October 4th, 2022
I knew very little of what I wanted to be as a dad.
My friend Kim and I were talking about our families after work tonight; as a special ed teacher, she encountered countless parents who weren’t sure how to react to their families being “different.”
She shared with me a story she had on a poster in her classroom (paraphrasing, of course).
Imagine you dreamed of Greece. You spent your entire life thinking about Greece; but not just thinking, planning for Greece. You saved your money and you obsessed over every detail and one day you finally got on a plane to fly to Greece.
And when you arrived, after a lifetime of anticipation, you walked into the terminal and it said: “Welcome to Amsterdam.”
That’s what life can be like. But you get to decide what to do once you’re there.
I told her I grew up feeling like I had a lot of expectations on me (and I still do), for so many reasons; as the oldest, as the only boy, as the son of two amazing people.
I feel like I’m constantly letting people down, so one of the only things I knew when I found out I was going to be a dad is that I wasn’t going to have any expectations for my child. He was going to lead, and I would try to follow.
I didn’t plan on going to Greece. I didn’t plan on seeing Amsterdam.
I just got on the plane.
And the only thing I knew I could do for sure was love him and be his buddy and try to teach him how to be kind and funny and unlike me and I’ve just spent most of my time trying to not fuck it all up.
And that was the best possible thing I could have done.
I don’t have regrets about missing Greece, because I never set a destination. I’m not disappointed in where I am now, because I looked around at the country in which I found myself, and I fell in love with it.
Because no matter where you go, there is so much to love. And the only thing that will ever be in your way are your own expectations.
Amsterdam is where I was always meant to be.