With each child we have had, my life has changed. With the addition of a fourth child in our lives, what is next for me?
The birth of our first child was the biggest life-changing experience of my life. Having to not only take care of a living human being, but also to have responsibility for it was an awe-inspiring new facet to my life. Moreover, this responsibility will stick with me for the rest of my life. It was a huge change to not only our lifestyle, but also on our outlook on life.
The addition of a second child brought about more responsibilities to life and was also a shock to our system. Inasmuch as I had thought we had parenting down with one child, having a second child is a big surprise! Nevertheless, we managed and had the parenting of two children thing down. A little over a half-year after our second daughter had been in our life, I discovered an interest in cocktails - both making them and consuming them. I don't think this interest in cocktails was unrelated to my being a parent to a second child. I don't mean that it drove me to drink; rather, it was a way to gain a hobby and express some of my individuality.
This need to express some individuality was not willy-nilly out of thin air. With more children, not only is one's time consumed, but so, too, is one's energy, as well as one's identity. I think that this new interest of mine was borne out of a need to develop a separate interest area for my identity and adulthood. Eventually, the cocktails led into spirits (as they are the building blocks of cocktails (as well as liqueurs)), and then, eventually, into beers.
When our third child was born, one thing I did to further the aforementioned trend was to being brewing my own beer. This was a really neat way to better understand beer and to do something that helped me to further get into an interest of mine, apart from being a father. However, I also realized that while my identities as a husband, father, and rabbi were important, I knew something was missing. There was an important identity piece that needed to be developed.
Part of this identity piece that was missing was that I knew that I enjoyed sharing my ideas, knowledge, and more, but was not doing it fully enough. While I had been blogging on this blog of mine for over eight years, I knew I needed to begin writing more publicly and to embrace my identity as not only a blogger, but as someone who writes in the public sphere. I wanted my ideas, knowledge, and insights to get out there. To that end, I began by creating Drew's Views, which then led me to transition to Matters of Interest for my public writing.
Now that we have a fourth child, it is not that I specifically intend to introduce a new change into my life, whether that be hobby, interest, outlook, or something altogether different, yet I am also fully aware that a new child for me has brought new perspectives for me into my own life. How my identity continues to be articulated or how I will change is something about which I am both excited and nervous as to how it will fit into my already busy life. We shall see….