Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fatherhood

One thing I'm realizing about fatherhood, and desiring to raise your children with a love for the outdoors. The issue that we run into after the fact is not just raising them outside, but getting outside ourselves.

Between family and baby and mortgages and car payments, its really hard to get time to get out to the water or up to the mountains. What we once took for granted now feels like to slipping away. I got a comment from a new father that he had an 18 week-old baby boy and was totally stoked, but hadn't been in the water in weeks and was about to go insane! I know exactly how you feel. Surfing is different than many other outdoor activities in that its more of a spiritual and emotional pursuit than other sports for most participants so being high and dry for long periods of time (days for some people, weeks for others) really has a negative effect on our psyche.

On the flip side. We're dads now. Being a dad is the second most important job I'll ever have on this earth, #1 being a husband. Family comes first in everything. I've read in my any surf magazines, articles, etc speaking on the effect and power of surfing in someones life, and read something along the lines of "marriages have failed because of the powerful pull of the ocean..." or some such nonsense. When I sit back and look at the big picture, one day a week in the water when the waves aren't even good, with a happy, close, and loving family is a lot more important than catching it every time the swell comes up.

Now that contentment with my new lot is setting in, my biggest concern really is what I'm going to be able to do when my son is old enough to join me. Will I even be in good enough paddling shape to show him how to duck dive a 10ft wave? Will he be able to look up to me and see something he wants to be athletically? I was watching On Surfari a few episodes back and Shayne (the father) was surfing a longboard while holding Banyan, his son. Am I going to be confident enough in my abilities to do that with my boy? I was a while ago, not so much now.

When I sit back and look at the big picture, its easy to know what the right decision and attitude is for the moment, but there's always that nagging in the back of your head when you look at the surf report and know its going to be good, yet know you're not going to be in the water for it. I'm sure its the same for many other activities as well. When its a lifestyle, not a hobby, its difficult to let it go at all, but that's what fatherhood brings you, a dramatic shift in priorities, that are more than worth any sacrifice.

2 comments:

Steve Bohrer February 19, 2009 at 9:18 AM  

Right on, you get it. You did a great job of capturing the conflicting emotions and choosing the right one. Your wife and son are lucky to have you.

Danny February 19, 2009 at 11:40 AM  

Thank you for the encouraging comment! No matter how little time I get to spend on the activities I love, they can never compare to the incredible family I have. I am blessed no matter what.