I remember when I first became a father, I had no idea what I was doing. I felt very inadequate and very nervous. I could barely take care of myself let alone try and care for a defenseless infant. With every major purchase I had ever made, the item came with an instruction manual. This baby did not. How was I supposed to learn how to be a father without severely warping the child I was raising? These were all interesting questions none of which did I have the answer to. Like other men though, I struggled through it and learned from my mistakes. Some of these lessons were easier to digest than others. I am still not comfortable with the idea of a teen-age boy dating my daughter and I definitely do not want to see them kissing. I fully understand that is part of the dating ritual, just don’t do it in front of me. Through the years though, I have learned a few things that I will now pass on to others about fatherhood.
First and foremost, the job of father can best be compared to that of an air traffic controller. They are not the ones driving the planes but if they let the planes get out of control, there will be an accident and it won’t be pretty. For example, if your oldest daughter has a science project due on Friday, a church assignment due on Sunday, and an English assignment due today; you should at all costs move her to a different altitude than the other children. If you don’t, something is going to crash. In our case, the crash involved a 3-year-old stunt pilot and some magic markers. He seemed to dive bomb into the jet wash of the 17 year-old jumbo jet causing streaks and marks on the English assignment. This in turn led to the realization that the jumbo jet was armed and it would seem extremely dangerous. The stunt pilot had no chance and crashed and burned but not before suffering extreme body damage during the free fall. As the air traffic controller, I did not see the small plane coming until it was to late. I did not anticipate that the young pilot was in fact going on a kamikaze mission where he had no hopes of surviving. Regardless of my requests that he pull up, he was focused on his plan and would not listen. After the accident, all parties involved were brought before the Transportation Board (my wife Trina) to explain how this accident occurred. She in turn doled out fines and punishments to each participant. The job of father is at least as stressful as that of an air traffic controller. Don’t believe me? You try to keep 5 planes in the air all at different altitudes and air spaces without allowing for an in-air collision. Try having them all land at the same time for re-fueling without an accident on the runway. The movie Airplane! I think said it best, “It looks like I picked the wrong week to give up drinking.”