Journey into Fatherhood: Freemasonry's Quiet Guidance
12 January 24
By W Bro Mitchell Perrin
Becoming a father is a life-altering experience, one which can bring forth a myriad of emotions, challenges, and immeasurable joy. But what happens when things don’t go to plan? What do you need to have in your self-survival kit bag, and where do you get it?
I will begin with a brief story: The year was 2017, and my wife and I were expecting our first child, we had recently built a house, got married, and felt settled enough in our life to seriously consider children.
Things were very innocuous for all the appointments, prenatal classes, and scans, with the baby growing as it should, and my wife’s health remaining normal. Things were so normal, that my wife and I decided to align a rostered day off to go to an obstetrician appointment, and then get lunch and a movie.
That was a life-changing day.
Our baby was 34 weeks and 5 days old at this scan, we had just completed our second pre-natal class, and gave us homework to map out an ideal birth plan – then destroy it with what happens when such and such does not work?
The sonographer started as normal, but then very quickly became quiet, and soon after called the obstetrician. Our baby had not grown since the last scan, my wife had signs of Hypertension – We were going to have a baby today. We were told to walk over to the hospital next door, to the maternity ward, and the doctor would meet us there imminently.
By 2.19 pm our son was born, and in NICU, weighing less than 2kg, and being able to fit in the palm of my hand. And that began our journey into parenthood, and the first of a 10 day stay in the hospital for our son.
So, with this experience, what did I need to “man up” for my wife, and son? And where did I get it from?
No man is instantly born a parent – We are made. We look for those admirable attributes around us and draw from both the good, and bad life experiences we have had.
I know I have mirrored many attributes from my father, and grandfather when it comes to my own son, but more so I have drawn from the many experiences of the men around me at the lodge, who nurtured me as a young man, and mason. Luckily for me in my eyes, and hopefully many others grandfather was a great mason, and man – and I had him to ask a lot of questions of, and to be quietly taught from.
Being a man to me, is more than muscles, and testosterone – It recognises what is important, and being strong enough to prioritise it, even if you feel that you might let somebody else down. It is being a mentor to somebody, whether you know it or not, and finding the light in the dark – or at least being the person holding the candle in the storm.