Having children is a pretty unique experience; one that can’t really be explained unless you’ve lived through it. Speaking strictly from a Diabetes standpoint, I had made my peace quite a long time ago that I would likely never father any children. Yet here I find myself with two sons. Throughout my teens and my twenties, I was led to believe by most of my health practitioners that one out of three male Diabetics end up sterile. Although the odds were greater that I’d be fine, there was a one-third chance that I wouldn’t.
Once you have children in your life, things tend to change. You surrender any and all goals and achievements you hoped to accomplish in favour of ensuring your children’s safety and well-being. This is not without its sacrifice, and that sacrifice is usually a thankless one. Children usually don’t understand or acknowledge what’s given up for them, much less show appreciation for it. And that makes sense. They’re kids! They’re supposed to enjoy their childhood without being concerned with such things.
Everyday feels like a rough ride. I can take last Friday as an example, where something as simple as having Nathan eat supper dissolved into a meltdown and resulted in Nathan being sent to his room for the night. At time of writing this, he’s fast asleep, and will likely start his day tomorrow without any recollection of the fact that he expressed his total hate for mommy and daddy and how he would never be friends with either one of us, ever again. Parenthood can be heart-breaking.
Most people wait on baited breath, hoping their children will go on to be a leader of people, a positive influence or go on to accomplish great things, such as curing cancer, ending world hunger or becoming the next CEO of Microsoft. Personally, I just want both my boys to become good people. I want them to love and appreciate life and recognize that happiness is possible, but it sometimes needs to be accomplished and not simply a given. If they can grow to be law-abiding citizens who understand these things, I will have done my job as a father.
Life is hard and it rarely cares about one’s plans. This has certainly been proven twice, with the arrival of both my sons. In truth, they likely have just as much to teach me as I have to teach them. Hopefully, I have the wisdom to recognize those teachings and hear them when they’re given. Parenthood is an equal balance of sacrifice and reward. ☯