3 Lessons from a Rookie Dad

On Thursday the 21st of July 2011 my world was forever changed…

At 9:45am my brave wife gave birth to our beautiful son, Will Owen Basson, at a whopping 4,2kgs!

Now I know I am still a rookie when it comes to being a parent with many lessons still to learn, but in the meantime here are some that I am learning right now…

1. Being a parent is a Privilege.

Children truly are God’s gift to us. We don’t earn them or deserve them, but God entrusts them to us to look after for a while. I love the words of Kahlil Gibran:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

2. Being a parent is Hard Work

Now you may say, “What hard work have you had to put up with Tom? You’ve only had him for a week! Call me when he’s a teenager!”

And you’d probably be right. But even through the pregnancy, the labour, and our first week at home with Will, I can already tell that parenting is not easy. Late nights, no sleep, feeling completely out of your depth, wondering if you can do this… Putting your own selfish desires and problems aside in order to do what’s best for your child and your family.

I guess parenting, like most things in life worth doing actually, takes determination and sacrifice.

3. Being a parent is Pure Joy

Having said that, there is simply nothing greater or more heart-warming than looking into your little boy’s eyes and having him recognize your face and stop crying. There is nothing more sublime than having him fall asleep on your chest and feeling the warmth of his breath on your face. And there is nothing more delicious than feeling his soft skin as his fingers wrap around your thumb.

It’s a feeling no parent can ever fully explain or understand. The unconditional love of a father for a son.

It makes me think of God.

3 Replies to “3 Lessons from a Rookie Dad”

  1. Being the mother of your “brave wife” I can comment that my joy at being her parent through this process has also been “pure”. I love Will already, but what has taken me by surprise is my mother instinct towards Jess. Her well-being seems to be uppermost in my mind. Maybe it’s because I instinctively know that my grandson’s well-being is uppermost in your minds. Could this be love as it should be?


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