I have been asked this question often and each time I find it hard to answer. The issue is that the answer isn’t logical, but emotional. I have always wanted to have children. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would answer “a daddy”. My feelings were solidified one Christmas when I was holding my infant goddaughter, and her warm head nestled into my chest. It was in that moment where I was flooded with images of teaching my child how to walk, field trips to pumpkin patches, Halloween costumes, first words, first days of school, first dates, first loves, and first heartbreaks. I wanted to be there every step of the way, providing support and love as my child learned who she or he was and how they wanted to navigate the world. I wanted to feel the pain and pride of watching my child grow and having to watch them grow into the independent person she or he crafted her or himself to be. After handing the infant back to my cousin, the longing I was left with remained. I want to be the person who provides the love, support, and guidance to a child and watch her or him grow into whoever they were meant to be.
We have a good friend whose two sons I teach new complicated board games to. I take immense personal enjoyment and pride in showing people new experiences, and it was great to see their understanding emerge of as we played. Their strategies quickly evolved to the point where they were both challenging me.
So it might sound cliché, but what greater opportunity is there for this than encouraging a child to see all the world has to offer, from the amazing to the mundane: going to the ocean the first time, attending their first day of school, riding their first rollercoaster, going to their first school dance, sampling different customs and cuisines of other countries, and so much more that I can’t even begin to predict.