I don’t know where it came from…maybe it was Fred learning to give High 5’s. It could have been the site of him riding in that shopping cart with the Auburn ball cap backwards on top of his head. Regardless of why suddenly I’ve begun to think of my pre-fatherhood life in a new light.
I’ve left it as no secret that life wasn’t always easy growing up the child of divorce and the stepson to the “Angry Man”. Nobody has it easy growing up and there are a million stories that are worse than mine. That doesn’t mean the memories of the bad days don’t sting any less though. Pain is in the eye of the beholder. One mans pinprick is another stab through the heart.
Ever since Fathers Day (Which couldn’t have been any better. Thank you Lucy and Fred) I’ve been thinking about my past as something more than just that of an average guy growing up in a small town. I now see it as training camp. All the mistakes, the anger, the lack of money, the different situations I found myself in…they all lead up to that moment when Fred looked up at me for the first time and held my finger as if to say “Where do I go from here?”
I don’t think I realized it at the time, but 1yr and 3 months later I understand that on that day training ended and my purpose began. It’s a simple thing to say out loud “My purpose in life is to give my son the best life possible” The execution is the tricky part. A happy marriage filled with love, a more than passing relationship with God, the ability to overcome hard times, finances, relationships, morals, behavior (his and mine), right and wrong…these were all covered during the training days. I may not know what’s going to happen next week or next year, but I do remember what happened yesterday and all the yesterdays before then. It’s because of those yesterdays that I am able to give Fred a fruitful tomorrow. Magically he erases the sting from a thousand pinpricks.