With my self-imposed “you must post daily” rule for this blog, I admit there are lots of days when I mail it in by posting a few brief lines or a single link to a different web site.
But then, there are some days when I feel like I should put a bit more effort and thought into what I’m writing. Father’s Day tends to be one of those days.
Except I really have no idea what to write. Do I like being a father? Yes. Do I love it? Yes. Does it occasionally frustrate/anger/exasperate me? Yes, yes, yes.
Is Pace the best kid in the world? Easily. Do I sometimes worry that he’s just another kid, better at some things than others and worse at other things than some? Yes.
Do I worry about the future we, as a society are creating for our children? Yes (but probably not as much as I should.)
Am I happy with the choices I’ve made with work-life balance? Yes, I feel extremely fortunate to be in a position where I work M-F, 9-5 and have weekends and evenings with both him and Shea (as a nurse, Shea spent a lot of years working shift work, weekends, evenings, nights, stat holidays, etc.) so her move to Public Health nursing after Pace was born is also one I think she’d cite as a great decision for our family.
I’m also able to get away for things like his doctor’s appointments and daycare dinosaur parties – precious events and memories that help me understand my son in immeasurable ways.
Do we regret only having one? Not really. You have to remember that Shea did extended breastfeeding for two and a half years so for her, it really only feels like she’s been without her “baby” for a year and a half (which is probably the most common length of time between most of our friends having kids for those who have two.) Hmmm…
I sometimes wish I’d set up a “Shit My Kid Says” blog/Twitter/Tumblr because not a day goes by that Pace doesn’t say something that blows my mind or makes me laugh or is so perfect in its innocence. Just a couple examples from today – “Tonight, he made sure to wish a Happy Father’s Day to…his mom…before going to bed.” This afternoon, we spent probably half an hour just looking at and playing with and talking about a caterpillar he found in the backyard – what it ate, how many legs it has, how it moved, if it could swim, if it was married, how if we were too rough with it, it might die, how it could climb up the side of a basket and how it felt crawling across our hands.
Mom and dad relayed a comment from someone in Indian Head who told them “Pace sure sounds like a smart kid from the things I read on Facebook” (to which Shea replied, “Yeah, cause we don’t exactly rush to Facebook when he does something dumb!”) When he and I went over to the park to play while Shea did an exam for a course she’s taking, we bumped into a young couple with her pug dog. The guy said Pace could play with the puppy and then commented on how well-behaved Pace was. “You don’t get to see him at home” I joked (luckily out of Pace’s ear shot!)
He’s not always good when we’re out either. Last night, RPL’s Social Committee had a bowling night and I thought it’d be fun to get a lane with bumpers for us and another co-worker who also has a four-year old. We showed up early and it was an immediate Dennis the Menace nightmare – when we got to our lane, Pace promptly threw a ball down before the lane was even activated. Then another one. Then one in the next lane over. Then one into the gutter on the OTHER side of the bumper that had been set up. And that just carried on for a couple hours – overhand throws, throwing from the ball return, getting in the way of people throwing in other lanes when he decided to dance after a shot (no idea where he learned that you should do that!), dropping a ball that also rolled across the front of two lanes – luckily not as anyone was throwing.
Great fun but stressful as you can imagine.
I know it’s not true (usually) but you can’t help but think everybody around (which happens to be my co-workers which makes it worse) are watching this display and thinking “Wow – what a terror that kid is!” or “Hmm, parents these days who don’t believe in spanking!” (Hopefully a couple of the more hippy-esque ones think “Good for you – nurture his free spirit!” <grin>)
What else? I don’t know – I also said I wished kids could come to you at the age of 2 or 3 so you could get past all that “baby” stuff and get to the good part. I recanted on that and did enjoy him as a baby more than I ever thought I would. But now, even with his increased push to be independent and exert his will (a switch literally flipped when he turned four, I swear!), I truly believe this is the best period of his life.
I can’t wait to be corrected as he gets older!
Happy Father’s Day…to Shea of course!