Growing Pains – Conclusion

Well, you knew it had to happen at some point. This is the final installment to this article. Others will take its place, but in the meantime, read on!

I suspect my parents had moments when they feared their parentage would be inadequate and fail me. I’m a bit scared, too, that I won’t be a good enough parent; and the kid’s still a month from being born! Maybe every parent who is up to the task of parenting feels this fear. I don’t know. I’m only one person. I guess the easier question is if any parent has ever been 100% confident that he or she would do a perfect job of raising a child, the follow-up being what the actual result was. I suspect the answer would be, “None,” but, again, I don’t know.

In at least one respect, I am fortunate in my upbringing because I have lived with three mother figures and two father figures (I’ll tell you about it another time). I have experienced different ways of raising me. The lessons from those memories helped me make better decisions for myself; successes and failures alike. I will greatly rely on them to help me make better decisions for our son. It should go without saying that I will rely as much on my fiancée’s skills and, at times, our parents’ and friends’ advice.

When I look back on my life, I admit I wasn’t the easiest kid to raise. What do government officials say? “Mistakes were made.” I’ll go one step further and quote Sinatra: “Mistakes, I’ve made a few.” I hope I learned from them. Those I recognize I’m still making, I’m taking action to correct them. It’s a continual effort. I think I did all right, so far. Nobody died because of my actions. My parents have [mostly] forgiven me for that thing I did that one time, and they still talk to me. I have friends. No building exploded. No societal or economic model collapsed because of something I did or didn’t do. Y’know, things have worked out so far.

Sure, I’ll screw up sometimes, but I’ll do my best to keep those instances limited to moments, and to a minimum. I will do everything I can to ensure I do nothing that will permanently screw up our son. I know I will learn from my son as he will from me, and I gladly welcome the opportunities. I want him to know, when he’s old enough to think about these things (and I really didn’t until I was 18 or 19), that we provided him all the tools and opportunities we could to enable him to succeed in life. There are very few guarantees in life, but there’s one of which I’m certain: I will never give up on doing my best for my family.

Thank you for being part of my journey and bearing with me as I traverse what is, for me, still the undiscovered country of parenthood. I am certain I will also regale you with stories of the joys and challenges, but until that time comes, be sure that I will present you with at least one more article on pre-parenthood.

/rant …until next week.

Alex is a writer who is now freaking out a little harder about being a dad in the next month.