A big theme in my life is the pursuit of the invisible. The invisible version of myself—of who I can be. The invisible mysteries of life itself. The invisible power of love and how it guides my life.

In many ways, it is a concept woven into all of life. Parenting is no different.

Being a Dad is learning as you go.  It’s an on-the-job training environment that expands your limits, strengthens your character, and gives you gray hair. But when it comes to the future—when it comes to guiding my boys into manhood…

I need to be the man I want my boys to become.

As parents, we are not raising children. We are raising adults. This enormous duty starts from within, from me. It’s not about shaping the desired traits within my sons, but rather—living out those qualities, manifesting them in my actions, and serving as their living, breathing blueprint.

I am not alluding to a professional designation, societal standing, or a cache of titles and wealth. I am referring to the embodiment of character. I am speaking of the way I treat others, how I prioritize my life, how I express love.

My focus lies in presenting a blueprint of character that is intrinsically motivated to do good—to be an agent of positive change. It’s about striving to leave an indelible, uplifting imprint on the world—endeavoring to make it a shade brighter than how I found it.

Undoubtedly, there will be myriad times when I falter, moments when I stumble and betray the virtues I aspire to impart. I am, after all, human—vulnerable to imperfection, susceptible to error. Yet, even in those moments of falling short—the responsibility remains undeniably mine.

It’s about embracing the stumbles as part of the journey. It’s about demonstrating resilience, showing my boys that it’s alright to falter, to make mistakes—as long as we strive to learn, improve, and rise again.

This task—of helping shape the men my sons will become—is my greatest obligation, my highest duty. It’s a weighty responsibility that demands unflagging commitment and boundless energy. But it’s an investment worth every iota of strength, every drop of sweat, and every moment of time.

In the end, it circles back to that grand pursuit of the invisible—that unseen essence that forms the backbone of my life. My legacy to my boys will not be measured in tangible acquisitions or visible accolades, but in the imprints of character I’ve sown into their hearts. Like a gardener tending to his unseen seeds—I pour my love, my lessons, my character into them—knowing that, in due time, they will grow into men of goodness.

Wonderful, fallible, irreplaceable… and, in my eyes, absolutely precious… men of goodness.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Product + Content Marketing at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.