Sunday, March 09, 2014

Fatherhood - Reflections I

Decided to start a Reflections series so that I'm better able to articulate some thoughts that run through my head.

I guess while my dad want's to take as many pictures and videos to remember family moments, I'm more keen to pen everything down in my blog. But the gist of doing so remains the same - because in all likelihood we will lose more and more of our memories the older we grow and we need pictures, videos, blogs, diaries to remind us of the things we used to do, used to enjoy and used to think.

It may all come across as tedious or troublesome sometimes, especially when dad has to ask us to sing happy birthday for my daughter again while we're in the middle of it just because his video camera didn't capture the right views, or the long time we have to pose in the same positions just so he can take the perfect shot. I understand all that. Because if you don't correct it now, that moment will be lost forever. And all it takes is a little enthusiasm to record these events, tweak a little to make them more pleasing to the eye, and seal them in history by way of a video, photo, blog entry, poem, song, whatever. And some day we're going to look back at these memories and no one is going to remember all the hassle that went into these historic entries, but instead, we will be thankful that we have some sort of record of it.

Always remember that time waits for no man.

So anyway I begin my reflections on Fatherhood about 4 years late. It's something I've always wanted to do but just grew lazy over and procrastinated. Now that my boy is already turning four and my girl is two, I realize that I haven't much time to log these important thoughts I constantly have swirling through my head.

The one key thing about fatherhood is how my life has changed. From the alcoholic party animal I used to be, to the man who wants to stay home and do absolutely everything with his kids. I'm proud of it I must say. It's something I never thought myself capable of. Now I'm just absolutely at this zen stage where I just want to do as much as possible with my kids, whether its playing with them, being there for them as support, or just simply overseeing them go through one of life's little lessons. I can't get enough at all. And this has driven me to prioritize them over almost anything else.

My rationale is two-pronged.

The first being that if I'm to end up forgetting the important moments in my life one by one in order of priority, I want to ensure that I have so much of my time with my kids drummed into my head that it becomes the hardest things to forget - my time spent with them. Sometimes I feel that I've experienced a lot already as a person, and even though there're even more experiences I might've wanted to go through, I think the parenthood chapter is far more important than anything I want to achieve anymore on a personal level. If the world were to end tomorrow, I want to tell myself with no regrets, that at least I've spent my time wisely - with my kids and watching them grow up.

The second is that by spending as much time as possible with them, I shorten the odds that I will be part of several events that my kids will cherish one day when they grow up. Looking back at my own childhood, my parents have done so much for me. And yet, with my limited memory space, there are only a few events that really stand out. The funny thing is that these events may not be super special, they could've been something we just did day in day out on a daily basis. Like sitting in the front seat of my mom's car as she drove me home to and from school. I remember some of these things distinctly well, even some of the things we spoke of, and how bad I smelled coming into the car. It's weird I know. But that's why I feel that by participating as much in their growing up process, perhaps a few of these things about myself as a human being can be remembered by my young ones. And funnily enough, these are the memories that ultimately guide a growing child believe it or not. How the child reacts to adversity, to problems, to deciding which route to take.

Hopefully my efforts will pay off.

And this ends a short but solid first episode of fatherhood reflections.

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