He is seven going on eighteen. The speed in which he is growing up continues to amaze me. The little hands that used to seem so fragile against my own are now big enough to throw a baseball and hit Ctrl+Alt+Delete at the same time.
And as he continues to grow, both physically and emotionally, I keep trying to remind myself that I am not only watching a child grow, I’m helping a boy grow into a man. I am keenly aware that how I act, what I say, how I say it, will have a lasting effect on who TheMonk becomes.
To this end, I have to say that it’s not easy. I have to practice patience when patience is in low supply. I have to listen when I’d rather tell. I have to give time, even when time is short.
I also need to remember that I am his father. I have to discipline when I’d rather look the other way. I have to say no when I’d really like to say yes. I have to teach that there are consequences to poor choices – even when I could easily shield him from the consequences.
And finally, I have to show him what it’s like to live freely. To love openly. To take risks when the reward can be great. To be honest, respectful, and caring. In short, I have show him the kind of man I want to be.
Only time will tell if I’m successful. But time is short and this is the one time where patience can’t be had. I hope that one day, he’ll look back on his childhood and recognize that his dad sure loved him. And that maybe being like his dad isn’t such a bad thing.