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Fathering as investment

I just read an absolutely amazing post my one of my favorite bloggers Ta-Nahisi Coates (pronounced tah-nuh-hah-see). It's about Barack Obama's white grand parents, their unheralded heroism, and parenthood. Even if you don't support Obama, this is a truly inspiring piece that goes way beyond politics (read the full post here). Here's an exerpt:
"Barack Obama's grandmother is gravely ill. My temptation yesterday was to say nothing. And then, this morning, I came across this picture at Andrew's [blog]. I've reflected a lot--personally--on Obama's campaign and the values of parenting. I often think about how his Dad left him, and never knew that his son would be within days of the presidency of the greatest power in history. Think about this--what else could a father want? My own Dad often says that too many black men see child-rearing as "responsibility" and not "personal investment." They forget about the joy that children bring, and instead focus on the bills, or on stupid, petty beefs with women. As my own son creeps past eight, I've been reminded of that."
After reading this post, I was holding Marcus and rocking him to sleep for the night. There are other things to get caught up on: my lack of free time, how hard it is to get a 3-month-old baby to fall asleep, how I just want to sit down and veg out, how hard it is to have a conversation with my wife with a 3-year-old constantly vying for her attention. But as I stood there with my son in my arms, instead of focusing on all that, I just focused on the dividends of joy paid out daily by my investments in Owen and Marcus. Sure, I'd have more free time--and more freedom, in some sense--if I didn't have kids. But I don't really see how I could be more happy.


erinjohn said…
this really made me smile today. i'm so grateful for you & all you do :)
mama mia said…
love this posting and love that photo
blissful_e said…
What a precious photo!

Something Ben likes to say is that children bring a lot of joy. It's fun that your experience fathering brings you to the same conclusion.

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