Today my son starts kindergarten. He is ready. He knows his letters and all their sounds. He knows his numbers up to a hundred-teen. He can dress himself. He can bathe himself. He can even read whole words, sentences, pages, and books. You would be quite impressed…I know I am.
My son is ready for kindergarten. The problem is that I am not. When Jackson was born he needed everything from us. There wasn’t a thing that he could do for himself. If we did not do something for him, then it would not be done. That is how it’s supposed to be, right? I can get used to this. I can do anything I have to do if I love someone enough. Even if it is forever. I can rise to the occasion and become a full-time care-giver for someone, and even three little someones. That is just how it is supposed to be. The problem comes when the rules start to change. Sure it is nice when I don’t have to change as many diapers any more, but when I am told that they don’t want to hold my hand while crossing the street anymore, a little part of me dies inside. I was made to be a daddy, but I don’t know if I can become a dad.
I am beginning to learn that the role of parenting is ever changing and ever adapting to the environment. You have to read the situation. Foretell the needs of those who are still dependent on you. What they need tomorrow may not be what they need today. I still need my parents and I am 36…so it’s just different. As Jackson goes to school and begins to learn a whole new set of skills, I too am entering education. I will continue to be a student of my children. Spend the time with them that I want and the time that they need. As we grow together I will know my 1, 3, and 5 year old better than others and be able to care for them in a way only a father can. The scary part is that I don’t yet know what they need tomorrow. The comfort I take is that I didn’t know what they needed today, but I did it, because I love them. Jackson will do great in school as will all of our children. Isabella and Charlotte want to go to school as much as Jackson, if not more.
My prayer to my Father, who gives me good things too, is that He will allow me to father them the same as I have while still being totally different in the coming years. Loving them, serving them, and being the parent they need today.