September 12, 2013

i wondered before you were born,
how you would change my life
how i would shape yours
what kind of father i would be.
would i learn some secret of God
would you be cursed through my genes,
how would our mixture manifest and
how would you be unique.

could i even do this…
i didnt think i could,
i still think that most days.

i was so terrified
and so nervous to know you,
i knew it was going to be hard
but did not know how and to what level;
i could not have guessed at the stress or the joy
what it would be like to hold you
or to so closely share my space and being.
to hear your laugh
feel your pain
watch you becoming.

i didnt know how to feel.
but i knew enough to know
i would not experience you with ambivalence
i was right about that.
you never leave me that option.
you are not just taps wide open
you are the floodgates ripped off their hinges
the full deluge of emotion, imagination, energy, exhaustion –
infinite movement.
i can’t absorb it all or drink it all in,
sometimes i feel like i am drowning
and when i am alone, i am relieved,
sometimes i miss you so much i can’t breathe.
sometimes you are my life-preserver.

i still wonder what i am as a Dad
what i’m supposed to be doing,
what i am teaching you inadvertently.
what in you is nature and how best to nurture.
i still feel like apologizing,
like hiding, like i need deniability.
sometimes i look around and think
who the hell are all of these people?
but none of that is what i meant to write:
parenting paradoxes, great and ungrateful, loving and loathing
you are my children.
and as i think about you…
i imagine scooping you up into my arms
and loving you with all that i am
giving you everything that i have
and hoping it will be enough.


6 Responses to “unknowing”

  1. Jimmy D Rep Says:

    You have captured in words the beauty and mystery the fear and wonder of being a parent.

  2. Ryan Roling Says:


  3. Jennifer Butler Basile Says:

    ‘none of that is what i meant to write’
    Thank you for admitting that and typing it anyway. It helps to remember the ‘parenting paradoxes’ get us all.

    Great piece.

  4. 1createblogs Says:

    Nice post!

  5. Rachel Says:

    You are not just taps wide open you are the floodgates ripped off their hinges.

    Brilliant, and isn’t that the truth!

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