It’s Father’s Day. And it’s been a long weekend, driving up to San Jose to attend a family wedding. We just got back, and while exhausted, I realized all day I had been asking myself:
“What is being a dad?”
So before I go to sleep, I am asking myself this again, and here are the first 10 things that come to mind:
1. Embracing the challenge of answering every question from young curious minds head-on…
“What is this?”
“It looks like a pen.”
“Well, I have seen pens before and that looks similar.”
“Why have I seen pens before or why does that look similar?”
“Why does it look similar?”
“Well, they both are long and cylindrical and it has cap and a clip.”
“Pens are long and cylindrical so they are easy to hold….”
2. Enjoying being a human jungle gym…
…no matter how many times my groin gets bludgeoned or stepped on (by my count, about 1290 times or about 5 times a week)
3. Realizing during play-time it’s okay to not make any sense…
…which is a fantastic vehicle to just let things go.
“A brocolli chocolate mint chip meatloaf espresso? Yes please! I’ll take a large! What? $50? How about for $35?”
4. Not letting the enormity of the realization…
…that every single thing I do and say will shape my kids’ life scare me from making a “mistake”
5. Trusting that all the deposits of parental love I give my children…
…will overcome any perceived parental “mistakes” I make along the way
6. Coming to the interesting realization…
…that while I know I am trying to figure it out along the way, my kids likely sees me much like I saw my own dad: invincible and all knowing. “With great power, comes great responsibility.”
7. Having feelings of despair…
…on the harder days when nothing is going right, wondering how I will ever get through the day
8. Quickly forgetting said feelings of despair…
…with one quick glance at my perfect, peacefully sleeping kids
9. Getting emotional at weddings realizing one day my own kids will fly the coop…
…this has happened at every wedding so far, especially during the father-daughter dance, compounded by the fact that I happen to always be holding my daughter during the father-daughter dance. Yes, I get weepy.
10. Only vaguely remembering at all what my life was like before kids…
… and shuddering to think about “what-ifs” and my parallel universe life without them.
It definitely hits me hard still, less frequently as time goes on, what our life might have been like without our kids. Thank you to modern medical miracles and supportive family and knowledgable and patient doctors, I am able to write the above list from first hand experience. And this is only about four years into fatherhood. I can’t wait to find out what else I can learn about being a daddy.
Happy Father’s Day to all my dad friends!!
Whether we talk a lot or not, it’s fantastic knowing my brotherhood of dads is out there. You guys are fantastic!