Roots

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I’m having a son in two days. That’s a reality that’s still hard to catch up with. I’m going to be responsible for raising another little human. Who decided this was a good idea? At what point did everything around me change? If you take the time to ask me how I’m doing, I can almost guarantee that nothing I say is accurate. The truth is that it’s difficult to understand how to feel about this. I’ve never been more excited to welcome a new addition to our lives, but at the same time nothing has ever been more terrifying.

I think that I’m going to lean more towards excited for now though.

I wanted to take the time to explain to my future son, Ezra, what it means to be a part of our family. What it means to be a Troche.

Now I had coined a bit of a sarcastic family motto a while back that really only is known between me and my wife. Regardless, I find it to be on point when you think about it.

“A Troche never forgets, but always pretends that he forgets.”

Now if you look at that negatively, then that would indicate that people in our family would tend to try and get themselves out of trouble, more often than not through lies and deception. This is true to some extent based on the stories I’ve heard about some of my family. However, I like to spin it more to the positive, in the sense that as a Troche, you may not expect much of us, but we will absolutely surprise you with what we’re capable of.

We’re a family that, for a long time, has struggled with being honest, being transparent, being good communicators, being selfless and compassionate, and being attentive. It is a family history that seems like it is built more on mistrust than it is on love. This isn’t to say that the family doesn’t love each other, but in the past they have done a poor job of showing it. I can speak for me and my cousins in the same generation that this has been the case. Family, for all of their flaws, will always be family. I don’t say this out of resentment, but awareness that things need to change.

We’re finally growing into our namesake. We are taking over the mantle of the family name and defining it under our own terms. We get to choose what being a Troche means from here on out. My son will know who he is and where he comes from, but I also want him to know who I am, what I stand for, and that he will have that to lean on if he ever comes upon times of trouble or doubt. These are some of the things that I have learned in my short 27 years so far:

  • Be good to everyone, regardless of whether they are good to you.
  • A hard truth is better than a soft lie.
  • A sincere apology goes a long way towards mending bridges.
  • Respect the work that someone has put into a project, whether assigned or chosen.
  • Common courtesy is not common. Go out of your way to show kindness to others.
  • Be a man of your word.
  • Having a good reputation and being reliable are two traits that are immensely valuable.
  • Show and speak how you feel whenever necessary. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe.
  • Being vulnerable does not make you weak; it reveals the character of others.
  • Just being there when you’re needed can be enough to show that you care.
  • Becoming a good listener will save you a lot of trouble down the road.
  • Be unashamed of who you are. You were made that way for a reason.

And finally

  • No matter what you’re going through, God will take care of you.

These proverbs, if you can even call them that, are a short list of many things that define who I am. These are some of the core values that I’d like our family to become. Someday I might be considered a patriarch in my family, and I would hope that these would be readily apparent without having to say it out loud. I want my family to know that this is a part of me just from my actions.

I’m so conscious of how, from here on out, everything I do or say will affect my son. My wife will be responsible as well, but there’s just something, man to man, that goes beyond that. The wisdom that I pour into him must form a solid foundation, so that even if he goes wayward, he will still be grounded. I cannot control everything that he will do, but I can control who I am for him to look to.

I can’t wait to meet him already. The real work is yet to be done.

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