Being a Dad of a Newborn Part V: I’m so scared
I hold you as you sleep, your beautiful, chubby, frowny face nestled facing up at me, and part of me feels punctured. I’m scared.
You see, that part of me, an old part, the part of me that remembers, knows how much you’ll look up to me, want to be like me, follow in my ways, learn how to be a man from me, learn whether you are a man from me. How much good I could do and will fail to do. How much harm I could do and will pass on to you.
For when I won’t be there.
When you need me.
And I let you down.
I’m scared for when I’m there but I’m not able to be vulnerably present with you
To listen to you
Delight in you as I do now
And instead dismiss you and you learn
That parts of you don’t matter,
Or need to be left at the gate of manhood.
And lose that part of your wonderful self.
I’m scared that I’ll be there too much
Trying to make you a certain way
Invading who you naturally are
A way that makes me feel better about myself
A way that seems how the world thinks I should make you b
Or when I will feel threatened by you
Or find you overwhelming
And push you away
Or put you down
Or even bully you
Because I don’t feel enough myself
And you learn that you’re not glorious simply as you are
That you’re not wanted and longed for just as you are
Or you learn that men are dangerous
And live your life trying to please and to avoid them.
And my shadow haunts your life.
I’m so scared it aches.
The size of the impact I will have I know is inevitable. I want to dismiss and run from it, distract myself from it. And I want to live up to it. To be better than I fear. To be the one who is always backing you and the one who models something of how to live well.
God, help me.