I’m 30 years old. In days gone by, I wouldn’t have considered that to be “young.” Now that I think much more clearly, I realize that 30 is still young.
I’m also a father. Not just a regular father; I’m a father with 5 children under the age of seven.
I don’t aim to speak for all young fathers, just myself. In trying to juggle my responsibilities to my God, my family, my church, and whatever other responsibilities I hold, I think that I have learned a valuable lesson of being a young father.
It can be summed up in one brief, memorable quote that I have been pondering on for a while now: “The days are long, but the years are short.”
Being a father of young children means that there are often headaches throughout the day. This is often accompanied by the longing to see my children mature a little quicker. Sometimes words come out of my mouth that express this longing. When that happens, invariably there is a older parent with grown children who will say: “Don’t wish for them to grow up too quickly. You’ll miss these days when they are grown.”
I know that they are right. My children still see me as a low-level superhero. They express excitement each day at seeing me and they long for my attention. They want to hug and kiss me and often will spontaneously say “I love you.”
I know that, eventually, this will change. They will need me less, want to be aroud me less, and will shrink from having much physical contact with me.
I get exhausted at times from striving to meet their needs–hence the days are often long. However, I know that they won’t always have such a desire to be near me and I will miss this when it is gone—therefore the years are short.
There really is no choice. I must fight the urge to wish them older and enjoy them at the age they are while I can. It won’t last forever–and I only get one chance. Making the best of each day and in every circumstance, I will do what I can to savor the moments that will soon fade away.
My children need me to become who they were made to be and I need them for the exact same reason.