A Father’s Switch

Though no other employees at the Microsoft Store are aware of it yet, one of their customers now is. In seven months ‘Gaetano’ will be a father. Despite the futuristic timeline, Gaetano has already entered fatherhood.

Gaetano’s assignment at this time this day was to assess and repair my “I can’t use the program offline” OneNote dilemma. In the plentiful space between installing updates, restarting my Surface Book, downloading the OneNote desktop version, and transferring notebooks from the app version, Gaetano and I traipsed through conversational ordinaries. Until we advanced into more preferred terrains, with slowing of pace and heightened engagement.

With something nearing bewildered reverence in his eyes, Gaetano shared,

“It’s like a switch was flipped. It goes to show the power of the mind.”

From one day to the next, Gaetano had become someone more than he was before. To who already existed, Father was added. His mindset, outlook, capacity, priorities, interests … they – and boundless more – all expanded. It already seems so immense to Gaetano, but a more colossal increase is still to come.

Gaetano and I wondered together about the possibility of intentionally activating these obviously available switches inside ourselves — changing in a moment, on purpose — without having the rely on external factors to trigger a flip. Critical car accident. Cancer. Divorce. Job loss. Parenthood. Admitting his theory was unproven and still needed to be time-tested, Gaetano believes harnessing this internal expansion requires we reach out for something that:

  • Scares us. There must be a measure of fear.
  • Excites us. A measure of elated exhilaration stirs at the thought of it.
  • We want it in greater measure than we can live without it.

Gaetano’s assignment is complete. My OneNote is now functioning as needed.

Added to my ‘thank you’ and ‘good-bye’, I declared to Gaetano what I believe is already true and is becoming true for him: “You are a good Father.”

(Written and posted with Gaetano’s permission)

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