When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? What did you daydream about? Did you want to be a fireman, a veterinarian, a teacher? Did you become your dream? I didn’t. At least not my childhood dream. I wanted to be a pro football player; the next “Mean” Joe Greene. It didn’t happen. That dream just kind of faded. And, I didn’t work at it, didn’t pursue it. Dreams change. We grow up…we dream new dreams.
During one of the short spells that our sons were somewhat quiet on the drive home from Michigan, following my last event, I turned to my wife and asked, “In your wildest dreams, did you ever think, for a moment, that I’d be travelling from state to state so I can race bikes?”
She looked at me, the way only she can look at me, and replied, “Honey, you’re not in my wildest dreams.” (drum, cymbals…thank you, I’m here all week!)
In all seriousness, the thought never crossed my mind. And, not just racing. The love of cycling, and bikes, in general. I can’t wait for my next ride or event. It’s a passion and an obsession. But, it’s not my dream. It’s a very important part of my life. It’s not my dream. I’m already living my dream.
I’m a dad.
I didn’t know it was my dream until my first son was born. I kind of felt it during my wife’s pregnancy, but it was a shadow that hung just out of eyeshot, just outside my peripheral vision. As soon as I saw him, I knew. This was what I wanted to be. I should have known that day, however, the challenges that awaited.
I took my wife to the hospital on her scheduled delivery date. Everything seemed be going according to plan until we were informed that her dilation had stalled. The doctor told us there wasn’t a lot of concern, but if she didn’t progress much more, they would perform a C-section. We’ll, she didn’t progress, and they did the C-section. As they were pulling my son out, I heard, “Oh, my God, he’s got my scissors!” I looked over the sheeting and saw his little hand gripping the doctor’s scissors like a steel vice. He didn’t want to be out! The battles had begun.
My wife and I have two sons. Their ages are 10 and 8. They could not be more BOY. And I couldn’t possibly love them more.
Our oldest is argumentative, introverted, creative, moody, verbose, artistic, analytical, standoffish, loyal, bookish, contemplative, sarcastic, and has a very dry sense of humor. He can mimic nearly any accent after hearing it once. In short, he’s me. He blows my mind. He wants to be a S.W.A.T. team officer and he loves his bike.
Our youngest is quick-witted, huggy, extroverted, physical, expressive, jovial, drama-free (mostly), creative, gifted with rhythm, caring, protective, and possessive. He is our future rock drummer and perpetual motion machine. Mostly, he’s my wife. He cracks me up. He dances like no one is watching and wants to be an art teacher.
I’m amazed more every day at the mannerisms they pick up from us. The way my 8-year-old wrinkles his nose when he smiles, like my wife. Or, the way my 10-year-old pouts when he doesn’t get his way…like me.
They’re challenging. They fight like brothers, but they hug like best friends. They can be annoying, and they’re my biggest fans. I can live without the habitual bedtime drama. But, I wouldn’t trade seeing them asleep, dreaming peaceful dreams, knowing they are safe and loved, for anything.
I want to be a cool dad. More than anything, I want to be an example for my boys. I’m proud of the little boys that they are, and I have to remind myself, sometimes, that they are little boys. I look forward to seeing the men they will become. What’s my wildest dream now? Encouraging my sons to follow their wildest dreams.