My Son Saved Me From Complacency

My Son Saved Me From Complacency

This is a story that I’ve wanted to share for sometime, but it’s fitting to share it now given, that I’m writing it on Father’s Day and the day before was my son Chris’s ninth birthday.

I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was 17 years old, working as a dish-washer at a restaurant, I hated the job. In fact, I hated almost every job. Jobs to me were a means to an end, that end was partying. I didn’t take them seriously. While working one night, I got a phone call from my girlfriend.

“JP, I haven’t gotten my period yet.” \ “When should you’ve gotten it?”\ “Seven days ago.”\ “Shit. OK, we’ll buy a test tomorrow and take it after school.”

We bought the pregnancy test after school. Right away, we went to my house and she took it. She came out of the bathroom and shut the bathroom door. We let the test sit in the bathroom for 3-mins so that the result would appear. I could hear the clock ticking on the wall, we both knew that in a few minutes our lives would probably change forever.

We opened the door and saw what we expected. The test displayed the green plus. Nothing would be the same. We would have to grow up overnight. I would have to stop coding for a hobby and work more. I wasn’t upset, mad, or sad. It was almost as if I strapped myself into a roller-coaster in a giant dome without lights. I had no idea what was going to happen. The feeling probably closely resembled fear.

At my next dish-washing shift my outlook had changed dramatically. I was no longer there so that I could earn beer money. I had to provide a future for my son. Ever since, I haven’t settled for anything. He is my inspiration, my drive, and the best gift I have ever received.

Chris: The last nine years have been quite the roller coaster, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I wouldn’t be half of the man I am if wasn’t for you. Thank you.

You can follow me on Twitter: @jprichardson

-JP Richardson

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