the times I experienced the same thing that they will be experiencing. Even though now I look at those qualities that I had at 6-years and 6-months of age, and I fear my kids having those qualities.
I may not always be able to be there for my children when they are experiencing new things that they are going through. It is one of the hardest parts of being a parent.