You often hear that as Christians we must "die to our old selves". And I think that's true. But Dutch over at Sweet Juniper also points out that the same thing happens, and must happen, when we become parents. Following is an extract, but go read the whole thing:
I look down at my sleeping son in my arms and I know there's nothing I can do to prevent myself from damaging him, from failing him in the million ways I must as a father. I cannot simply restrain myself and save him from this. The damage will not come from anything I do. It will be the result of me just being me.
Even if I were to do everything in my power not to damage him, not to fail him, wouldn't this in itself be damage, a form of failure? Who ever brags of having a perfect childhood? Perfect parents? No one wants to hear impassioned songs about perfect childhoods. I don't believe there even is such a thing. I need to fail, to falter. I need to give him my shoulders to stand on; my life to surmount. I know that one day he must hate me and resent everything I represent. If he doesn't, something must be wrong with him. Or me.
A parent must do everything in his power to protect a creature that must do everything in its own power to grow independent of him. You can't be The Man and still flip off The Man.
Gram won't stop crying in the middle of the night. I bite my knuckles. He's slowly destroying me, but I can't blame him for being born. I have to let him damage me, and weaken me, and destroy what I once was so I can be the kind of parent he actually needs me to be.