Nothing, short of my relationship with Jesus, has changed me as much as becoming a father and nothing has scared me more – or continues to scare me.
There is so much riding on every single decision I make. How will this impact my son, how will he see this decision? When will he understand why I often say no, occasionally yes – or when I tell him to wait? Will I make him hate me? Will his love for me grow? Will I drive him away like I have seen done by other fathers? Will he be a pitcher or a quarterback?
Did I say scared? Try petrified.
By the time my son, affectionately known as “the Boy,” was born my “wild and crazy” days were pretty far behind me. I was convinced that I had learned the lessons youth had to teach and though I had trepidations – I figured, “I got this.”
No, I didn’t.
The Boy came into the world and I was filled with joy – partly because I was sure that had he been a she, I would immediately have to turn myself into the police for the young man I would eventually have to, well, err, uh, make go away – so, thank you God for sparing my family that embarrassment.
The second I held him, the moment his little hand grasped my finger I knew that I would take every imaginable step – and some that I had not foreseen – to ensure that he had more than what I had as a child. Which was not – and still isn’t – limited to material things.
Many people are searching right now for their “calling,” their perfect job, their life’s dream. The afternoon that I finally met the Boy I knew what I had found. People devote countless hours to study and research, counseling sessions, and internet personality tests to discover what theirs is and here was mine being handed to me, my son, my life, my calling.
I came to realize that my J-O-B was no longer the way I earned money – though that remains important – rather my job – or when it comes to the Boy, my labor of love – is to raise him to be the best follower of Christ, the best husband and the best father that he can become, because someday he’s going to have to teach someone else.
No, the changes I have had to make–some voluntary, many forced–were not easy. I can tell you this, as surely as Jesus died and would do it again because he loves us, I would not allow a single thing to return to the way it was before.
If you’re a father, what are some of the struggles, joys or frustrations you have faced or are currently facing?
I am the father of the hardest working, most handsome 7 year old – “daddy, I am 7 and three quarters” – on the planet. I refer to him as “The Boy.” He will do amazing things in his life but I envision him being elected President after winning the World Series and Super Bowl – in the same year after being the first person to walk on all the planets in our galaxy – including Pluto. Check out my blog at mickholt.com.