An Ode to My Boys

July 11, 2013 in Best Of, Misc, Parenting by pacejmiller


Well…guess what? I’m a father again!

After one of the most emotionally draining experiences last time (which I describe in excruciating detail here), the second birth, less than 19 months later, was surprisingly nonchalant.

This time, we opted straight for the C-section, though there were a few occasions in the lead-up to the operation where we felt we wouldn’t make the scheduled date. But we got there — just — and the feeling of “been there, done that” was strangely empowering and soothing, so much so that we weren’t even nervous in the final hours.

Well, at least not consciously. I did go to the toilet about five times.

While you can never be fully prepared for it, being as prepared as you can be, both physically and mentally, helps a lot. That we went to a specialist clinic this time also made a world of difference. And when I saw the little guy for the first time, there were no concerns about how I should be feeling, no concerns about whether I was bonding with him properly — I knew all of that will come naturally, in due course. Right now I am simply thankful that he and his mother are both safe and healthy.

I never expected to be a father this young, and certainly not a father to two boys. I still have no idea what I am doing most of the time (OK, all the time) but all I hope for, with all my heart, is to be the best father I can be; to be there for them whenever they are in need (and probably even when they don’t want me around); and help them lead happy, healthy, fulfilling lives without ever letting them forget how fortunate they are.

Sentimentality is not my strong suit, so on that note, I’ll post a song that embodies my feelings at this point in time. A song that my wife and I loved listening to a decade ago but had little idea what the lyrics meant because…it’s in Japanese. Now thanks to the Internets, I’ve got a translation here for ya. Here’s the song and the translation is below.

Hero (by Mr Children)

Supposing that the world could be saved 
by one person giving their life in exchange 
I would be the man who waits until someone else has volunteered

All those dear to me have made me a coward

I don’t expect to be like my idols
whose actions and mannerisms I imitated as a child
But I’d like to be a hero
just for you
To reach a hand out to you
when you stumble or fall

To make an awful movie more exciting 
They casually kill off people on screen
But they’re wrong, what we want to see is a light full of hope

The slightly smaller hand in my hand
silently melts away the gloom in my heart 

The many spices that one needs to really taste life’s full course
are prepared for everyone 
Sometimes they’re bitter
and you’ll think the taste astringent
And then you’ll eat your last dessert with a smile
I want to be next to you

Through the cruel passage of time 
surely even I’ve become adult enough 
I’m not sad, and it doesn’t hurt
Just having kept going, and keeping going
is enough to make me happy, is precious. 

I always want to be a hero 
just for you
There’s nothing mysterious about it 
At this point there’s nothing to hide 
But I want to be a hero
just for you
To reach a hand out to you
when you stumble or fall

PS: I know nothing in this post is structured like an ode. I just thought it sounded good for the title.