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Always a Son

Becoming a father was like being transported into an alternate universe. A dimension alongside the one I’d always lived in, much the same, yet completely different.

The first several months, my wife and I (mostly my wife) existed in a semi-conscious, sleep deprived state between the reality we had known, and the reality we had (after 9+ months of waiting) been thrust into.  Finding a few seconds, minutes, dare I say hours, of rest was like hunting down a unicorn.

We learned quickly we knew less about parenting than we thought, but that fortunately, even though they are helpless and depend on you for everything, babies are quite durable, and the best, if not the most patient, teachers one could have on parenting.

As things settled into the new normal, we leaned hard on our parents for advice and discovered in this that we were able to identify with them in a way we had never been able to; we were for the very first time, more like our parents than we were different.

It’s been two years since I became a father. Two of the craziest, most wonderful, and meaningful years of my life. I look forward with every fiber within me to continue being a father for the rest of my life. I have sacrificed much, but what I have gained has far and away exceeded the cost.

It is fitting, I think, in this newfound fullness of life that I also discovered I had lost something. Little by little over the years, often unnoticed, but sometimes intentionally—adolescence, responsibilities, moving away, getting married, becoming a parent…. I had lost what it was to be a son, a parent’s child. Forgotten how wonderful it is.

Only recently through a series of challenging events forcing me to once again depend on my parents (and now even my wife’s parents) have I found that I am still very much someone’s child.

I will always long for my children to remain my children, always yearn to be a father to them. To help them. Be a rock for them to lean on, and a resource to them. I want this because I love them and because I will always remember them as they were when they were small, completely trusting and reliant upon their mother and I to care for. The hard part will be to determine when, and how much to let them make their own way.

It will certainly be hard for them to remain “my child”, as I have seen it has been for me in light of recent events. My tendency is not to ask, not to be needy. I want to do things myself, but found through my recent need, having no place to turn but to my parents, that there is a joy in accepting their help. A certain freedom and security that everything will be ok because Mom and Dad are there, that though hard to admit, I have missed.

It is interesting that I’m re-discovering what it is to be a son at the same time  I’m learning what it means to be a father. Will being a father make me a better son? Will allowing myself to be someone’s child once again help me become a better father?

I feel I’m just scratching the surface of this complicated interpersonal relationship. However, I do find myself more grateful for my parents (I love you Mom and Dad), and it does make me excited that even though my own children may grow up too fast, there is always hope that no matter how old they are or at what stage they are in their lives, there may be certain painful, yet magical times when they come to me not as an adult, fellow parent, mentor, or peer, but simply—my child.

About the Author
Nate Moore
Author: Nate Moore
Managing Editor and Production Director, Nate Moore, has a background in business management, but left the corporate world to pursue his passion as a Wilderness Guide in a program for troubled youth. He received his B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations from Southeastern University, and finds that he expresses himself most thoroughly through the written word. Nate is a baby-wearing, pro-breastfeeding father, whose top priority is to be the best daddy he can be to his lovely daughter.

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