IMAGE: These photos were taken last week on a family trip to Mt Maunganui.
We just got back from a family vacation and it was great taking a week off to relax and spend some quality time with the family. When we were at the beach, my wife, Hayley, snapped these cute photos of me pulling our little boy Jay up a rock and it got me thinking about an interesting metaphor for being a father. I'll get to that in a sec…
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When I first became a dad, along with a host of other emotions, I felt a pretty huge sense of responsibility.
At this time, I felt a new sense of gratitude towards my own parents. Now that I was experiencing what it feels like to love and care for your own child, I couldn’t help but feel grateful towards my parents for raising me the way they did.
The way I see it, my job as a dad is to pass as much as I have learned along to my new son. To give him opportunities to learn and grow. To help him learn from mistakes. To encourage him to try new things. To help him find his passion and create a life that he can be happy with. Just like my parents have done for me.
Now he’s only just turned 2 years old. So we’re not sitting down to study the art of living just yet. But this is what goes through my head as I think about my ever-changing role as a father.
Everything my parents did for me has helped me to become the person I am today. I have an incredible wife and child. We live in a beautiful (and probably the safest) country in the world. We have a house that we love and each day I get to work in a business that supports myself and my family. I’ve made a lot of my own decisions to get where I am but without my parents, I wouldn’t have the life I do now.
And now it’s my turn to do the same for my child.
Not that I want our son to grow up and be like me. But I want him to get to where I am; where he is happy and has the freedom and opportunities to create the life he wants.
The way I see it, life is like a mountain. My father is about two-thirds of the way up and I’m a third of the way there. And my 2-year old son, Jay, is just starting to climb at the very bottom. My job is to help him to get to where I am while continuing on my own journey. I need to leave ropes and supplies along the way to help him with the climb.
Maybe I took a particular path up the mountain that didn’t work out so well. Should I tell him to try a different route? Or do I leave him to make his own decisions? I guess that’s something I’m going to have to figure out.
My hope is that whatever route he takes, that he enjoys the journey and reaches a point where he’s happy and content with the destination.
That’s my Dad job.