I met Kiana a week after my 26th birthday, ironically it was also a week after HER birthday too. I thought it was crazy she was born on September 29th and me on the 30th. Actually, if I had come out an hour sooner we would have the exact same birthday. For years we've shared the birthday spotlight (for the record, Kiana doesn't like sharing the birthday spotlight), so imagine the shock of finding out Ella is due on September 25th! Amazing luck...an all September family, hopefully...
I always thought I would be a father earlier than at 30. I grew up in a big, multi-generational family. Upstairs lived my Mom, Dad, sister and myself. Downstairs lived my Grandma (Nana) and Great Grandma (Nannie). Breakfasts were big. Dinners were big. Holidays were huge. It was all family, all the time. No matter how hard I try, I can't remember a single negative memory all up until leaving for college. Not one bit of anger, resentment or disappointment. Just love, support, accomplishment and celebration. I think about my Dad growing up and I can't remember a single time being disappointed by him. I feel like I have tough shoes to fill. (For the record he wore size 15's)
Even though I WANTED to be a father earlier than 30, I know that I wasn't prepared to be the father I would have wanted to be, needed to be, had I become one earlier than now. I had a great dad and realize that being a great dad can't be easy. Knowing the things I worry about as the man of my house, as a husband, I can only imagine the things my dad must have worried about caring for the large family I was raised in while being a lifelong entrepreneur. This process can be very stressful. If men aren't talking about it, they are sure thinking about it. I believe all of us men must go through this mental stage upon finding out we are going to have a child.
At 25, 26 and 27 I was still figuring out what kind of man I was going to be. At 28, 29 and even still today, I'm trying to make sure I understand what kind of husband I want to be. I think I have it figured out, but I'm still making mistakes. I've spent most of 30 trying to figure out what kind of father I want to be, can be, will be. My time has come and I know I'm ready to step up and be a great dad. You see, I would have had to devote many of the aforementioned years to being a father-in-training, man-in-training and husband-in-training all at once had Ella decided to join us a few years ago. I think too few men understand the substantial responsibility they are going to inherit by bringing a child into the world.
Being a father is a great responsibility. I know that now. I have to be the protector and provider of another human life. It's not a "let's just wing it" process. Kiana has made me realize this more and and more everyday. She has instilled patience and preparation into my world. Given me awareness. None of which existed in my previous ready, fire, aim life prior to her. She has equipped me with a wide angle lens. Because of her I will be a better father to Ella. I always thought I would be a father earlier than at 30, but I'm sure glad it's happening now.