A couple months before my son was born I was in the heat of needing a motorcycle, badly. Like, drooling about being on an older BMW carving my way through traffic and frontage roads…
This got me thinking about all the stuff I could buy if I sold my car. I could, well, buy a motorcycle, for one (“Why, yes, that classic motor bike is indeed mine… and yes, I do have great taste. Thank you!”). Even if I stopped there, that would be a total victory. Then I could get an awesome camera, killer lenses, a new computer, clothes, CLOTHES! I could look so good! “What’s that? Why, thank you! I do look so good.” Not to mention all the awesome accessories for motorcycles that I’d get to chalk up as “safety items” like helmets and jackets and handlebars and chaps!It was when the drool started seeping through my shirt that I snapped out of my daydream. And when I came to, there was something in the back of my mind that made me feel weird, some dark thought looking at me through the shadows… like it wasn’t good for me to be thinking about all this stuff, like I should be ashamed. After some digging, I realized what the thought was…
Selfish Dad Shelves Self, Sacks Cycle, Blames Father Burden
The problem was, I was carrying on, daydreaming about all the stuff I’d love to buy myself, all the toys that would make my life more awesome, when the arrival of my son was just around the corner… and the money from the car would surely best be put into cribs, strollers, diapers, feeding chambers, soundproof doors, baby’s investment future, and sh*t like that.
I was immediately struck by the sorrow of not getting what I wanted, and not only that, but the fact that I would be spending the rest of my life with the responsibility to take care of my kids’ happiness before my own.
I mean, in the heat of my reverie, the thought of sacrificing something as central to my identity as 1). a motorcycle and 2). looking so good, was a solid punch to my gut.
I know I sound selfish, I’ll admit that. But the truth is these dadly feelings of putting my son’s happiness before my own just aren’t coming naturally yet… and it makes it really hard to let go of the classic bike god I could totally be!
Father Burden Is Burdensome
Ok, stop whining. Here’s the deal: Well, prepared or not, this is happening now: this is my first father-feeling, more of a father-burden. This characteristic will define my life from here on out: I will always put my son/daughter/kids first.
That is a crazy ass thing to say from where I’m sitting: some scraggly 20 something reclined in an Ikea chair, wearing pajamas, trying to figure out what the hell he’s going to do when he grows up (“What’s that? Why, yes, I do look particularly fatherly today. LOL!”).
So, dear reader, the long and the short of it this: dads, more often than not, do not get motorcycles. (or at least new dads don’t)
Conclusion… 14 Months Later
This was the first time the sacrifice portion of being a dad came up on my radar. It happened over a year ago, before my son was even born, and it points to something we all, if we want our kids to call us “dad“, have to learn: we learn to put our kids first — not in every little thing, but whenever we need to.
And, of course, the good thing here — as we who are called “dad” know — is that when you get to know your kids it’s often times very easy to put their happiness in front of your own… Good luck, dudes.