I have a confession to make but before I confess, let me tell you a little bit about myself.
At home, I am the rock. I am the disciplinarian, the rule maker, the one that can stop my children cold with just a look. I am not the “boss”…but I am guided by logic, by rational thinking, by data and evidence. I love my family. I want us to be happy. Being the structure is my way of showing and ensuring we get there.
With my friends, I am “Steady Freddy”. I am the one they come to for advice. I am the one who helps put things into perspective. I help them calm down and see the bigger picture. I tell them when they are being unreasonable or selfish. I challenge them to not forget who they are, from which they’ve come and for how hard they’ve worked. They are my friends and I love them. Iron sharpens iron and together we’ll both be better.
At work, I am a boss. I have a great team and they work really hard but I am the leader. Most times, I provide support, guidance and opportunities for them to showcase their talents as we achieve our objectives. I serve as a mentor, a challenger, a visionary, a consultant, a friend and sometimes a parent. We are in it together and my success is the pride I feel when they are successful.
These are the roles of my life. These roles fit me. They are the roles in which I excel. They are roles that I think match my personality and they are roles I don’t shy away from. No I am not serious all the time. In fact, in most instances, I am funny, unassuming and authentic.
But lately, I find that things move me in ways I’ve not experienced before. Nowadays, I can be moved to tears by commercials, movies, stories of sacrifice, watching my children, thinking about my spouse or appreciating my life. It is such a weird feeling to catch oneself tearing up and/or crying about things I was previously blind to. Once I found myself in tears just imagining myself as a grandparent. I could see my boys as adults with their own families and I was happy to have my children and grandchildren around me. It was content…and feeling brought me to tears. Sometimes, as we are experiencing them, I see those moments that my children will look back upon with fondness and they make me cry. What makes me cry is to be able to see them reminiscing and my looking at them remembering and recognizing the moment long before they understood it to be. Just this morning while listening to the radio, a story about a father’s efforts to emotionally connect with his son had me quietly crying as he described how important it was for him. It was like I understood the importance of the effort, identified with it and appreciated it all at the same time.
Have I become a wus or am I eating too much tofu? Is this just a part of active parenting? Are there other dads out there experiencing something similar? Will this continue or will it fade away?
My logical mind wants to know.