Anyone who has known me for a long time has probably expected I’d be good with kids. In many ways I’m more of a large child than a grownup. I still see the joys in skipping along, I dance to the beat in my head, and I’ll turn anything into a song until I realize someone’s listening. I like to play, I like make believe, and I’m generally a bit of a goofball.
Similarly; anyone who has known me for a long time has probably expected I would not make a good parent. I certainly didn’t think I would for a long time. Hell, even when it was becoming a reality I expected to be ‘passable’ at best.
Three years in, with a five year old and a thirteen year old, it turns out I’m actually pretty decent at this stuff. In fact, it turns out that things like talking to the kids like they are adults (albeit smaller ones), exploring the nature of the evolving human minds with them both, baking cakes with the boy, and letting the daughter-figure give me pedicures are actually pretty decent parental behaviour. The fact that I can produce quantities of delicious foodstuffs that they enjoy also goes a long way in my favour.
Surprise bonus: Their antics haven’t broken me! If anything, I feel more stable than ever. Nothing satisfies the desire to fire-fight like having to put out “kids’ life struggles” fires all day long, all year round! I still worry about my efficacy as a father-figure, but it’s probably that very worrying that helps drive me to be better than I was at it yesterday.