The truth about fatherhood and dreams might best lie in the hypocrisy of using such a title.
Because I dislike books, headlines, articles and all statements that aren’t tongue-in-cheek about the “truth of” something subjective like fatherhood/parenting.
Read the blogs and books about parenting and you’ll fill your boots with crap you’d be better off sending down the old porcelain bowl. That is not to say there aren’t some nuggets of gold in there and that all of the advice is awful because it is not but it is rarely black and white.
Feed your children real poison (cyanide) and they will die but give them a diet that is composed of additives, preservatives and tasty fast food burgers and it becomes much harder to determine what the outcome will be. Maybe they’ll get fat, maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll become diabetic. Maybe they won’t.
But my interest in talking with you isn’t to poke holes in the advice we receive or hand out about food. Nah, today I want to talk about dreams, ours and our children.
What Does A Father Dream About?
He was 25 and though technically I was old enough to be his father months of playing pick-up ball with him had made me forget about the age difference.
But that didn’t stop me from giving him the kind of look that stops my children in their tracks.
“What is your deal? I didn’t ask a stupid question.”
It took a moment for me to recognize why he thought it was legitimate and to admit I might have said something similar at his age. Sounds ridiculous now but marriage and fatherhood were so far away in his mind he had never bothered to think about it.
“Many of my dreams aren’t very different from when I was a kid or when I was your age. I still want to play for the Dodgers and the Lakers and I am still convinced I could survive in the NFL and the NHL.
I want to be published. I have a bunch of books I want to write and maybe some screenplays. I want to travel around the world and live to be a 1000. I want to learn how to fly a plane, play the guitar, piano and be the conductor at The Hollywood Bowl.
Got a ton to add to that including go to the Kentucky Derby, SuperBowl, World Cup and maybe even perform The Star Spangled Banner and that is just off the top of my head.”
He just looked at me and said “that’s cool” and we walked back onto Â the court to run some more.
But later that night I sat in the hot tub and thought about my dreams.
What a father dreams about isn’t necessarily any different from what many people dream about. Sure there are the dreams about my children and thoughts about how to help them achieve those but there are also those that are mine.
One of the hardest parts of parenting is trying to figure out which of your dreams you have to give up and which you have to push back chasing.
It is n0t always easy subjugating your will and desires for others.
If It Is Important To You…
There is motivational quote that suggests you will find a way to accomplish those things that are important to you and make excuses for those that are not.
I have issues with that because it suggests failure is based upon your willingness or lack thereof to do what it takes to turn those dreams into reality.
It is not always realistic or fair position to take because you can do all that lies within your power and your dream of sprouting wings and flying like an eagle isn’t going to happen.
I am never going to be 7 feet tall or even close to it so my dream of playing in the NBA has to be adjusted. There are guys who are under 6 feet who make it but they are few and far between and none of them are in their forties.
Did I not make it because I didn’t turn myself into the complete gym rat and dedicate my life to becoming so good that no team could afford to pass on me.
I don’t think so. If that is an excuse it is one I can live with.
Unless I come up with a way to buy the team chances are I need to let go of that one and maybe some of the other pro sports ones.
But some of my other dreams, well they are still possible and if I can put the time in success is probable.
Those country roads just might take me home to where I belong but the thing is I can’t do many of these things without it impacting my family so the question still comes back to what sort of sacrifices will I ask them to make so that I can chase my dreams.
Can You Compromise & Be Happy
Sunday night the girl in the picture above spent a while telling me about her dreams and talking about how she was going to make them happen.
It is the sort of conversation I love having because I want her to know that her daddy will talk with her about anything and everything. What I loved most about it was hearing that she believes she can achieve these things because I always talk with the kids about living their dreams.
But what I didn’t tell her is how some of my dreams are poking their heads up on a regular basis. They are like these little prairie dog moments that catch me when I am awake and when I am asleep.
What I keep hearing and feel vividly is her daddy needs to pay attention and has to chase some of his dreams again too. Might not be all of them but there are compromises you can make and still be happy.
The truth about fatherhood & dreams is it is different for everyone but if you want to sleep at night you need to make a point to go after at least a few of them or maybe that is just me.