Today my son is three months old. As expected, it’s been a busy and amazing time. My life is changed forever and in all the best ways. Life is more inwardly focused with less a feeling of rudderlessness. It’s simultaneously simpler yet more complicated.
For me and many others, the idea of parenthood before becoming a parent is often shrouded in in fear. Fear that a part of your life will come to an end because of the responsibilities and time commitments that come with becoming a parent. But then you become a parent and, for me, the perspective completely flips.
If I had to pick one word that best describes the human experience, it would be adaptation. To me it’s the human condition. Our greatest strength and our greatest source of suffering.
All the brilliant works of art and feats of engineering were the result of the incomparable human ability to adapt. And yet that feeling of dullness that can often take over our once novel feelings about some aspect of life is also caused by adaptation. Boredom is adaptation. Depression can be a symptom of adaptation.
We can desire change in our lives and seek it out, through hard work and focus. We can be driven toward a goal by passion. And it’s an awesome thing to achieve something you’ve set out to do. Sometimes change is thrust upon us and the pangs of anxiety can be so overwhelming that you feel as though you’re 100 feet underwater and can’t breathe. But all our new experiences become the new normal in time.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, as an idea and a mindset, parenthood is my new normal. I am no longer fearful of the idea or the reality of parenthood. But the beautiful thing so far is that with every passing day, it’s different. My son changes every day, in big and small ways, and I get to help grow him into a person while simultaneously being filled with purpose.
There are tough times, and there will be so many more. But they pale in comparison to the good.
And unlike the sometimes unhealthy human need for change for the sake of itself, having this purpose nourishes my human need to move forward and adapt without—pardon the expression—throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
There are so many things I could have said in this first post as a parent, but it is just too big now. All I can say is that having my son has been an enormously additive experience to life and I just can’t imagine having never experienced it.