Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | September 12, 2013

The Fear Of Silence

I have tried to build a shield, make tunnels, and bury them deep down but these thoughts are constantly bombarding me.  No matter what I do I can not protect myself from the invasion of these thoughts.  I can not count how many times I heard, “Time goes by so fast,” when I was younger.  Now that I am getting ready to turn 38 it is as if those words are slapping me across the face.  I have always known time seems to go by quickly, but it has not been until the last few years that it seems like it has turned to warp speed.  We used to have 3 elementary children and one just starting in middle school.  Now we are only two years away from out first one graduating and only 8 years away from all of them being gone and in college or starting their careers. 

These are my children, my life, and my reason.  When I think about that in 8 years we will have no kids in our house anymore my heart starts to race.  I start to get that nervous, scared feeling.  You know like the one you get when you are driving in the mountains and on the right side there is just a guardrail that separates you and the gorge below and if feels like the road is barely big enough for one car let alone two.  You have both hands on the wheel and your knuckles are turning white and your palms start to sweat as you grip the steering wheel so tight.  You are doing the best job driving you have ever done and you have complete control of the car that you know you are going to make it up and down the mountain without an incident.  The problem with time is that no matter how tight we try to hold onto it we have no control of it.  One minute your kids are not laughing but giggling and the next they are looking for more freedom from you.  You think if I could just put a clock in front of my face where I could always see the time maybe it wouldn’t seem like it is going by so fast, but then you would be blocking the view of watching and enjoying your kids. 

I know mothers talk about how sad they are that their children are growing so fast and how much they are missing them already even though they are not yet gone.  I want to tell you that fathers think about that too.  No matter how they act like it doesn’t bother them, deep down it does.  No matter how it may seem sometimes, men’s hearts are not made of stone.  It hurts us when we think our children are mad at us, it upsets us when things don’t seem to be going their way, and it destroys us when they are hurt (emotionally or physically). 

You ask me why this scares me so much.  Is it because you are afraid of them being out their on their own?  While that might be a small percentage the real reason is because I love this time of my life.  Sure, just like anything else, there are difficult times and you might be so busy doing things for your kids that you don’t get time with your spouse or time alone.  You might even have a half-second thought of, “I can’t wait until they are older and on their own,” because they are driving you so nuts but when I actually think about it, every moment is worth it.  Along with every argument, mistake made, and attitude given is laughter together, lessons taught, and love shared.  As a father raising my kids will be the best thing I ever did in my life.  There is not another thing in this world that can drive you, push you to the limit, and give you as much satisfaction as your kids can. 

God has provided me with this gift of being a father.  He has allowed me to see the closest thing to His love that we can on earth and that is the unconditional love we have for our children and that they have for us.  Those moments when we are laughing with our children and then they wrap their arms around us with a loved filled hug has to be a glimpse of what heaven is going to be like.  Love and happiness is what my children bring into my life everyday, and that is what leads me to what I am afraid of.  That once they are grown and have moved out of our house that I will not get to enjoy that every single day anymore.  There will be no more laughing, arguing, school day stories, or them just being there when I walk into the house after work.  When my wife and I try to have a conversation there will be no more interruptions and I worry that our voices will just echo through the house due to the emptiness.  I love all aspects of being a father, well that is except for one.  I don’t like that fact that one day my house will be empty.  The everyday hustle and bustle of raising children will be gone.  There will just be the echoes of the memories I will have and the occasional visit with them and their children which will bring a temporary relief to the quietness.  It is not that I don’t look forward to the time alone with my wife and the things we will do, but more that I fear the silence that will be left behind when they are no longer home

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