If you will forgive a departure from topics astronomical and more… human. We are all human after all, and hey, it’s MY blog! I tend to get a little philosophical too at times.
I lost my dad, over 30 years ago, and I still miss him… but this isn’t about my father. It’s about being a father.
When I was a child, I thought that men who grew up and didn’t get married were “Bachelors”… aka, male sluts as I understood it at the time. People who got married and didn’t have children were selfish.
Then I grew up. I got married. I had children. I learned a thing or two, and my perspective changed and became more realistic. I have many friends now who have not chosen to marry, for a variety of very good reasons. Also, married friends, who choose not to have children, also for reasons of their own that have nothing to do with personal character. I hope those friends in these categories reading this now will forgive a child’s understanding of how the world works when he knew no better.
As mentioned, and as is obvious by inspection… I did grow up. I married, and I had children. Fortunately, not because I was “tricked” into thinking this was the sole purpose of my life, but because I had a genuine desire to have a family, to be a father, and create little versions of myself and someone I loved who could head out into the world and wreak havoc and wonder in ways I might not be able to imagine.
In the annals of the history of mankind, I am fortunate beyond measure. How may people who have lived were able to choose their own spouse, and to have had three children that lived beyond infancy to grow into young adults while you watched and participated. Watching my three children turn into well-adjusted, successful adults is the single greatest and most satisfying accomplishment of my life. It is of course, for this very reason, that the greatest sorrow of my life was loosing the youngest while just reaching his prime. Stretching himself, testing himself, and unfortunately discovering a very hard and unforgiving limit imposed by Mother Nature. I can never be pleased that I lost a son, but I do take some small measure of comfort that he died doing what he loved, and I don’t have to make any awkward explanations about how he died. When I think of the chances I took at his age… it is truly a wonder most of us survive to adulthood sometimes.
Back, to the point at hand… I have had more wonderful time with my three children than most men in all the history of mankind. For this, I am rich beyond measure, and no tragedy past or future can rob me of the memories I have made with all three of my children.
All my surviving children have now (and just recently) graduated from college, a feat that in my mother’s eyes was something “our family doesn’t do” (and no, I don’t hold this against her either… it was simply the only world she knew).
When I measure myself at their age, any of my three children have accomplished more, and distinguished themselves better than I ever did at their age. With all this talk today about how great fathers are, I just wanted to say how unspeakably great it has been for me to be a father, and that my three children are and have been the single greatest source of joy and fulfillment in my life.