Imposter Dad Syndrome

Do children ever get buyer's remorse? 

I imagine some sort of transactional situation where an unborn is sitting with a catalog deciding how they will enter into the world -- having some preference of who they will become and how they will live out their days in what will ultimately become their paradise. They select their attributes and engage in what you and I call being. 

The caveat is that we must first enter our world under the tutelage of our caretakers. We don't get to choose our parents, and vice versa; it is all one big lottery system. 

"Right now at this moment, tell me something: Is this, my dad?" The first conscious thought I picture going through my son's still-developing mind. "Because I think we made a mistake." The visual of a customer complaint streams into view, a sort of a cosmic Yelp review, asking the engineers to review history logs to determine if there hasn't been an egregious mistake created somewhere on the timeline of human conception. "I need you to check to make sure that this is my dad." Thus, completing the 1-star cosmic Yelp review.

"That is not happening. No." Will be his realization, as I awkwardly strap him into the car seat for the first time, sweating beads of fear and insecurity -- drenching the bald surfaces of an already receding hairline. The biggest truth that comes with fatherhood is that you are never really ready for it. It comes like a blunt object that has little remorse for what sort of prep course you sacrificed a whole Saturday morning for. 

It's the basic most biological interpretation of "imposter syndrome" that anyone on this planet will ever experience. No one knows what they are doing, but that doesn't matter at that moment when you pick up your child for the first time. They stare at you in complete submission and helplessness to the world outside. And it is solely your purpose to make sure you rise to the task, regardless of whatever shortcomings that may have set you back on the race of life accomplishments. 

While those who will breathe the sigh of relief of withholding every bearing children, I will say good for them; this is not a role for the faint of heart. It is thankless and ending -- at times you may feel like a pariah, shamed forever expressing your helplessness because the suffrage of parenthood was "YOUR CHOICE." There can be no sympathy for a path decided. The congratulations end at the moment of birth. 

Yet I stand in the conviction that this was the path for me and I could not have imagined it any other way. At this moment in my young fatherhood, I look bare, raw, thinned, but that is the true form of beauty that will soon reveal itself to the world. 

Right now they do not see. Right now they only see pain.

Pain is purpose. 



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