As a father of three boys I usually go the route of fake it til’ you make it. This means for a good part of the day I pretend to know what I am doing while my fingers are crossed hoping that something I have done hasn’t irrevocably fucked my kids up. Most days end with a pat on the back and a small fist pump. Others, well, they end with me staring down the bottle trying to drown out the recurring ringing in my head that is a result of listening to screaming kids all day. It is amazing how they can layer their tantrums so well some days.
Honestly though, every day is tough. There is no perfect parenting formula and even if there was I missed out on getting my blueprint on how to raise a responsible adult. Even the most well equipped parents find themselves screwing up along the way. I guess that is relative to perception though, no? I see someone with a lot of money and a son who just got thrown in jail for snorting blow out of a hooker’s ass crack and wonder, “What went wrong, they have everything!” without truly knowing what goes on in their life.
I do know that in my life I live with genuine bonafide fear. I am scared to fuck up. Not just in the, “Oh, I snapped at my kid once on a bad day” or “I forgot to bake cookies for my kid’s class today”. I mean genuinely fuck these boys up, for life. Snort blow out of a hooker’s ass crack mess up their lives.
At any moment I am at risk of teaching my children the wrong thing. Something that might not be applicable to the future. Teaching them some bad habit. Unknowingly promoting poor behaviors. Every second I spend with my kids is another gamble. Double or nothing I manage not to permanently scar my kids. Parenthood has given me anxiety I never had before. I have THREE boys looking to me to learn how to behave and get along in this world. I have to provide them with the proper tools to succeed and when I look at it I feel absolutely ill-equipped for that job. Prepping three for the future. A future I have no idea of.
All I can do is day in and day out go about parenting to the best of my abilities. My inability to predict the future drives me insane. How can I fix what I don’t know is broken?
When I fuck up, I fear it fucks up my children. Most days I think I have it right and even if I don’t I hope I have it right enough to raise well balanced boys. If I don’t? We will find out twenty years down the road when they are taking turns snorting from hooker’s ass cracks.
I can’t quit my kids, regardless of the fear and anxiety they instill. It is all rooted in love for them and a want for them to be the best individuals they can be. I attack parenting with a tenacity. From cuddling to disciplining, I do it all out of love and hope. I love my children so much that it keeps me up at night whether or not I am doing right by them. I hope I am. I hope, at the very least, I am raising three children who grow up to worry about the lessons they are teaching as much as I do.