In my last blog entry, I started laying the foundation for a series of fly fishing stories that illustrate how closely connected my work as a personal injury attorney is to the tenets of flyfishing. While I intend to continue adding “fishing stories” to that series, I haven’t had much time to fish lately so my stories are slowing. But for good reason. I became a father at the end of 2020 to an amazing little girl and will have a little boy joining us by the time this post is published. With this joyous moment coming fast and Father’s Day on the horizon, as well, I’ve been reflecting on how blessed I feel to be a father.
It is truly the best gift (and opportunity) I have ever received. If flyfishing is my passion and being a personal injury attorney is my career, I would describe being a father as my calling, and, ultimately, what I want my “legacy” to be headlined with. Personal accomplishments and accolades mean very little to me in the grand scheme of raising my children with my wife, except for maybe my “house records” for diaper changing and toy pick-up times. Becoming a father changed everything for me, in the best possible way.
Even though having a toddler (or better yet, two under two) means just about everything is hectic, fast-paced, and unpredictable, I’ve slowed down mentally, spiritually, and emotionally in a beneficial way. I’ve learned to be much more present and appreciative of each little moment I’m lucky enough to share with my family. Becoming a father has also shifted my perspective on love and faith. My daughter changed my heart and helped me understand just the beginning of the love God has for us, His children.
“Unconditional” love is a difficult concept to understand, but having children solidified what it means to me. Becoming a father (especially first to a little girl with big emotions) made me understand what it means to practice true patience and empathy. Looking at the world through a child’s eyes makes you see things much differently. I have learned so much from my daughter and from being a parent in general. Ideals, perspectives, and tools that I truly think make me better prepared for the other aspects of my life, too.
The biggest change I’ve experienced, though, is how I appreciate time. I’ve realized that time is the most valuable asset there is. While some days with toddlers feel long (because they can be!), the weeks and months seem really short and fleeting. Every day that I see my family grow and change is a realization that time is passing much quicker than I would like it to.
Time has become such a precious commodity for me, and time with my family is now what I value above anything else. Before becoming a father, I’m confident that I would have had a different response if asked what my most valuable asset was. As I finish this entry, though, as my daughter tugs on my shirt to let me know it’s time to shut my computer and commands “Dada play outside,” I know. I am a father first, and everything comes second to that.