An unexpected day at home has left me with an opportunity to write down some of my thoughts. So, with a warm cup of coffee sitting next to me and the reply of Everton vs. Manchester City on in the background, I am sitting down to share some very exciting news with you all,
I am going to be the father of a baby boy!
I am home today due to my wife falling ill last night. This has been a regular occurrence over these past few weeks. My wife is plagued by migraines and unfortunately, migraines are quite common during the 1st and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy. Experts say the migraines are triggered by hormone changes in the body during pregnancy. Since we are having a boy, some experts say the migraines can be worse then if you are having a girl.
“The joys of having a boy.” (I’ve heard this phrase too much already!)
It is hard to describe the feeling that came over me, the moment I found out we were having a boy. It was hard not to cry. We both wanted to start our family by having a boy, so this hearing this news was very exciting for both my wife and I. Reece Charles Brown. He will be the first Grandson on both sides of the family so I expect he will be quite spoiled in the early months of his life. (Here is a picture of me celebrating the news after I have composed myself.)
Being the first Grandson comes with great responsibility. I know the feeling, I was the first Grandson on my Mother’s side of the family. (And yes, was I spoiled!) Going beyond that, being male in today’s culture comes with a far greater responsibility. I felt a similar responsibility at a young age, and I wasn’t ready for it.
How do you ever feel “ready” to be a man?
Passage into “manhood” looks different depending on who you are talking to. My journey into “manhood” was a bumpy one. I didn’t have many resources. I didn’t like to read and I didn’t like adults. That made learning pretty difficult during my teenage years. Truthfully, I feel my passage into manhood was purely biological, meaning I didn’t really feel like I “became a man”, I simply looked like I became a man. I was still “acting” like a teenager far into my twenties. I don’t want that to be the reality for my son. I want better for him.
I feel confident in my ability to raise my son, mostly because I know I have the best partner I could ever ask for. My wife and I have spent hours, both during our courtship and after we were married, talking about how we wanted to raise our family. We have shared our hopes and expectations, we have shared our fears and doubts. We continue to share even as we are getting ready for his arrival. That is where I find my confidence, in the sharing. I am incredibly thankful my son will have a strong female role model in his life. It is my job to make sure he knows how much I love and cherish his mother. He needs to know that she is the silent strength that keeps our family happy and healthy. My son needs to know how to appreciate strong, independent women. I can help model this behavior for him in how I care for his mother.
We live in an exciting time. Movements like #MeToo, #ChurchToo, and #TimesUp have brought much needed, long overdue accountability to all men. As men today, we need to take a long look at how we view and hold power. Do you hold power for yourself? Or, Do you hold power for others? I think these are important questions. I desire to teach my son how to hold power for others. Today’s great leaders are the one that inspires change in others through their own actions. They challenge individuals to see life differently, to see life holistically and as a collective. It took me far too many years to see life in this manner, I want better for my son.
So, you find yourself in the same boat as me. You are having a son, and you are scared. You have no idea what to do or how even to begin raising a young man today. There are a million questions racing through your mind and I am here to give you some good news, the questions never stop.
That is the good news!
The questions are good because that means you are engaged. (Stay engaged!) The questions mean you care. (Keep caring!) At the end of the day, that’s the best we can do as a Dad. We can be engaged. We can care. We can ask questions. My questions have yet to stop. I don’t try and fight them anymore. I talk about them with my wife and with my therapist. They help me begin to trust the intuition that is already inside of me. It is time for me to begin to trust my ability to raise a young man. I have the tools, it’s time to get to work!
Boys are a blessing. Yes, they have a ton of energy and I am going to be exhausted for the next 18 years, but it’s going to be worth it. I cannot wait to begin this journey with my wife; she is my ride or die. Though I may still doubt and questions and worry, I can find comfort in knowing that my job is simple; Love my son, Teach him how to love and respect women by loving and respecting his Mom, And lastly, tell him that I am proud of the man he is becoming, each and every day.