Father’s Day has arrived and it is a day I honestly felt I would never take part in, but when we go back four years and nine months ago, we would arrive at the day that changed my life forever.
Before I found out my then girlfriend — now wife — was pregnant, I was still very much a screw up. I had never messed with drugs and very seldom would I even touch alcohol, but I was clinging to a life of irresponsibility. I was certain that I knew what I wanted out of life and had convinced myself that the only way to achieve that goal was to be a contributing member to society only part of the time. The rest of that time was dedicated to watching movies and studying the art of filmmaking and screenwriting and honing my writing skills by participating in weekly battles with other writers. On my off time from either of those two things, I played video games.
I had also convinced myself that my career was either screenwriter or bust. I did not want a 9-to-5. I had no use for adult servitude. I read books, wrote my own screenplays, wrote stories and attended writing classes at Western. I studied scripts from some of my favorite screenwriters in hopes that in their writings would be some little golden nugget of success that only I would be able to decipher. Unfortunately, months had turned into years and I was still no closer to attaining the one thing I desperately wanted.
Then I met my wife. I pretended to be responsible believing if I showed even a sliver of my true self, she would turn tail. I held a good job for a short period of time and made good money doing it, but it never made me happy. I left there and started elsewhere and it was roughly five months into that job that we found out she was pregnant.
I was not distraught at the news; in fact, I believe I cried tears of joy when she told me. I knew, however, I could not continue on at my current job. The hours were terrible and even though the pay was decent, it was a lifestyle I saw myself bailing on in the near future. With a kid on the way, that was no longer a possibility. I applied everywhere and within a couple of months, received news that I was being offered a job that I would go on to keep for five years.
When my son was born on Sept. 17, 2011, I finally found true happiness. Nothing else mattered in the world at that point. It did not matter that I was not a screenwriter. It did not matter that I had taken a 7-to-5 job that physically and mentally exhausted me every single day of the week. All that mattered is that I provide for this little life I created and I did. I spent five years working as a mechanic. It wore me out, especially in the summer months, but at least my son would never go without.
My son has been the single greatest gift I have ever received. He was the easiest baby in the world and I say this with complete sincerity. He acted like an angel in restaurants, he never spit up, he never got sick and he was good natured and always smiling. To this day, he is a bright and shiny beacon in my world. There are times when he acts like the little four year old boy that he is, but the moment he hugs me and kisses me and tells me that he loves me, all the frustration I have goes away.
He is sweet and he has so much love to give. I often thought bringing a child into a world this cruel was a terrible idea, but now I know that my child can be the difference-maker the world needs. Life can be harsh and I have no doubt he will have his ups and downs, but I do not think there is anything in this world that can break my little boy’s spirit. He will continue to love and spread joy. He has a blossoming personality with the best sense of humor I have ever witnessed from a four year old child and he displays it every day when he brings a smile to the faces of anyone lucky enough to come in contact with him.
The day my son was born was the day I truly grew up. Without him, who knows where I would be now.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.