I was always of the mindset that if I had a kid, all of my dreams would die.
That’s a pretty bright outlook on fatherhood isn’t it?
I never wanted to become a parent until my life was in order. I’ve since learned that there are no ducks and there are no rows. Life happens whether we’re ready or we aren’t.
About this time last year in December, my girlfriend, Erin — now my wife, confirmed that I was going to be a dad. And I still had not yet made the New York Times Bestseller’s List.
So, how the hell was I going to do this?
1. You Don’t Need To Be A New York Times Bestselling Author To Be A Good Dad
This is, in fact, where my mind was when Erin told me that a baby was on the way. I fully believed that if I wasn’t to the level of success in my writing that I considered true success, then I could never be a good dad.
Since having Kai this past August, and still not becoming a New York Times Bestselling author, it turns out, apparently, that this isn’t a requirement to get lost in that little dude’s smile for countless moments throughout the day. Kai has no idea if my writing is great or if it’s trash — mostly because he doesn’t know what writing is yet. His most recent discovery was his right ear.
The thing that’s most important to Kai is his cereal and when Daddy sings to him.
In that order.
2. You Don’t Need Seven Digits In Your Bank Account To Be A Good Dad
Until I achieved financial freedom, I didn’t think I’d be a good dad. I thought that my bank account had to be bursting at the seams before I’d be able to howl like a werewolf at Halloween while my two-month-old tried to copy me and howl back. But I was wrong. And it’s actually the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
That happened without owning a private jet.
3. You Don’t Need To Be Perfect To Be A Good Dad
I seem to remember having visions of myself being “grown-up” with six-pack abs, standing at about 6'8, and essentially being Bruce Wayne — This isn’t from when I was little, this was like last year.
I could probably do the abs thing if I cut out pizza but how the hell do I make myself grow 8 inches — not to mention, where do you even find a Batsuit?
Kai is now four months old and cries if anyone other than Erin and I are holding him. So, there is something about my not perfect-ness and not Bruce Wayne-ness that this baby clings to. And I love it.
The greatest and most important thing that I have found in becoming a father is just being there. Having grown up without a father, I knew the importance of this going into it. That was at least one thought that I had right leading up to Kai’s arrival.
I knew that no matter what, and still do, I will always be there for him. Always.
Simply holding Kai and watching movies with him (like Rambo, because he doesn’t really know what’s going on), changing an endless flow of wet diapers, waking up with him at 3 a.m. and laughing at him while he’s laughing at me, and looking into that sweet little boy’s eyes while allowing a love that cannot be grasped into words wash over me entirely is exactly what it has taken to be a good dad.
None of the other things that I thought I needed have been needed to do these things for Kai.
And as for my dreams dying? I’ve never felt more motivated in my life. My purpose beats stronger and clearer every day.
It usually sounds like a wail for cereal or the sweetest laugh you can imagine.