One of the most precious relationships...
"Fathers, like mothers, are not born. Men grow into fathers." - David Gottesman
Unlike women, who are born with maternal instincts, men take time to become fathers. This has nothing to do with the physiological maturing which enables them to procreate. It is the mental transformation that I am talking about.
Believe me, I have seen even monkeys go mature and act all responsible when their young arrive in the world. Look at this picture of a young adult monkey, back in 2008, in Kruger national park. No one would have dared to touch it's tail a few months before but this young one, not only dares to grasp it but manages to draw comfort from it. The young one gets a feeling of safety and the father, a feeling of pride!
My low tech camera in those days, an Olympus M10, could not capture many megapixels but it did capture enough to see the father-son bond.
I have gone through this son ==> father transformation and in the process, have grown up. I am sure many of you have experienced this already and will agree. For those of you who are yet to experience it, all I can say is - it is going to be one great experience. Just wait for it.
My being a son - carefree, a bit careless too...
My dad is one of the most meticulous persons in the world. I often tease him now about being a 'worry-wart' and behaving as if he had to solve all the problems in the world.
With him around, I did not have to worry about anything - least of all the daily bread. Everything worked like clock work and things fell in place. Naturally, that left my brain free for a lot of mischief. I, therefore, was a brilliant, innocent looking but 'Dennis the Menace' kind of child.
I took no responsibility for anything around the house. Not that I was shirking it deliberately but the thought never occurred to me. As a fairly protected child, I did not get too many hazards coming my way. I grew careless about many things. Things like managing my time, saving money, earning money etc. fell in the category of 'I will do it when time comes'.
'Let me cross that bridge when I come to it' was my motto.
As I married and took up a job, I had to start crossing some bridges but still, I was a very reckless person. My wife and I had very little worldly possessions and were ready to move anywhere on God's green earth. So why fear? This was our attitude. All that changed drastically soon.
The transformation from son to father...
I was away for work when our son arrived in the world. The event was a battle for both, my son and his mom due to some medical complications. I was not even there to help - I do not know what I would have done if I had been around anyway- other than pestering doctors. However, that is another story for another time.
My memories of my son, therefore, start when he was about 3 days old. I remember the moment when I saw my son for the first time. He grasped my finger in a tiny fist. That was when my growing up started. I suddenly had one little, defenseless human being dependent on me. It called for knocking some sense in my own head and start being responsible.
Our son, when he was young, was a very 'trouble-free' child. My wife and I did not really have to struggle hard to raise him. Even so, raising him made me realize and learn a quite a few things.
I learnt that I could become a child and play with him even though I was busy. I learnt to manage my time better to be able to do that.
I learnt that my quick temper could be and should be controlled. I only got really mad at my son couple of times when he was young but felt so guilty later on that I learnt to have better control of my emotions.
I learnt being patient and learnt to plan our life better.
I think 90% of 'parenting' was done by my wife - the management guru and born administrator in the house. She manages our son and I both. However, I am happy to say that I learnt to be there when my son needed me.
I learnt to be a friend to my son and a 'go-to' guy for gadgets, science related things and travel. I learnt to be a 'Cool' guy - not the stuffed up white shirt that I used to be.
It is hard for me to explain the feelings I have about my own growing up but I know that I have grown up. This little journey in life has changed me and I am thankful for it.
I have, therefore, a special bond with my son that means a world to me.
What about you?
I have not lost the child inside me but I am mature, more sophisticated, responsible and a better human being - all as a result of growing up with my son. The bond between us is strong and continues to grow.
Any one can become a father but being a father is what counts!
Steemians, please comment freely to share your experiences, knowledge and views about father-son bond. Thanks.
Note: All images except for the wildlife photos and the title image created by me are from pixabay.com. Image credit has been specifically mentioned for images not falling under these two categories.
Gif crafted by the Legendary @stellabelle for me based on my Lion Avatar