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“A few days after we came home from the hospital, I sent a letter to a friend, including a photo of my son and some first impressions of fatherhood. He responded, simply, 'Everything is possible again.' It was the perfect thing to write because that was exactly how it felt.” 
― Jonathan Safran Foer

It has been quite the eventful week at the Seigmund household. Seth turned four weeks old! We both have been puked on, peed on, I got poo'd on...

Don't ask.

Sleep seems to be getting better, I think. My lip is still healing from the ice cream scooper incident.

Who knew?

Seth has grown so much already. He is bigger, longer and chunkier. We have been growing right along with him. It has been incredible to be able to be around my wife and my son during his first month of life. Blessings abound.

So, what have I learned with my son this last week?

  • As the picture above indicates, he can get grumpy. This is almost always when he wakes up and realizes that he wants food. IMMEDIATELY! He gets this temperament honestly, from me.
  • My wife is the most beautiful and amazing woman in our world. She has completely risen to this task and calling in her life. She shines as a mother, and her beauty and grace transcend any perceived tragedy or calamity. She is lovely to behold!
  • Seth is very well mannered when not hungry. He is "talking" a lot now, and in general just likes to be with us no matter what. He loves riding in the truck, noise is no issue, and he travels well.
  • I have determined not to call him my "boy". He is a man-child, and mine at that. I will not follow the current model of parenting and raise a "ban", or a boy-man. I'm talking about the myriad of males that, even though they are over the legally determined age of adulthood, still live at home, have no purpose in life other than their X-Box, pornography, and next MMA fight night. No, this one will be raised up to be a man, in every sense of that word. Training begins now.
  • Leadership. He will be a leader. This is a leadership blog as it is, so this is appropriate, and connected with the last statement. He will lead his life, and not simply react and respond to his situation or circumstance. He will lead his family, and he will someday lead others. I have been saying forever that we need better leaders in this time and this world. Too many people think that this is presumptuous, and me wanting to manipulate my son's life. It isn't presumptuous to give a man a sense of purpose, it is the best thing we can do for them. A pastor that I respect has been known to say this about men. "Men are like pickup trucks. They travel better when they are carrying a load". True statement. We need better leaders, and better men in this world. Mine will be one.

The quote I lead off with is so true. It is incredible to look at this small man-child and wonder at the possibilities of his life. Every day is a gift and an opportunity for him.

For me as well.

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Comment by Izmael Arkin on September 8, 2012 at 8:36am

Congratulations on the recent birth of your new child Rick :). 

Your speaking the truth. We need leaders. There is no such thing as "too many leaders". But here is my question that I have to throw out there: 

How do we raise leaders?

I can say I want to be a leader. I can say I want my future kids to be a leader. That is easy. The hard part is the "how". 

I'd love to hear your thoughts. It's clear your passionate about this :) (which is awesome by the way). What are you doing with Seth (or planning to do) to make sure he becomes a leader? 

Super interested in what you have to say on this. 

Comment by Carol Howell on September 8, 2012 at 6:05am

I have always treated my daughter as an intelligent human being.  I never did the baby talk, and she has always had a huge vocabulary.  I never allowed her to slack on her chores, and she has always understood the importance of hard work.  I never gave her money to blow, and she has always understood the value of a dollar.  These qualities instilled while young pay off big time in the future.  My daughter has just graduated as a Physician Assistant, has a job lined up (with several offers in just a two week period while many of her classmates sat waiting on opportunities), and is getting married in October.  Keep up the good work, Rick.  Thanks for your beautiful writing!

Comment by Peter A Ferguson on September 7, 2012 at 10:58pm

The process of morphing into fatherhood is rewarding and inspiring. You may catch yourself saying what your father said to you - that you swore you'd never say to your own son - except now you see the wisdom and agree with your papa (and my oldest is only 14, I've a loooong way to go yet).

You will have days when frustration makes you want to pound your head against the wall when he just "isn't getting it."  But remember the lobes of his brain aren't going to be fully connected until he is 25.

Allow him to make BIG mistakes, and learn how to jump back up and lean into the pain and push through.

Providing your son with a purpose -- or rather allowing him to explore and discover his purpose with your guidance -- is probably the best legacy you will ever leave with him. 

Good luck and congratulations! You are on a great path.

Pete

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