The Narrative Arc

Becoming a Parent Changes Life Perspectives

Children become parents and start looking back

Jim Parton
The Narrative Arc
Published in
5 min readMay 11, 2024

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Mother hugging daughter under an umbrella
Photo by Gabe Pierce on Unsplash

Our two lovely daughters are now parents. My eldest has a precocious 4-year-old daughter, and my youngest has eight-month-old twins, a boy and a girl. I have visited both of them in their homes. I was so happy to see how they have adapted to motherhood. One daughter is in Pennsylvania, and one is in California. As their two gay dads, we live in the flyover country of Iowa.

Luckily for them and us, they chose husbands who are invested in their children and share the workloads of home and childcare. I could not be prouder of my sons-in-law on both counts!

But when your children become parents, there is a shift in your relationships. The role you once held as a father is less of a focus. You are now a grandpa, a generation removed. They recognize that a life-long responsibility has been graced upon them. Neither seems to take this lightly. As parents, your children start looking at their childhoods.

I have seen introspection from them. They have begun to examine their situation in life. Once carefree, they now talk of 401K’s and the future cost of education for their little ones. The party days of college are behind them, and home ownership and child-rearing have…

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Jim Parton
The Narrative Arc

Retired Teacher and Funeral Celebrant. The gay and married dad of three grown children. I have always been fascinated by the human condition. Come read with me.