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What does it mean to be a dad in 2022?

"Would you ever invite a respected person to dinner, leaving your home completely in disarray, making your guest feel completely uncomfortable?"

By Fabiola Graziosi

A few days ago I scrolled through the calendar and saw that Father’s Day was very close. In addition to the immediate thought of Saint Joseph’s delicious puffs, I asked myself: “What does it mean to become a father? How is it possible to do it today?”.

So I had a chat with Luca, who will soon find himself right in front of this experience.

Ciao Luca, if we are doing this interview is because you are going to be a dad. The first question will be very simple: how are you? 

Good morning to you and thank you for involving me! I’m fine, in a very particular moment of life, electrifying and frightening (given the historical context) at the same time. But good!

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Un post condiviso da Riccardo Pozzoli (@riccardopozzoli)

I admit that parenting, or almost parenting, is something that I can’t feel right now. Can you tell me about it?

To be honest, you’re not the only one who doesn’t feel it. Understanding that we are parents, without actually being parents again, requires a good dose of imagination because in everyday life little has changed. It is not immediate to have a total understanding of what is going to happen to you and that, in some way, is already happening. 

Let’s also add the fact that the transition from being a “son” to becoming a “dad” was decidedly quick and not quite completed since I am 28 years old, I got married and I went to live together no later than 8 months ago. 

However, there was a moment that was the key for me. One night my wife told me to put my hand on her belly, and I felt the baby push on the palm of my hand. A whole world opened up for me, and I had a tingle of joy. I was excited because I felt the greatness of the gift that was given to us. 

Physical contact made me realize that there is another being there, real and alive, with whom I will have to relate. I bet in the imagination of almost every one of us, our own child is portrayed as our best copy. I’m no different. But I realize that in a few months my wife and I will be dealing with another person, who will have her needs, her inclinations and her desires. That contact, for me, represents the first “handshake” you give when you meet a person for the first time and start a journey together.

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Un post condiviso da David Beckham (@davidbeckham)

We may have just passed a pandemic, but what is happening in the world is still not exactly serene. What is it like to live this experience today? How much does it affect all this?

You hit a good spot. My most recurring thought is “what kind of world are we bequeathing?!”. Would you ever invite an esteemed person to dinner, leaving your home in a complete disarray, making your guest feel completely uncomfortable? I don’t think so. But I feel like I have to open the door of this world to my son.

So the next question I ask myself is “what can I do to make him appreciate this life, despite the events that characterize this time?”. The truth is that on these great issues I cannot do much: I cannot wave the magic wand and end everything; I cannot hide certain painful events. To be honest, I don’t even want to do that. 

This is because, it is true that war, disease and everything that comes with it (I also think of the social divisions that this pandemic has brought with it) are absolutely terrifying things, but they have the strength to know how to call us to the responsibility of taking a position in the world. And I believe that basically a parent must do this: give the tools to their child so that he can find his position in this world, understanding, accepting and facing the responsibilities that come with it. 

However, there is another aspect that concerns me: so far in my life I have had the good fortune to be able to travel without great limits, to meet people with different cultures, to know various points of view. Needless to say, every encounter and experience has enriched me. I therefore feel the responsibility of having to work to give those who will come the same opportunity to explore without walls between nations due to a hatred that today seems really anachronistic and dictated by a close circle of people.

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Un post condiviso da Francesco Facchinetti (@frafacchinetti)

Do you think our generation has building a family in its priorities? 

Ask! I don’t like to make a bundle of everything and I think each case should be analyzed separately. If I have to make a “spannometric” average, I would tell you that “building a family” is in the wish list of my peers, but I think it is not always in first place. There are so many factors that affect. I don’t feel like judging. Surely the world offers so much to our generations, just think of career opportunities, fun, travel. 

All things that in older times were more difficult to achieve. This cannot but affect our list of priorities. I myself said to myself that I wanted so much to make that trip to Japan before having a child... but here I am! I’m happy. Now that I’ve made a choice, I don’t feel like I’ve given up.

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Un post condiviso da Tiziano Ferro (@tizianoferro)

Going back, how and when did you realize that you wanted and that you could take this step?

When I got married. Marriage was a huge step for me. I am a believer and therefore for me saying “yes” to a person all my life had its beautiful specific weight. 

Let’s go back to the topic we were talking about earlier: what is my position in the world? I wanted this position because I love the girl who became my wife, not another. Including this aspect, the rest is pure nature and not frightening. I never would have said it, but unlike marriage, the news that my wife was pregnant never bothered me because I knew I wasn’t alone. It’s the bond with my wife that gave me confidence in this

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Un post condiviso da FEDEZ (@fedez)

Tell me something we’d never guess about the experience of becoming a dad.

A child is an experience that you can live in two ways: keeping the joy all to yourself or sharing it with those around you. My wife and I have always told each other that this child must not be jealously guarded, but that it must be “shared”. And so we are already doing. 

It’s mind-boggling the joy that the people around us can convey to us when we put them in front of this event. I saw my uncle a few days ago, I don’t remember ever seeing him cry, even when my grandparents missed. But when I told him about the baby, I swear I saw a flash in his eyes. 

They were not tears, but a lucid eye of an excited man. And this fills your heart. I could give a thousand examples. The most beautiful thing about pregnancy was being able to share it with those around us. The joy that could only be ours, if shared, can make much more. Do you understand how powerful it is?

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Un post condiviso da Alessandro Cattelan (@alecattelan)

What do you wish for the future and what do you wish for your/your son/daughter?

I wish myself and my wife to be able to pass on values to our son. I wish my son to know how to build his way by having those values as a guide. 

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Un post condiviso da FABIOLA GRAZIOSI (@fabiolagraziosi)

Today is March 19th, Father’s Day. Best wishes to Luca, to all the fathers of the world and of course to mine.