My son will make some woman very happy. At ten he has a sensitivity and openness few other boys his age have attained, and most never will. He shares, if he trusts you, whatever is on his mind, without embarrassment, and never holding back.
The pitfalls of dating as divorced parents are well documented. But how to date as a one is regularly ignored. We get so caught up in attempting to find the who, looking for the right mix of partner AND parent, that we may become drunk on romantic bliss when we find him or her, forgetting that how we should date this person is no less important.
In the latest episode of Fatherhood Wide Open with father and blogger Adam Rust we discuss the idea; Does Fatherhood Make Us Better Men? I posed this question after reading his article in response to a Time story about couples purposefully choosing to abandon parenthood, opting instead to luxuriate in the carefree waters of a D.I.N.K. lifestyle – Dual Income No Kids.
If we want to take this job of parenting with any hope of seriousness we must accept this fact. No matter how well intentioned, dedicated, and focused we are, our children’s clearest moments and brightest memories, those with the most lasting influence, good or bad, will likely happen during times we would consider least important.
Shortly after I started this website I wrote an article that remains one of the most clicked, most read, most shared. In that post, A Manifesto On Absent Fathers, I take behind the woodshed single and divorced dads who abandon their financial responsibilities, then offer up an extra-hot serving of contempt for the ones who walk away from their kids altogether. In the concluding paragraphs of that piece I write,
It’s the dream of every little boy, a longing that has captured the hearts of generations and will ensnare countless more to come. Be it soaring through suburban backyards, scaling city skyscrapers, or battling evil along back country roads, every boy wants to be a superhero.
I always had a bit of uncertainty about being a father; even during my inebriated twenties I understood the buzz kill children could regularly become. But while my leaning fluttered between surrender, after a baby shower (which those for couples should be strictly forbidden), and mortal fear at the sight of friends’ mundane sleep deprived existences, one thing was certain; should I voluntarily cut short my Saturdays at the sports bar for play dates and birthday parties, I didn’t want it to be on account of a boy. The idea of a having a son sent my mind racing with visits to principal’s offices and youth detention centers, the administrators of which I was sure to become well acquainted.