There’s something unique about having kids. I did not realize it early on. Matter of fact, I was a “No Kids” kind of guy at one point in my life. However, dealing with your own mortality has a way of changing your perspective. I remember being young. Thinking of things in a way that was new and exciting. Looking at the moon over the horizon as something enormous and powerful. Watching ants march in a line down the sidewalk. Seeing birds flying in the sky and trying to wave my arms to take flight. Youth sees things so fresh yesterday which seem so mundane today. Isn’t that what is so strange about getting older. The moon just hangs in the sky as it always has. We never get down on our knees to look at the ants marching in line anymore. The birds are there, but they do not hold the same magical power as they used to. We are no longer flapping our arms and trying to take flight. That’s probably the reason that we move on from this world. We are given the gift of moving on from this world (death) because living is something that becomes expected. This world becomes something that isn’t as exciting as ants marching anymore. Yet we have the opportunity to create new life. We have the opportunity to see things from this life we created. That my friends, has made all of the difference for me.
I have been a father for 5 years now. I have three beautiful children. They frustrate me to no end some hours, yet they make me laugh at other times. It’s an amazing experience. It is something that is hard to write down in just a single blog. You cannot latch onto this within a few hundred or even thousand words. Parenthood happens at random much like discoveries within the cosmos is shown before us and our mere presence seems so insignificant. Yet, that one moment; that one moment where we see something magical. That moment in time just slows down. We are transfixed within the presence of that moment. It is magical. It could be seen as mundane, yet it moves us beyond comprehension. It moves us with conviction. It is beauty and hope all put together in one simple laugh or amazement due to chance or circumstance. It is vocabulary repeated in a way that grabs you at the core of your existence. All seems right. All seems miniscule. All seems puzzled yet put together as it should be. What did she just say?
Here is where things minuscule and insignificant come together in a concerto of perfection. My oldest is for some reason sucking her thumb. She has never done this before in her ENTIRE life. My wife approaches the subject offender and asks her to stop. I watch as the subject offender decides she is going to find a way to hide her face to keep sucking her thumb. Obviously, this is going to piss off Mommy, but be damned with this. I’m a bored child who needs to stir the pot. At some point she grabs a blanket to pull over her head. Mommy won’t know what mommy can’t see. Honestly, I can relate. Nose picking. Not the coolest thing to do, but I do remember hiding when I needed to pick those green monsters out of my nose. This is basically the same thing. Okay, so Dad (that’s me if you haven’t figured it out yet) decides to intervene.
What I have in my lap is a homing missile known as the “Youngest Child.” This child is 2 years old and will do what I say at whim. She is a heat seeking destroying missile. If I tell her to jump, she says “How High,” however, if she tells me to jump I also so “How High.” It’s a weird relationship you have with your youngest child. I order my youngest child to retrieve the blanket from the older child and present to her master as a gift for being so awesome. She accepts the challenge and proceeds to home in on her target. However, we forget that the oldest is in antagonistic mode. She is a weapon that is finely tuned to the sounds around her and activates her defenses. The oldest child hears the sounds of Daddy saying “Attack!” She will not be brought down easily.
My homing missile moves in swiftly. However, she is thwarted quickly with the chafe of giggling laughter and swift movements. The oldest countermoves the assault and heads around the coffee table and towards the kitchen. I’ll be damned if she thwarts my homing missile’s first attack. I think about moving in for a counter offensive but hold back. The thumb sucking offender moves ever so swiftly and I decide to let things play their course. The ballet is upon us. It’s a Father’s majestic moment where he feels like his plans are coming together yet almost falling apart as one small trip could spell disaster. The ballet commences. Homing missile is attached to the target. The target must be neutralized. The target is running and laughing now with the shielding blanket in pure joy. The target knows that she has the thrust to outrun this homing missile that dad has sent here way.
Then the magic happens. The two year old mutters some words in anger; pure anger and frustration because she cannot reach her target. “LEANNE, THIS IS CRAZY!” She chases and pursues her older sister Leanne and keeps repeating at her loudest, “LEANNE, THIS IS CRAZY!” There is screaming and the chaos of war all around. “NOOOOO, LEANNNE. THIS IS CRAZY. GIVE ME THE BLANKY!” Dad is amused in wonderment at the vocabulary used properly for a two year old. Mom looks at dad and is also amused.
Within that moment, we are looking at the ants marching in a line. The moon seems so much brighter than it ever was before. The normal occurrences within our life become new again as we have the opportunity to glimpse upon a discovery. That is what children give you. They give you a new found discovery upon life. You get to see things that may have seem so minuscule before a new light is shone upon them. They are a wonderment of your own invention.
This Thanksgiving and I’m thankful that my wife saw something in this poor lost sole. She decided to marry me and raise a wonderful family. She didn’t care about who I was before but who I could be to her. She created a family with me and that I am very grateful.
Enjoy your family folks. Enjoy your time you have on this planet. If you need a spark to ignite your enjoyment, then come on out to our house. There is never a dull moment. Hell, I’ll even leave you with the kids free of charge. But, when I’m headed out the door, I’ll probably say something like “embrace the suck”, because somewhere in that “suck” is happiness.