On Being A Father, Potentially

I’d be a dad who cries.

I don’t think about fatherhood that often. I suppose being single has something to do with that reality. Every now and then I do consider the possibility. It is a scary thought. I know most fathers would agree with me. It could be one of the greatest risk one can take. You open your life up to the most beautiful and most terrible possibilities. Truly a wonderful event in life.

I was just watching the movie Tree of Life. If you haven’t seen it, you should. It is slow, deep, and visual poetry. It would do you well to have zero distractions while watching. There are plenty of themes, but the main one is nature and grace. The mother is grace and the father is nature. What is the difference between the two?

“The nuns taught us there are two ways through life, the way of Nature and the way of Grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow. Grace doesn’t try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries. Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things.”- Tree of Life

I can feel moments in life where nature seems to the be the best way forward. Yet, more often than not, I am inclined to see the way of grace through this world. For grace is much more than the quote above: Grace is freedom.

“Grace and forgiveness are instead the actual liberation movement through which people liberate themselves from the structures that crush them and takes away their freedom. Grace, then, is liberation from sin and the achievement of freedom.”- Jose Comblin

I wouldn’t know the first thing about parenting. But one thing I thought of was it’d be an honor to teach my daughter or son the beauty of life. To show them my mistakes, in order to guide them to a fuller life. That grace and forgiveness should be their guiding light. I would teach poetry, show them the Milky Way, and remind the poor are always with them. I’m sure I’d see the awe in their eyes as they experience new things, and in that moment I will experience an awe I never thought possible.

I’d be a dad who cries.