Wanting a Better Life

You’ll have to bear with me for the first few weeks, as there is a lot of ground I want to cover from the last 23 weeks of pregnancy.  Oh yeah… I haven’t even told you guys any of that stuff.  Well our baby is due on May 11th 2014, and we know “it” is a he.  I saw the well endowed sonogram myself! So yeah… 23 weeks.  So to reiterate; I’m going to try to play catch up, and that means these first few posts will not be in any type of chronological order… initially.

So I wanted to first get this out of the way.  What kind of dad will I be?

I’m sure it’s a topic that will be the most written about in it’s own sense, because we as people live in the unknown.  There’s no possible way for me to know what type of father I’ll be, no mater how many people sneak in the “you’re going to make a wonderful father.”  For me, what continuously fuels this specific thought-engine is my past, and how I was brought up.

I was not raised in the Brady Bunch home.  And thankfully not, because I enjoy being the tough, self-reliant, mother effer that I’ve become.  I come from a single mother household, where as much as she’d like to have been in the home with me to see me grow up, she worked multiple jobs to pay the bills.  And while the basic necessities were around, I had a lot of free time to “raise” myself. Good thing was that my mother was a strict woman and I was too scared to be disciplined all the time, than to get in any real trouble.  Needless to say I had a good head on my shoulders. However, things weren’t all smiles and hugs.  Emotions from the both of us became heated easily and often, so instead of growing up mother and son, when people ask if I’m tight with my mother,” I usually tell people we were more like siblings.

Things with my father were different.  During the first years of my life I grew up watching my father beat my mother.  Hell… I wasn’t exempt, for I got my fair share of ass-whoopins too.  My dad was the kind of guy who thought, “kids are to be seen, not heard,” and he would be literal when he said he’d put his foot in my ass.  Old south kinda guy.  Shit… compared to what I gave my mom, I never gave that guy any shit.  Too afraid to.  Anyway he left my life when I was 17, so theres been a void there ever since, even though he wasn’t a very prominent figure in my life.

MY WIFE however… Lets put it like this.  I often tell stories from her childhood, that she shared with me, to our friends about her great her childhood was.  Like the time she was late for school, so her mother called Unicorn-land  and had the most gallant flying unicorn come pick her up from her bedroom window with a bag of marshmallows in its mouth so she can have breakfast before school. She never had to take showers because her parents would get dozens of puppies to bathe her little naked body with puppy kisses.  And when the puppies got to be too big and unfluffy, they sent them away to a farm and got new puppies for this next weeks worth of baths. This was my wife’s childhood.

We grew up different.

We’ll find ourselves debating about the importance of certain things, like having breakfast made for the kids on saturday mornings.  Where I’m like… “yeah right they can eat cereal,” she insist its a normal family function that normal families do.  I remember making my own breakfast for the most part.  She holds traditions to be valuable, and I’ve lost touch with that part of me.

Recently I was in a Positive Psychology course, and we learned about the Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs Pyramid, which in its basic description states that we won’t live in the next level of higher needs until the basic needs are fulfilled.  Lowest basic needs being food, water, sex, the second level being security, stability, order; third being love and belonging; and so on until you reach the peak of self transcendence, which is like what Buddha’s goal was.  Anywho, why I bring this up is that being able to provide everything you want for your kids isn’t a right now thing. This isn’t something that I can do in life immediately; no its passed on from generation to generation… Follow me:

My mom was beaten by her lover, so she made the choice to leave her “man” for my protection; she started over. Now where she once had love and belonging on the third stage… she literally started over on stage one with no money and no place to sleep.  So while she attempts to reach transcendence in her life, I only had so long in her house to reach my peak before I have to start my own pyramid. Now because she worked hard and was smart enough to make me finish school (something she wasn’t able to do) and push the fundamentals of hard work  while I was a kid, I’m a step ahead of those who have to start down at the base of the pyramid, therefore I can reach the peak easier, and faster (if I ever reach it at all).  Get it?  Basically you are the foundation of your child’s future…

Well enough of that… that was literally the longest way of saying how I now understand the concept of when parents say I wanted to give you the things I couldn’t haveand I want a better life for my kids.” And that’s what it boils down to.  I’m saying shit to myself like “how the fuck am I going to succeed and give this kid everything he needs?”  “Am I good enough, and will I remain stable enough to maintain the status of hierarchal achievement I’ve reached, in order for my kid not to have to go once without a meal, uproot my kid from his friends, and have him feel like ‘here we go again,’ because I need to put food on the table?”  Shit… I even think about things like, “I pray I can be the parent that saves up enough money to help through college or pay for a post-college vacation in Europe?”   And I think about this often.  And I sit here, I imagine every parent who’s been on the bottom 2 to 3 steps of this pyramid has said those exact words to themselves.  And for my sanity, I really hope they have…

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