My step-son became a father on Monday. The birth of his daughter bore a total transformation in his manhood. A husband, a businessman, and an athlete, he was no longer the same fellow he had been on Sunday. He shone with a light that had not been there the day before. I am not being metaphorical: he truly emanated a luminescence, and expressed a love and devotion that singularly articulated a complete re-ordering of his priorities, sense of purpose, and reason for being. It’s not the first time I’ve witnessed a fellow become more of the man he was born to become with the birth of his child.
His mother and I listened to him say, “as soon as I saw her I felt a total change, like a slap in the face, waking up and realizing, oh my God, she is beautiful. She is my purpose, my reason for being here. Nothing is more important than her. Everything else pales in comparison.”
Later he said, “the day before she was born I’m wondering how I’ll do all the things I’m used to doing like golf and soccer. When will I play video games? “All of those things went chink, chink, chink instantly (as he moved his hand down lower with each chink) to where they do not matter. If I don’t ever play golf again, I won’t care (this from a rabid competitive golfer). She’s what matters. This beautiful baby girl.”
In my circle, there is a lot of thought and attention to initiation, rites of passage and their formal absence for males in contemporary life. Nonetheless, life creates endless opportunities for initiation, for deeper, truer, less visible soul qualities to emerge, to fill their beings and rearrange their reasons for being. The birth of a child contains that opportunity. It seized my step-son and reconfigured his kaleidoscope. Birth “turned everything around.” A new, more beautiful and potent imagination appeared within and emanated out for all to see, hear and feel. I could not be more touched, honored and grateful to be in its presence, and, happy for him, his daughter, his wife, and for the whole world.