Successive Approximations

Father's Day 2021

Father's Day 2021

It's natural that learning to do something yourself gives you a greater appreciation for those that have already done it. Building your own bookshelf makes you realize all the non-obvious challenges of carpentry and gives you respect for everyone else that has undertaken the same challenge before you.

In parallel, one of the surprising things I've learned becoming a father is realizing how very much it is a choice, at least in the modern era. Going through the process of deciding when to start a family, you realize how easy it is to put off one more month, one more season, one more crisis. How much it is a choice to start the long chain of events that culminates in a live birth, and only then does being a parent really start. And that choice really is a leap into the unknown, trusting that what you're doing is the right thing. All you have to guide you are principles and faith.

Looking back on it now, I see that it's easy to take for granted that someone is a parent after it's happened. Growing up, almost everyone you know who is a parent has always been that way, and so it takes on the feeling of being an intrinsic characteristic. They are a parent because they have always been a parent.

But growing up, seeing your friends become parents, and then becoming one yourself gives you a greater appreciation for the fact that this did not have to come to pass. The world we live in, with the parents and children in it, could just as easily not happened, due to fear, or delay, or distraction.

But luckily for me, my parents made the choice, and Stephanie's parents made the choice, and we have now made the choice. All different choices, at different times, in different circumstances, and yet in some essential way, the same choice. To create a world that didn't have to be.

Thanks, Dad.

Ben Berry

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