Article by Ashton Horne | Owl Staff
My life was changed forever the day my daughter, Kamara McKenzie Horne, was born. In a single wonderful moment, she entered the world, my life and my heart. Ever since that day, it has been a learning experience to be a young father.
Part of that experience is realizing that while it is my job to guide and teach her, sometimes it is the other way around. By watching her grow, I grow too. The first time I realized this was on a warm summer day when I went to the court across from my house to play basketball. Kamora came with me.
She asked for the ball and she passed it to me and grabbed my rebounds as I shot. I gave her the ball and before I could even show her how to dribble, she started on her own. No help at all from her daddy.
At first, I wondered who could have taught her this. I took a moment to think and realized we watched basketball together, and she had seen me play. We couldn’t have full conversations about it, but she had been observing me and the game the whole time.
I took a step back and let her continue. No matter how many times she messed up and air-balled her shot, she didn’t give up. Quitting was not an option and a smile stayed on her face until he finished.
Another lesson I learned was that I was going to have to sacrifice some things I used to do so I could care for her. Leisure time transitioned to changing diapers, getting thrown up on, and panicking about her every movement. Other young parents, including 21-year-old Chyna Williams, also shared what lessons they learned.
“She’s really helping me learn patience and handle my reactions. She doesn’t know any better since she is a one-year-old, so learning to control my emotions through her helps me control my emotions with everyone else.
Olivia Richardson, a 25-year-old mother of two children, shares her sentiments as well.
“Unconditional love is what I’ve learned. My son and daughter love me through all my flaws and still look up to me no matter what.”
“Time management is very important as well. I have to be able to make time for myself as an individual but also my family,” she says.
As a father, I recognize the struggle my parents went through for me. It’s teaching me patience, to not get mad at the imperfections we have, and to appreciate the little joys in life.
Exploration is very vital to learning. I want to protect my daughter from everything, but to truly learn she needs to have her own journey and experiences in life. It’s important to be there for her and guide her the best I can.
Overall, life has never been better. I could never have imagined such a huge impact being caused by such a little person. I’ve found my best friend and a person to always challenge me to be better and happier. Children are truly a gift of love and happiness.