Before it happens, no matter how many parents you’ve spoken to, books you’ve read, or classes you’ve taken, I don’t think you can understand the impact of the birth of your child.
Looking back on more than 25 years of events (mostly blurred together), it’s a bit glib to say that raising a child is a 25-year project. The requirements are poorly understood, and there are no metrics to tell you whether you’ve met them. I think Susan and I (and Chris) were very fortunate; we certainly didn’t have a project plan. Nonetheless, we had a relatively easy time of it, and a very happy result. Now that Chris and Grant are raising Ren, it’s interesting to watch the process at some distance.
I’ve tagged this post as an unfinished project, because Susan and I aren’t yet dead. With my impending retirement, and a likely move to the Seattle area, we will once again be closely involved with Chris (and Ren). And we still don’t have a project plan or metrics to measure success. We don’t need ’em.