The Spartan Agesilaus was the toughest of the tough. Like all Spartans, he had been trained in the agoge to be courageous and self-disciplined and beyond fear and pain. He was capable of incredible feats in battle and was in peak physical condition. As a Spartan king, he was all these things and more.
But he was also a father, and as you know, that changes you.
One day, a warrior who had just been called to meet with Agesilaus returned to the king’s home, having forgotten something. There he found the great king riding on a stick horse to entertain his young children. The man was stunned. Agesilaus just laughed. Don’t tell anyone about this, he said, because you don’t understand—you can’t. “When you shall be a Father yourself, then you may give counsel to Fathers.”
Is that how it goes? All the things you saw your friends do before you had kids seemed baffling… now it all makes perfect sense. Even your own parents. You couldn’t quite understand why they were so tired, worried, ridiculous. Now you know… it was because of you.
Becoming a parent changes you, mostly for the better. It is something incommunicable. It’s something transformative. It opens you to possibilities you never thought possible. It makes you do things you’d have never done before. And so what if people don’t get it? As long as you’re doing your job and having a great time with it.
P.S. This was originally sent on November 3, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”