As I approach my son’s first birthday, a thought has come to mind that is indicative of the state that I and his mother are in. We have been experiencing some frustrating times financially and I have not been able to find any work that will pay more than what I am currently bringing home. My frustrations have kept me thinking to myself: “I hope that my son will be better than me.” I desire that he will be a better man and not struggle like I have had to financially.
That is partially why I never wanted a child: I knew that a child would one day have to experience pain. The fact that I cannot keep my son away from all forms of pain bothers me and worries me to some degree.
But the financial woes actually brings more pain to his mother currently. The beautiful boy is obviously (happily) oblivious to what his parents are facing. However, I see it (and hear it) when it comes to the stress that his mother carries. She has a full-time and a part-time job to try and elevate us out of our current situation and I have the lone full-time job that really does not bring much home. I apply to a number of jobs, where I do not get much response from the employers. It is especially bad in south Georgia because there is not as much opportunity here.
I am a religious man, a praying man, a believer in Jesus the Christ as Lord. Tough times, like my current situation, does bring battles with faith and doubt, but I usually lean back on my trust in Him and am grateful for the roof still over my head, the food in my stomach, a bed to lie in, even some forms of entertainment to still enjoy. It is hard to hold on to the thought that I am blessed and finding joy in having the basic necessities. Nevertheless, I try to be grateful for what I have because there is always someone who has it worse. Right now, there are many who have been displaced by Hurricane Harvey and there have been many before and after a disaster such as Harvey that have been homeless. I have never faced such hard times. So, in spite of my own lack of finances at the moment, I still am joyful because of my family, especially seeing my son’s smile when I get home.
The kid has a wonderful way of brightening up my day. Though when I look at him and his smile, I still think of the future and what may or may not come. I ruminate on his becoming an adult one day and working to make a living. I hope to be given the time with him to encourage him to grow intellectually (and maybe be an academic of some kind), while simultaneously putting him around folks with skills in manual labor (skills his father lacks) so that he may learn a trade or two. I never want him to be in my situation.
Heck, I don’t like being in my situation. So, if my son ever reads these words one day (if they’re still up years down the road), I hope that he will be better than me in every way. Better and smarter.
Until then, I am needing to grow myself, so that I will be better tomorrow than I am today.