I’ve heard men say that their children are their greatest achievement. I’m sure that’s not what Siddhartha’s father was saying when not-yet Buddha slipped out of the family compound, abandoned his wife and infant son to their privilege, and hit the road to oblivion.
My father taught me to sail in a small, orange-sailed boat he built himself. “If you get into trouble out there,” he said, nodding to the Northumberland Strait, “just let go of everything.”
The main thing is not to want anything. To welcome what comes and to play with that.
Something else: If we hope to prevent our children from becoming little doings, indistinguishable from the herd, we will need to teach ourselves how to do nothing.
Our response to what happens is vastly more important than what happens.
Whatever else it may be, fatherhood is nowise an achievement. Unless love is.