It’s 2015 and I am 33. It’s come to my attention that I may be getting to a time in my life when you could be expecting to join in on the fun. I wanted to apologise and explain why you can’t and shouldn’t want to be here quite yet.
Places to see… I’ve tried to live a life as full as I could. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve accumulated a few stories and learned a lot. The thing is, you see, I feel like I still have so much more to do that will help make me become the man that will be the best father for you. You will learn that I have an insatiable appetite for travel and there are many places I still feel I need to go before you come along. Please don’t get me wrong, I totally plan on taking you on amazing adventures and living overseas for parts of our lives together, but there are some things I feel I have to do myself first. When you enter this world I don’t want to have a single thing in my mind that I wished I had done beforehand. When you arrive I will have a new list of things I want to do with you. When you do your Year 6 project on Machu Picchu I want to be able to tell you how it smells and what it’s like to hike as the sunrises and into that most majestic of places. When you ask me how they built the pyramids I want to be able to tell you what an old man in Cairo once told me when I was there. I want to be your Wikipedia… I can’t do that yet.
Things to do… I want you to have a dad who you can be entirely proud of. I want to have done things that you can look to in times of despair and frustration in your life and use them as an example to know that anything can be achieved. Nothing is impossible. Right now I have done a couple of things that fit into this category but I still feel as though there’s one or two big moments to come. I promise I will always try to make you proud and continue this way of thinking when you are here. I want to be the man that I want you to grow up to be. I want to be the man that you can look to as a hero, not some guy on TV or on the internet… I can’t do that yet.
Money… One thing you will learn in time is that although money is not the be all and end all, it is important. I had to worry about money when I was a kid. It wasn’t your grandparents’ fault, it’s just the way things happened. Right now I am financially stable, for a single man. You will learn to respect money very early but I promise you will never have to worry about money… I can’t do that yet.
Sacrifice... Being a parent is about being ready to sacrifice yourself for the benefit of that child. I have had to make some big sacrifices in my life already, for my family and for my friends, and while I was happy to do it, I know that right now I am not ready to sacrifice how I live. I swear to you that when you come along I will sacrifice whatever need be to make sure that you are happy and in a loving, caring family… I can’t do that yet.
Myself… when you meet me and get to know me I want to be able to look in the mirror and truly believe I know myself. I’m still learning things about myself everyday and, whilst I know this will keep happening ’til the day I die, when you come along I’d like to have a good grasp on who I am. I would like to be more predictable. Right now I can still be at the whim of my emotions. My mood can change dramatically from one moment to the next. I want to learn enough about myself that I can control that… I can’t do that yet.
Love… This is very important. While I have known love in my life, I have never known it to the point where I knew that the woman sitting across from me would be your mother. I am not sure if I have met her yet or if she is somewhere in the Galapagos studying sea turtles right now. Don’t fear, I know she exists and when it’s time I will know she’s the one. I can’t promise you everything will be rosy 100% of the time. I can promise we will both love you with all our hearts for our entire lives, and that when we bring you into this world it will be a choice made of love and I will be entirely ready to meet you.
A lot of my close friends are now married and weddings are always fun, well almost always. Until the point when someone feels the need to bring up the question, “So Chris, when is it going to be your turn?” As you know Daddy is a patient man, but it takes a fair amount of his patience to not tell these people to mind their own business. I’ve never seen life as a race and never will. One thing I will instill in you is that everyone is on their own path. Sometimes people feel that you’re at a certain time or age in your life and that naturally you should be looking for certain things. I don’t believe in that. I will never go looking for something. I believe it can come your way when you are least looking for it.
How can I give any advice to you if I have the slightest inkling that I made a mistake with the most important decision I will ever make? I’ve seen it so often – people think they’ve met the love of their lives and then infidelity or jealousy or boredom get the best of them. I want to be able to say with certainty, “I am with the woman of my dreams, she is over there and you call her mum…” I can’t do that yet.
There was a time when being a 33-year-old man meant that you were supposed to have a wife, two or three kids, a mortgage and a car. That you got up every morning to work at your 9-to-5. Well that time is not now and I am not that man. I have very little doubt that I could be a good dad for you right now. The problem is that I would not be a great dad. I would not be the dad that you deserve.
So, I hope you can see where I am in my life and why you should be happy to bide your time. When you arrive I will be waiting and ready. We will have an amazing life together. I promise.
p.s. I can’t wait to meet you.
Chris is the founder of Humans Who Travel and www.humansinmelbourne.com