Fatherhood 2.0

Just when you thought you had it down, just when you thought you had mastered the fine art of parenting, along comes kid 2.0. Everything I seemed to have figured out with Liem might just as well be a manual on how to change a transmission with Hudson. It is simply remarkable to me how different they are. Their temperament, their physical, emotional development, all of it is completely different.

Hudson is turning out to be very much about physical prowess and fearlessness. Nothing stands in his way, and in many ways Annie and I are just watching where he will go. Where we struggle is with our ability to reign him in sometimes. This will no doubt be a continuing theme as he cognitively develops.

What I love about him though is his ability to conquer his challenges. He is determined and focused. Much like his older brother in that regard, but Liem was all about the mental challenges. I'm blessed to have them both, but am I taking a beating both physically and emotionally with them.

For me, it's kind of like running a marathon for the second time. The first one was a totally new experience with emotional highs met with tough unexpected challenges along the way. You trained hard and followed the beginner's program, on race day labored through, didn't fuel enough, made mistakes, ran through injury, etc., but finished the race. The second one you for some reason ONLY remember the last two weeks of training where you feel like an ironman, the carbo-load dinner the night before, the finish, the medal, the race photos and the attention received afterward. You forget how painful it was the first time around, but make all of the same mistakes you made in the first race, just at different parts of the race. There are some improvements, but it's not really until the third marathon do you feel like an old pro and have experienced all of the elements of the race.

Now, this by no means I want or need to have a third child to foster and mastery of parenthood, but it does mean that I still feel very much like a beginner and a novice in all of this.

So for any of you pending or existing fathers or mothers out there, my take is simply this. Parenting is all about EACH kid individually. There is no cookie cutter mold for how to be a parent, except this: watch and listen first, then approach your child appropriately.

Popular Posts