This post was written by my husband Adam. We are the first husband and wife team to be chosen as Sling Diarists for Sakura Bloom Series - Vol IV: Everything Shines!
"The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking." -Robert H. Schuller (yeah, I started this with a quote) As a kid I was encouraged to dream of becoming such things as a Doctor, or a Lawyer. I was taught that the level of "success" and financial stability would gage my happiness. I was taught to always "do better" than what my parents could do. The words "Do as I say, and not as I do…" were often heard around our house. I understand my mothers desire for me to succeed, but without guidance, resources, and with such vague direction, how could I possibly believe in myself enough to accomplish such seemingly impossible goals? I was overcome by anxiety and sleepless nights at a very young age, for the fear of disappointing my mother and the consequences at hand if I were to let her down. The older I got, the less I cared, and the less I dreamed. When thinking about "dreams" the first thing that pops into my head as a father, are the dreams I have for my son. My dream is to foster an environment where Chico has the opportunity to inspire his OWN dreams. To experience the innocence of looking at the world and really believing that ANYTHING is possible. I want him to dream the way all kids should dream, without hinderance, and know that the sky is the limit!
I dream that one day men will realize how baby-wearing can directly influence a bond between them and their children and will not be self conscious or afraid of being perceived as effeminate. Its 2014 and gender roles are long past. We live in a world that is so "PC" that we often question what we can or cannot say, but for some reason it seems totally ok for women to approach me and say things like, "Oh what a good dad!". I can only ask myself, "Why?" Why is the standard for being a responsible father so low that someone would assume I'm a "good dad" simply for wearing my son!? Taking care of your children isn't something that should be praised, it's something that should be expected. My dream is to influence other dads to realize the importance of bonding with your child. As men we don't have the opportunity to nurse our children, so anything I can do to build a trusting bond with Chico, I'm going to do! That is why I took the six weeks of family leave when Chico was born even though I was ridiculed at work and treated like I was going on a six week vacation. That is why I woke up at every feeding and changed Chico's diapers, bounced him to sleep for endless hours on the yoga ball, and did not think twice about wearing him close to me when the opportunity arose. These are ways that I have bonded with my son, and although many men might think he will never remember any of that, I can look into my child's eyes and KNOW how much it matters. And no, I'm not trying to be "the best dad on Instagram", I'm not playing a role here, what you see is what you get. I'm just trying to give my son what I never had and always sought after, nothing else matters.
Growing up I never thought about being a father, wait, I take that back, I never thought about being a GOOD father. Why would I? I assumed I would have illegitimate bastard children running around the San Fernando Valley who hated my guts! Sad to say, not a far off assumption for a teenager who didn't think about living past his twenties. I was consumed by drugs and alcohol, and the older I got, the more real shit got. So I drank and got loaded to distract me from an unfulfilling life. Four years ago I got sober and I was given a second chance at life. Im lucky to have met my soul mate who became my best friend and wife. I was blessed with a baby boy who totally flipped my world upside down in the best possible way. You see up until then, my dreams were non existent. I was too afraid to dream because I was so used to low expectations. I thought as long as I could stay sober, support my wife financially, and enjoy living, I was a happy camper. The second I looked into that babies eyes and said "Chico, this is your papa…", witnessing him recognize my voice was like no high I ever experienced. Fatherhood is something I KNOW I am good at, because everything I ever wanted in a father is exactly what I dream to provide for my son today.