How Our Kids Re-Write Us
The writing of Lloyd and his son Cameron has appeared here before. You may remember the hot-sauce experiment. But today, Father’s Day, StuffKidsWrite.com is pleased to bring you something a little different. The world needs more fathers like Lloyd and more sons like Cameron. Read on, and you’ll see why.
I was raised in a strict Calvinist household.
The funny thing about Calvinists — maybe the ONLY funny thing about Calvinists — is that we think everyone is totally depraved.
And that’s funny because the doctrine of total depravity is supposed to scare you straight (like a Puritan) but it can just as easily make you give in to the dark side (like preacher’s son Alice Cooper).
Now, I’m no Alice Cooper (for one thing, I find guitar strings surprisingly painful) but I dig his approach. Being good is a hassle. It’s easier to give in.
Left alone, I prefer to be alone. Left alone I will enjoy scotch far too much. I will smoke like the butt-end of an Exocet missile. If sedentary living were an Olympic sport, I would be on top of the podium, asleep and covered in a thin layer of Cheeto dust.
The thing is, I’m not alone.
And I’ll never be alone again.
Because 7 years ago, the nurse put a warm, wet, squirming baby boy in my hands.
In that moment, I promised to love Cameron forever.
And I wanted to be worthy of his love. To be a GOOD man.
That was the bargain we made.
I didn’t say it out loud of course. A busy, noisy (and unbelievably wet) delivery room is hardly the place.
But I felt it.
And in the years since, I’ve done my best to live it.
I think fresh, little humans make you re-experience the wonder that time and experience take from you. And they change you. They re-write you.
In my case, Cameron’s birth made me take stock, and make changes.
I quit smoking. I started running. Because I want to be around for a long time, to see how he turns out.
Nowadays, when a guy in a BMW cuts me off in traffic, I don’t swear at him like a sailor with Tourette’s. I call him a “muffinhead.”
I’m trying hard to be good.
I’m not saying it’s easy. And every now and again, when I flag, or fatigue, or take my eye off the ball … Cameron gives me another reason to live up to my end of the bargain.
Just this week, he wrote a poem.
And, once again, he reminded me that I am the father of a wonderful kid, and that God is kind to me beyond deserving.
And so — depravity be damned — I’m going to be the best dad I can. To live my life with all the joy, and kindness I can muster.
And why shouldn’t I? Because God created the sky. The world. And I.
To Lloyd and to all dads, we say thank you and Happy Father’s Day. And to men everywhere who would like to be fathers and to all children who have lost their dad, we wish you peace on this difficult day.
To read more about Lloyd’s adventures raising Cameron, follow him on Twitter: @lloydrang
Posted on June 19, 2011, in Poetry and tagged Chase McFadden, children writing, fathers and sons, Humor, kid poetry, kid writing, Leanne Shirtliffe, Stuff Kids Write, Stuffkidswrite.com. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.