by Ray Ziemer
Let’s say Fatherhood is a river journey.
Let’s say you push away from the shore and
into the current,
bearing your child with you down the stream.
Regardless of the craft,
canoe, kayak, or raft,
it’s your job to safely negotiate
Rocks, rapids and shoals,
Your duty to handle the dangerous eddies
and perilous currents.
With the wind at your back
There’ll be days of near effortless sailing.
Other times you’ll face headwinds
that batter and slash.
You’ll teach your child skills and you’ll help them to know
All the strokes that you’ve learned in your years on the water.
You will work your way ever downriver with teamwork.
You’re in charge, though – estas capitan! – never doubt.
You have your own style,
You are honest and true and
you can’t hide your frailties anyway.
Be yourself as you are
let that truth be your legacy.
Don’t lose any headway
with struggles for power
Don’t flounder over failures
Of language and thought.
All in good time you can cede some authority,
give over responsibility.
Meanwhile, have fun.
It’s supposed to be fun!
Share it, then, share the fun,
savor the cruise.
Let’s say the journey continues
and you steer the best course
As the river rolls on
To the sea.