Wade opened up to PEOPLE about fatherhood in February ahead of the premiere of his documentary D. Wade: Life Unexpected, discussing how his perspective of parenthood has changed since he welcomed his first child, Zaire.
Admitting he "always" has fears as a parent even presently, the athlete said he's "scared in a different way now" than when he became a first-time father at barely 20 years old.
"Now [Zaire is] 18 and I'm like, 'He's about to go to college' — I'm even more scared," Wade said. "When a kid is born, they don't come out with a pamphlet that's like, 'Okay, these are the directions for this kid.' So you just figure it out and try to help raise someone who's good and kind, and just characteristics that you want your kids to hopefully have. And that's in you already."
"You're afraid because you don't want to mess up; you don't want anything to happen to them," he continued. "But I think, ultimately, we all have it inside of us to help lead someone, whether that's your kids, godson or goddaughter, niece or nephew, coworker — we all have it in us to lead. It's no different when you have a kid."
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