The ultrasound bill came in the mail. I laughed. $650 is a lot of money for what amounted to 10 seconds of work.
My wife and I have two sons: ages 5 and 3. There’s another child on the way. So, when we went to learn the gender of Kid No. 3, there was plenty of cheers from the peanut gallery for a little girl. Extended family, church friends, even Big Brother wanted a little sister. The fact that this is probably the last round for us (never tell God never) only added to the finger crossing. The ultrasound tech pushed some buttons and turned the screen towards me. “Okay, let’s see if we can get a peek,” she said (as I’m sure she says 20 times a day). But before she could even get the words out of her mouth, I knew. My wife knew. We’ve been down this road before. And even a 16 week old fetus has a pretty clear, ahem, package. Well, at least all three of my boys. Family jewels, you might say.
Three boys. I can honestly and proudly report there was no disappointment with my wife and I. We had a hunch — a mother’s intuition and a father’s goalongwithit — that another boy was in the cards. We were excited. Having three boys is a privilege.
Still, as I drove away from that appointment, the thoughts crossed my mind that I may never have a daughter. There would likely be no daddy, daughter dances or pink soccer cleats in my future. My wife wouldn’t get to pick out frilly dresses or decorate pink nursery walls. There would also be no boyband posters. No heartbreak over Instagram drama (I’m told it’s a thing). No teenage boyfriends to scowl at. No weddings to pay for.
Hey, having boys will be so much easier, I thought. I know how to do this. Teach them to play baseball. Teach them to fish. Cut their hair short. Show them tough love. Keep them away from skinny jeans. I can do this.
Somewhere between then and now it hit me. I’m not raising three boys. I’m raising three men. Three future craftsmen or entrepreneurs or artists. Three future husbands. Three future fathers. Three future leaders. Three future grandfathers who will be looked to for their wisdom. And what will they do? What will they say? What childhood will shape them and tune them for this future? Gulp. That’s a large load, even for a 33 year old pair of shoulders. How can I possibly teach them everything they’ll need?
I know this responsibility is equal, boy or girl offspring. My load would be no lighter if I were raising girls. But, for me, the notion that I’m a father raising future fathers is sinking in. For the next 20 years, my primary purpose on this planet is to raise a legacy. These three boys will be with me for a short time; then they will go out into the world as men to make a mark. And here’s the surprising part for me: even though I know I will falter, there’s a strength in this mission. Instead of wilting or fearing the impossible task of raising men, God is using it to teach me and push me onward.
In Proverbs 3, Solomon shares timeless lessons to be passed from fathers to sons. The advice is so basic and so simple. Yet, so often misunderstood. It’s not a lengthy to-do list. Good thing. We’d all fail to accomplish that. Instead, it’s a reminder of the character an Uncommen man should seek and strive to display. If our purpose as dads is to raise a legacy, then our task is to model Proverbs 3 for our boys.
Uphold love and faithfulness. Acknowledge God. Fear the Lord. Honor Him. Accept discipline. Show mercy. Choose humility. Seek wisdom.
Oh, and no skinny jeans. Ever. (I’m pretty sure that’s in there, too).
Article written by Adam O’Daniel. Adam is Communications Director at Movement Mortgage; and also a Writer and Editor. At Movement Mortgage, Adam leads a top-notch communications team building our corporate communications, brand journalism and public relations from the ground up.
Prior to Movement Adam was a journalist for the Charlotte BizJournals, with experience covering finance, Fortune 500, technology, startups, economic development, human interest and sports.