Some call it, “Entering another person’s world.” It is one of the key differentiators between fathers who have vital connections with their children and those who do not. We expect children to enter their parents’ world — the one they are born into. However, it takes consistent effort to enter into the world that is forming around your children, and it is something Dr. Rafael Trespalacios (Dr. Tres) goes to great lengths to do with his children.
“I spend my professional life restoring sight to the blind,” Dr. Tres shared, “but let me tell you, nothing opens your eyes to your own blind spots like a head on collision with fatherhood.” Adding, “You hurt when they hurt, and you rejoice when you see them filled with joy. I want to have an intimate relationship with my children. They will always be my children, but that doesn’t mean that I know them … that takes work.”
His children, Christian Alexander, who is nine, and Madeline Grace, ten, are obviously the joys of his life. “Christian is always thinking of others, especially his sister,” he said. “He even considers her when she is not around. It is just because he wants to. It is beautiful. Madeline amazes me when she stands up for what she believes in. When you challenge her, she wrestles with the opposing view until it helps crystallize her position further.”
Dr. Tres feels his job as a father is to make his children competent participants in community, without exasperating them, which he describes as an “ever elusive balance.”
“You are going to try, and you are going to fail. I know it sounds bleak, but I have realized that the goal is not about ever achieving that balance, because it is always just out of reach … the goal is the actual striving for it.”