008: Influence, Not Control

Becoming a Dad was something I’d always been afraid of. This child, this human, would be reliant on me and my wife for everything. Literally everything. It was terrifying to me. I didn’t think I was worthy. That I could do it.

My son is almost a teenager. He is smart, funny, creative, thoughtful, empathetic, and has a very strong spirit and will. Being his Dad is the perhaps the greatest gift I’ve ever been given. The love that I have for him, the lengths I would go for him, without him even asking – they know no bounds.

Sometimes it’s difficult. He is very independent-minded and stubborn. I’m not sure where that comes from. Ha. I am learning to try to let him learn on his own, through going through life experiences and taking what he goes through and using it in the future. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like he’s learned anything and he’s doomed to repeat the same mistakes. Other times it’s like he’s on his way to being a man. The trick for me is to try to be an influence on him, but not have control over him. It’s difficult. Sometimes I just want to say “because I said so” or “I’m your father and that’s the only reason I have for you.” And believe me, I have. But I am slowly learning that being flexible, adapting and trying to let him spread his wings is more beneficial than just telling him how it’s going to be. Where is the line? How do you walk it? I wish I could tell you.

But what I can tell you, is that I would not trade any of it. I try to tell him that Dad’s far from perfect and makes mistakes. I try to own those mistakes. I try to let him see me, really see me. But I also am trying to provide him with a positive influence. Sometimes I fail. But I am doing my best. I hope he knows that.

I can’t believe he’s going to be a teenager. Driving soon. College soon (or whatever he chooses to do). Moving away soon and living on his own. Don’t blink.

3 responses to “008: Influence, Not Control”

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