It’s night time, and my father is not home. It’s tax season, and the CPA and sole proprietor is at work – maybe even pulling an all-nighter.
Fill in the blank: Children = ______. Millions of responses could go in that blank. I hope love, joy, and optimistic are on that list somewhere.
There is one word that absolutely must be on the list and that is responsibility.
I felt it the minute BR was placed in my hands. This innocent, defenseless, helpless blank slate was my responsibility.
The feeling of responsibility for a child can be awesome. I’ve never felt more needed in my life. The opportunity to give unconditionally filled me completely. I had a family. Sigh. Smile.
The feeling of responsibility can be scary! Shoot this child can do nothing for himself. He needs everything, and I have to give it to him. I had a family. Sigh. Shake.
By the way, I don’t know how single parents do it. If I didn’t have Ms. MMK, my wife and partner, the scariness factor would have soared.
So, responsibility is part of the job description of the parent. And I take it very seriously. The responsibilities include the basics – food, clothing, shelter – and material items. I’ve done my best to provide BR and SJ with such things. Now, I don’t think they need to be in the biggest house, wear the fanciest clothes, or have the most up to date technology (they would disagree with the last one). However, they do have a right to be provided for.
And that takes money.
But I resigned from my job. I gave up a job that was secure, paid decently, and had good benefits. I also was pretty good at it and liked it somewhat.
I gave up the job to chase a dream. I gave up the job because I wanted to do something I’ve always wanted to do. I gave up the job because I wanted more for myself.
Was it responsible of me? Is this what a parent should do? Will I be able to provide?
The question has been haunting me since I first considered making the move.
Plenty of people have wished me congratulations. I thank them all and appreciate every comment and offer of support. Many people also add words like “I’m sure it will work.”
But I’m not sure. Nothing is assured. Yes, I have a strategy. Yes, I’m working hard. Yes, I believe it can happen.
But I don’t know. Everyone starts new ventures with dreams and determination to make it a success. Our country was practically founded on that idea. Yet, sadly many people fail. And they fail for many different reasons. Plenty of those reasons are not their fault and may not even be clear.
While I’m not predicting doom and gloom, I’m talking reality. Even dreamers live in this world. Dreamers have expenses. And this dreamer has children.
My mom tells me she’s proud of me. “You have the guts to go for what you want. I never did.” Even in my forties, it feels good to hear my mom say she is proud of me. Yet, her example and the unstated rule in the house was about work ethic. It was about putting your head down and working hard. It was about responsibility.
What will my children learn from the decision I have made?
I hope they learn to dream. I hope they learn to take bold action. I hope they learn that the pursuit of something meaningful is meaningful. I hope they learn to find a wife who is supportive.
I hope they learn that even dreamers succeed.
And I will put my head down and succeed in some form or some way. I owe it to my children. It’s my responsibility.