A few thoughts from my sweet hubby who has a heart of gold.
He’s truly the best man and is sharing how fatherhood has changed his life.
Grab a tissue and Happy Friday! Xo.
Goals. Having goals is a great way to motivate our behavior and to give us something positive to strive for and work towards. They seem to be a constantly moving target that change and adapt as time passes. When I was younger, my goals seemed more concrete, easier to attain. Learn a new BMX trick. Make the soccer team. Do well on the SAT. Get into college. Actually make it to class (sorry dad). As time passes, the importance of things in my life has changed in a way that I did not always see coming.
My goals have less of a finish line now, and instead have become more of an outline that shapes my day to day life. After graduating from school and starting work, it seemed like a fairly simple and obvious path was laid out before me. Dive in head first and smash it. Work my butt off and get into a position making good money and allowing me the freedom to do what I want with my time. The world was my oyster and I looked through young and optimistic eyes at a place that I knew could be both beautiful and cruel. It was my one motivation for a long time. Advance at work. Excel in business and be rewarded. I was never really sure by what, but that didn’t matter. To be young and driven and successful meant that I had a good career and could afford the little luxuries in life that I thought mattered. It took a long time for me to realize just how wrong I was. That my success was not measured in how far I climbed the corporate ladder, but in how I would be remembered when I’m gone. Would I have any lasting effect on anyone else’s life? Did I leave the world better than I found it? Did I treat those along my path in a way that I could be proud of?
I always knew that marriage and a family were something that I wanted. Finding that person to share my life with and raise kids was never in question. I never knew when it was going to happen, but it was never a question to me that it would. I met the most incredible woman at a time and place that I most certainly did not expect. Nothing quite like meeting your future wife while on a date with somebody else. But as fate would have it, that was the right time. I knew Lindsey was special from the moment we met, and she has done nothing but exceed my every expectation since. I did not deserve the person before me, but I wasn’t about to let her get away. Three years after we met, we got married in September of 2009. The course of my life was forever changed. The things that I deemed important started to shift. My focus changed from me and my wants, to my family’s needs and what my family wants. It was no longer all about me anymore. Of course, I have my selfish moments…who doesn’t…but my new goal was a very simple one. Be the best husband and father that I can possibly be for my wife and kids. That far off thing I always knew I wanted, a wife and my own family, were on my doorstep.
I remember being so excited, and so scared, when our son, Henry, was born. I wasn’t scared about changing diapers and never sleeping through the night again. I was scared that I would fail him as a dad. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to provide a life for him that would allow him to grow and learn without fear of anything. This perfect little being, so totally and completely dependent on me and his mom. And the thought of letting him down shook me to my core. But I knew one thing beyond any measure of anything that I’ve ever known before. That I would do anything for him. That realization washed any fear I had down the drain. It was my new, most simple goal. One that will always be moving, that I will always strive towards. Be the best dad that I can possibly be. To me, what that means changes. But first and foremost, I will love him with everything I’ve got. Day in and day out. That one will never change.
I read an interesting quote early in Henry’s life that has stuck with me since that moment. “A child spells love – t.i.m.e.” He will learn something new each and every day. He will grow and he will have his own goals and wants. No matter what happens though, he will never doubt the love that his mom and dad have for him. He will always know that we are there for him and he will always feel our presence and feel our love. Even though he may not know what it means, he will find comfort in our words and security in our arms and he will know in his heart what love means. I am not foolish enough to think that I always know the right thing to do. He has been the most incredible thing I’ve ever done in my life. And also the hardest. I’ve had doubts throughout his short, but amazing life. Am I holding him right? Is he sleeping enough? Is he getting enough to eat? When will this diaper rash go away!? How many jelly beans is too many?
I have morphed from hovering and trying to protect him at every turn, to giving him some space to learn it on his own. Watching him grow with confidence in himself fills me with pride and forces me to fight back tears. Our baby isn’t a baby anymore. “No daddy. I do it myself”. These words make me both incredibly happy and sad at the same time. Before long, I will be a source of embarrassment for him. But for right now, I am going to embrace every second. Every moment that he allows me to share with him. He may not realize it, but he teaches me just as much as I teach him. He’s shown me to see the world through innocent eyes again. As an adult, watching the news is terrifying. Honestly, I don’t even look at it anymore. If I based my world view on what I see on CNN, things would seem quite bleak. But then I see this little person that I’ve helped create. And he is full of life and love. He has a smile that’s contagious and a personality that people are drawn to…. and he’s not even 3! It gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment that nothing else can possibly touch. I see him, and I know that when I’m gone, I have left the world a better place. I have had a lasting effect on someones life and I am very proud to call him my son.
I have never had a more terrifying and rewarding job in my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. And I couldn’t be more excited to start it all over again with my baby girl… I can’t wait to meet you, Olive Amelia Thorne. I love you so much.