As I sit awake at night and watch you sleep; careless, free, unbothered and completely unaware of this crazy world we’re inhabiting. I hold back a million guilt-ridden tears. Because of me, you will be forced to endure heartbreak, disappointment, and all the ugly things about this world I can only protect you from for so long.
There will be days where I am your hero. Your Superman, your Guardian of the Galaxy. Your tiny fingers will find themselves permanently enveloped around my index finger. The days where I will have to open closet doors, spray “monster-be-gone-spray” and check under your bed before kissing you goodnight will come. And just as quickly as they appear, they will elapse.
Just as certain as seasons change.
There will come a day where I will no longer be able to shield you from the things and people in the world that will hurt you; make you reconsider certain aspects of life and every ounce of humility you have will slowly begin to deplete.
You will change. You will undoubtedly reevaluate everything I have told you. Everything that has been instilled in you. About how beautiful the world is, how you should always seek the best in people, and how every storm there is followed by a rainbow. This is to be expected. And when this day comes, I pray you’ll find yourself on your knees with your heart affixed on your maker. Your foundation and faith will be so strong, that in the face of adversity, you will instinctively lift your heart and hands. With this faith in God, you will begin to see beauty in this world once again.
I hope that you will never grow too old to laugh with me. That you will enjoy spending time with your mother and I. That every once in a blue moon, you will choose the company of your parents over that of your friends. That you will find yourself uncomfortably sharing a couch with us. As you force us to watch something we could careless about. You’d stare deeply into your phone, not paying any attention to this horrendous show you’ve chosen. We will not complain. For in those moments, you will have made our entire week. Simply by allowing us to be in your presence. My eyes will wonder over to your mothers, and her eyes will meet mine. Nothing will be said, but everything will be understood.
I understand that there will come a time where I am “not cool”, and your friends will be your entire world. I will be accepting of this phase, and I will hide my sorrow with a smile and a, “Be safe baby. Check in often. Call me if anything happens and please please please call me if you’re drinking and need me to come get you”.
There will be times when I will have to hold you in my arms. Letting your tears soak my shirt. As you explain to me what happened and who it was that broke your heart. I will hold you in my arms, wipe every tear away that I can catch, and spend every moment of that time explaining to you your worth. Though there will not be much I can say or do in that moment, I pray that my words will marinate. Knowing that one day, you will be in my position. One day you will be saying to your children the same things I said to you. After awhile, you will tell me that you, “just want to be alone”. I will kiss your forehead and I will leave.
As I offer you one last smile and, “I love you”, I’ll slowly close your door behind me. Standing there outside of your door, listening to you whimper. My tear soaked shirt reminding me of your pain. Reminding me that, in that moment, I have failed you. I was not able to protect your heart. All the tears I fought back while in your presence will undoubtably begin streaming down my cheek. Their final resting place being my shirt. The same shirt your tears have stained. When you cry, I will cry.
There will be a day where you will leave. Where you go off on adventures. Find your own path. Make your own decisions and leave footprints on places other than my heart. These will be the days where I will miss you the most. I will find myself waiting by the phone. Checking up on you via whatever Social Media Site is popular at that time. I will comment on every picture you post. Every status you compose. With everything in me, I will try my best to remain relevant in your life. If when that time comes, I don’t have to go to these measures, it will mean that I have done my job correctly. That I have won this game of parenthood.
The first thing you did when entering this world, was cry. As most babies do.
Confused. Overwhelmed. Vulnerable.
As you cried, your mother and I did as well.
Reassured. Jubilant. Mirthful.
Though tears filled the room, the meaning behind these tears couldn’t have been more opposite. For the feelings you felt upon entering the world, will be the same feelings we feel as you leave the nest. The feelings we felt with your arrival into our life, will be the same ones you will feel as you go out into this world and make your mark on it.
Quite peculiar how that works, right?
-Poor Dads Diary.