I am at that point now. Honestly, I've been at this point many times with mixed results. There have been times where I returned to the safe and familiar, where I banked on what I already knew and left the venturing to more daring souls. However, the times when I chose to set my new best are the ones that a will smile upon warmly in my twilight hours.
I know that what I'm feeling is nothing new. Many a father has described this primal impulse, fraught with anxiety, to provide for their child's needs. I find myself these days tending towards deeper and deeper contemplation about how this is to play out for me.
I feel the desire to protect them from so much in this world. Yet I want them to experience life to the fullest. I want them to look up to me, yet I want them to transcend the hell out of me. I feel the need to avoid the mistakes of my father and yet replace them with mistakes of my own. Most importantly, I know that this little one will have their own journey and mine will be a prime example.
My role? To keep them alive and keep out of the way, to be a hand when needed, be a voice of support and never be an obstruction. And as I hear these idealized absolutes spiral from my pondering, I can feel them taking their place among the wishes of every other new father who has stood in the path of the life force, hoping to catch the wave and ride with it safely to shore.
To me this means fully living my journey as a spoken word artist, page poet, actor, playwright, workshop facilitator, activist, and community organizer and doing whatever else it takes to bring a smile to that little face and the face of his beautiful mama, my wonderful and supportive partner. This time, I am choosing it ignite with all that is alive in me and make life as wonderful as it can be.
So there will be no bucket list. There will be a succession of amazing projects and happenings. There will be no "what-ifs", although there will be the occasional "what-now?" My goal is to return from every daydream as if it was treasure map and arise from every crushing defeat like I'm "too big to fail." I want to merge musics with the melody-makers and plot journeys on the stars. And I want to become love just like the Universe, look into those tiny and say "This is what you do to me."