You’re a father –
and this is why you are now the sort of man who cries, all the time.
It’s not a totally new phenomenon for you.
You’ve never been a brave soldier – keep calm & carry on –
but since you’ve become a father:
– You break down in the middle of a Pippi Longstocking chapter.
– You start weeping when you hear Susan Boyle singing I Dreamed A Dream on Youtube, something that would have made you vomit just a few years ago.
– You cry when you look at your photos from Chile, weep at birthday scenes in movies. Richard Gere saying „Kids! Come over here, help me blow out the candles“ is just too much for any grown man to take.
You are a father –
and this means you’re a child again. A child among children.
That’s the best part of it.
Sawing branches, sharing Smarties, playing with Lego bricks, with Matchbox cars and felt pens.
Lying next to them, singing Thunder Road and Born To Run until you fall asleep.
You call to say a gift is on its way. This gift, you imagine, will blow their minds. It will knock their socks off. Of course, just thinking of them opening the gift pack knocks your socks off first.
You live through another childhood.
Without the vulnerability, the horrors and fears you suffered in your first childhood
– and you can’t protect them from having their share.
You go to these dark places,
imagining all the horrible fates that can befall your brood.
The senseless evil that comes upon people. War and violence. Diseases.
Hormonal imbalances, silence in the German lesson, body-image disorders, date rape, diminished opportunities. A friend is mean for no reason. There’s a boy at school, and your daughter likes him, but he likes Barbara and Florencia – it’s complicated.
The world is a place fraught with uncertainty and sorrow,
and you can’t protect them from getting hurt.
You feel terribly helpless, but say defiantly to yourself:
„At least, they know how smart and beautiful they are – because I tell them.“
They grow up at an alarming rate. But you are in the moment with them, every step of the way.
You now often cry at the sight of flowers.