By Paul Morrone CFP®, CPA/PFS, MSA
There was a point in my life that if you told me I would be celebrating Father’s Day with two children of my own that I’d confidently laugh you out of the room. I don’t say that because I never wanted children, I always did, but rather I couldn’t picture myself being a parent – never mind being responsible for more than one child. Oh, how times have changed! In the matter of two years, the idea of parenting transformed from an ambiguous concept in my head to the sole reason I now exist on this earth. Reality has hit like a freight train, and now there is no stopping it.
What I’ve learned in my admittedly brief amount of time as a parent is nothing short of amazing. Not just about what it means to be a parent, but about myself, about Jill and about life in general. Frustrating as it may be, some of the most insightful things I’ve learned are the hardest to put into words. There is no way to describe the feeling of having to unconditionally put someone ahead of yourself, and often, at your own expense. No way to explain why we unquestionably sacrifice our own happiness, at times, for the benefit of our children. And, most surprising to me, how quickly we are willing to adapt to what is an entirely new way of life. In the blink of an eye, my entire totem pole of priorities was turned upside down as I entered the world of parenthood – and since then there has been no looking back.
I often lament about how good life was pre-children. And it was. The freedom, flexibility and excitement of having (what is now comparatively) minimal responsibility is something I’ll cherish about my 20’s for the rest of my life. It was a different kind of joy, something that was right in the moment, but not right forever. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll continue yearn for a night away from the children every once and a while – it’s critical to maintaining my sanity. To be unshackled from the kids’ routine is nothing short of therapeutic. But the best part of being away, is coming home to smiling faces and big hugs.
I think the most important thing I’ve learned is how grateful I am for all the sacrifices my parents have made for me over the years. Maybe, if I do things right, my boys will feel the same way one day. I’m blessed to have Kyle and Ryan, and for the many of you that have warned me, I’m not rushing it as I I’ve seen how quickly time flies. I’m certainly living proof of that concept as I’m sure my dad finds it hard to believe I’ve been working with him for 10 years.
Cheers to all the fathers (and mothers) who are riding this roller coaster alongside me. Wishing you a happy Father’s Day!