When I found out a few months ago that I was going to be a father, I was excited. It started me down the next road of life that I had been looking forward too for so long. During the last few months, the process has been largely mechanical; making sure that there's a nursery to set up, getting money set aside for expenses, etc. I haven't felt a great deal of attachment personally to the person that's coming. Yesterday I found out that we're not just having a baby, we're having a baby boy. Since then, everything seems different.
That's not to say that before I was any less ecstatic about becoming a parent, or any less confident that me and Tianna would raise a strong, healthy, good family. I just hadn't really started developing any preconceived notions about what sort of person we'd be bringing into the world. Since I didn't know the sex, there was so much I couldn't start taking for granted. After all, I didn't want to start getting attached to the idea of having one or the other. Setting myself up for some unnecessary disappointment would have been silly, and sending the message that I was somehow "hoping" for one or the other seemed to diminish the importance of having a child in the first place.
While it should be clear from the previous explanation, I would have been thrilled to death if they had told us we were having a girl, too. Being a father to a girl is just as appealing to me as raising a son, and I hope I get that opportunity too. Tianna and I have both said that we'd want to have a maximum of three kids, hoping to have at least one of each. I can definitely say that having a sister is a great experience for a boy growing up. Having an older sibling is great in so many ways.
So what, then, does it mean to me that I'm having a son? I've already started researching things like Boy Scout troops in our area. Scouting was such a positive influence on my life, and I look forward to guiding my son through that experience as well. I'll have someone to teach my experiences to in mechanics, science, theater, music, and life in general. I'll be able to teach him how to grow into a confident man, a gentleman. I'll have someone to teach me to look at things with a new perspective, to let skepticism fall by the wayside sometimes and see life for its positives, something I do only rarely now as an adult.
All of this makes me think of all the experiences my father and I shared growing up. My dad was involved in my life, and I'm thankful for that. He introduced me to computers, model rocketry (I highly recommend this hobby), model airplanes, home repair, auto maintenance, the value of a dollar, and so much more. He took an interest and spent time helping me learn to do things right instead of fast. As for that, the lesson was received but not practiced until many years later. He also did the many things that almost all fathers do with their sons. He taught me how to fish, how to ride a bike, etc.
I feel for my parents, because I remember just how difficult of a son I could be at times. I struggled with attention problems and learning difficulties for so long. It must have driven my mother and father mad to see me do so well on exams and have my grades plummet because I never did my homework. In retrospect, I don't know that there was any answer to that, other than to sit with me every single night and force me through it. These are the sorts of challenges I have only now begun to fathom on my long journey into parenthood. Thankfully, there's no rush to contemplate such things since my child hasn't even been born yet.
We spend so much of our time trying to make ourselves happy. Personally, I also spend a lot of time worrying about what will make others happy. I think when my son Alexander is born I'll finally understand what it truly means to bring happiness to someone else and to live for another person completely. We can't wait to meet you.