Antonio Esfandiari on Fatherhood

Antonio Esfandiari on Fatherhood

Friday, 6 February 2015

Little munchkin time...

On January 7th at 8:01 am, I became a father of a beautiful son. It was a moment that truly cannot be explained, only experienced. I am shocked and transformed, and my life has changed forever.

I always knew that this day would come. I have always been one of those types of guys that is predisposed to fatherhood, from noticing how cute other people’s children are to being naturally attracted to the love of a parent-child relationship and both sides of that dynamic. But the picture you paint in front of you when you intend to be a father and the reality that bursts into existence when you actually become a father share no resemblance. Before the birth of my son, I would never have thought that what I was doing was setting an entire subjective experience into motion. The arrival of a child into my world has given birth to an everlasting love, a nurturing love that has weaved itself into the fabric of my being. It happened instantly, and watching my child enter this world was nothing short of a true miracle.

Where do I even start? The love I have for my son is a love that I have never imagined or experienced before. I would do anything for him. I wouldn’t flinch at taking a bullet for him. He has not said one word to me, yet I would die for him. Anyone reading this who has a child knows exactly what I am talking about and those who do not have children cannot have any idea. He is so pure, so innocent and so helpless.

As well as feelings of the deepest love, never in my life have I experienced such responsibility. My life is no longer about me; it’s about him. All of a sudden, selfishness has become so difficult.

The magnitude of this event in my life comes into focus like a camera takes in the background of a scene first, before zooming in on the subject in the foreground. This sense of continuity I feel is derived from the relationship I have had with my father. It is an incredible relationship. His love and sacrifice have been as reliable as the laws of physics in my life. He is not only my father but my best friend and my hero, and one of the biggest joys in my life. I love him so much. He sacrificed so much to bring us to America from Iran for the chance of a better life, and because of his courage in doing that, I am now able to give my son the same. Throughout many years of being so close to my father, I always wondered what life was like from his perspective. Now, at last, I know.

On the day my son was born, my brother Pasha immediately posted a picture of him on Facebook. Only now do I know the true power of Facebook. That single photograph went viral. Before I knew it, people I didn’t even know were retweeting and reposting my baby’s picture. In a way, this irked me. I started to play the role of the protective father. I realised that didn’t like the idea of my son’s picture being broadcast around the world. He is my son and even though there were no bad intentions, to respect the wishes of my family, I feel that these sorts of things should be left private.

I have to admit that my life has been quite a ride. I took the road less travelled from a repressed life in Iran to America, and wrote my own unique version of the ‘American Dream’. I found my incredible wife and soulmate, and now feel like I have truly arrived as I experience a life with my beautiful, healthy and handsome son.

I am blessed, plain and simple.

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