This post was originally published here and on The Wisdom Daily in 2016
My son, Jonah (pictured above), became a Bar Mitzvah on September 3rd, 2016. The words below capture the incredible gift he has give to me.
While the idea of becoming a father to my daughter, Abigail, a little more than 15 years ago overwhelmed me, being her dad has never been something that frightened me. Sure, fathering a daughter, especially a strong-willed teenage daughter, comes with challenges, but, as my daughter would say, “Dad, you’ve got this!” And, when it comes to being her dad, I do think Abigail is right – I’ve got this (even if she doesn’t always like how I parent her!).
It’s been a different story with my son, Jonah. When he was born two years after Abigail, I was scared. As I held Jonah in my arms for the first time in the delivery room, I experienced the same awesome, intense, all-consuming love that I felt for Abigail when I held her for the first time. However, as I held Jonah, I felt tremendous anxiety that was not present with Abigail. This anxiety wasn’t because I was responsible for strapping this tiny baby boy into a car seat or because I had to play a major role in feeding, bathing, supporting and keeping this infant alive and well. Having been a parent for two years prior to Jonah’s arrival, I was confident that I knew how to do this stuff. I also knew that if I couldn’t do this stuff, my wife, Cheryl, was really good at it. I was anxious because, as I held Jonah, it hit me that I was now the father of a son.