Like all fathers, I have great hopes and dreams for my son. I’ve been saving for his college education since before I met his mother, and I am only half joking when I say that anything less than Harvard will be a failure. When he lays his little head down at night, though, I am not asking God for an Ivy League admission letter.
After getting Jack changed and reading a couple of books together (Good Night Fenway Park and Quantum Physics for Babies are current favorites), the last stop before the crib is to pray over him. I make the sign of the cross on his forehead and ask God to bless him with a mind that will solve the most pressing problems of the world.
Then we move on to his feet, and I ask God to allow him to walk in all four corners of the globe. His hands get blessed next, and I pray that they will carry out God’s work here on Earth. Then, with a cross on his chest, I pray that Jack may come to love God and all of His creation. Finally, I pray to God to love my son, and pray to Pope John Paul the Great, Jack’s patron, that he may grow to be a better man than his father (low bar though this may be).
Jack doesn’t need a degree from Harvard to make me proud of him, and as he approaches his first full trip around the sun, I am already incredibly proud to be his father. I want to give him the entire world, but if all he ends up with is a heart that knows God, a mind that can discern His will, and hands and feet that carry it out, then I will be more than happy. That way I’ll know, at the very least, that he is indeed a better man than his father.