I spent my childhood bopping around the middle of no where in southern Michigan. A small township called Spring Arbor surrounded by swathes of corn fields and cattle roaming the open pastures. Sure in the small township where I spent the first 18 years of my life there was a small college, but other than the many buildings they used for educating there wasn’t much else.
My family has been living in this area since my grandmother was a little girl and for most of my life the simple living of a small community was all I knew. Leaving the front door unlocked, heading out to play and having the only rules being not to cross the two lane state highway that ran through our community and to make sure I was home by dinner or by the time street lights came on. This was how I spent my summers and how I always envisioned raising a child of my own but now I live in Chicago and I’m still adjusting to city life myself.
In my usual way of over thinking everything, especially when it comes to my future son, I began wondering how I would able to raise a boy in a city I barely know. I don’t know why or when this thought started creeping in, but now that it’s in there I can’t stop wondering what will be different. Sure there’s the lack of a yard to play whiffle ball in and not being able to just hop on the bike and head out for a evening of riding, but what else am I going to have to figure out?
Where can I teach him how to ride his bike safely? How soon can he head out on his own once he’s learned how to ride? What sports teams should he root for since I am a Detroit fan of all major sports? I still get lost when I head out into the great city of Chicago so how can I make sure my son can navigate it?
I know I’ve got a few years to worry about some of this stuff since I still have a few months until he’s born, but I feel like I should at least have a better idea of how I’ll do all this before he gets here. I want a game plan that I can reference when I’ve got questions or something comes up I don’t know the answer to so I can make sure I’m making the right choices.
Hopefully once the little guy is old enough to throw the ball around or explore the neighborhood on two wheels I’ll have a better idea of what I’m doing as a father, but until then I guess I’ll continue to worry about what I’ll do before anything actually happens.