About 8 years ago, I can remember as if it had happened yesterday, a friend told me: "You just entered a new phase in your life". I promptly said: "And this phase lasts forever". We laughed. He was referring to the twin boys who just made me a father.
The life adventure just got radical nuances as soon as we were informed that there were two boys to be born, back there, at the first ultrasound exam. Twin pregnancy is risky by definition and in our case we even had to deal with complications unknown even to some of the doctors we went to. God was gracious to us and today we celebrate the fathers day (in brazilian calendar) with two young men very healthy, happy and brilliant. See the kind of dad I have become.
I enjoy a lot being a father. I don't know how good father I am, but I'm sure that I have my share of both failures and success. One day my good choices will be taken for granted and my failures will be highlighted. In another day, I'll be missed and that will fade my failures and bring back my goodness to life. It is not like my work, where everything can and is evaluated from the data and measurements. My fatherhood value will be scored by subjective values and a lot of love must be put in in order to it to pass.
It is not an easy task. Funny, but not easy. We laugh together, enjoy the same heroes, the same movies and sometimes the same toys. Nevertheless, I still had a mission, which is to make those boys turn into manhood. Some basic principles I've been applying since the beginning have helped me. The actual order is not important, I consider all of them fundamentals. It is important to me, may not be important to you. Take it with a grain of salt and adapt to your needs.
The first of them is to always tell the truth, no matter how hard or embarrassing it might be. It was really embarrassing when they asked me, just after a conversation about canine reproduction, if I stayed "glued" to mommy in order to give her some sperm, quickly followed by "for how long?". After this we had an awkward silence during our ride to my in laws for Sunday lunch. If they know the question, they deserve the answer.
Unquestionable love. I'm that kind of guy who gets angry easily, a character flaw. I've getting better, though. Even when I have to give the father look, I put an effort to make it clear that my love for them has not being shaken. They can count on my love in any circumstance, even when we disagree. I don't know what are the practical impact of this but it seems they understand and thrust. Currently the discussion is about I'm the best dad in the world because they are the best sons in the whole world or if is the other way around. Anyway, no matter what is the cause or the result, we love each other.
Regarding being human, with defects and qualities, we are on the same boat. Being vulnerable to them, even when they try hard to belief the the hero dad, gives them hope to win their own limitations. There are some who believe the children world is all nice and sweet but it wasn't for me back then and I see that it isn't for my children as well. They feel fear, anxiety, angry, stress. It is not like I feel them, sometimes it is much, much stronger and exaggerated. Usually it goes by very quickly, which doesn't reduce its importance. Teaching them how to go through live being courageous, overcoming fear and obstacles is on top of my duties as a daddy.
If I had to choose which of those principles would be the most important, it would be the next one. The best virtue I might have as a father (I don't say I have it, but I strive for), is to be able to learn from their mother who to be a better person, how to have a bigger smile, how to listen more patiently, how to be a nicer person. When your kids already have the best mommy in the world, it is easier to be a good daddy.
Right then, this phase is great. They have the best mother in the world and I get compliments on the fathers day. I hope this phase never ends.