Sunday will mark my third Father’s Day as a member of the club. Last year, I was feeling a little salty when I wrote THIS. Oh, it was exaggerated and stuff, but there were some nuggets of truth buried in that ore. If F.D. were a true celebration of fathering, shouldn’t I get to not father for that day? I mean, you don’t work on Labor Day, do you?
Well, this year I have a much more gracious outlook on my life. I am very lucky to have a wonderful wife who supports me, and two beautiful children who really think I’m the bee’s knees. At what age do they figure out that bees, in fact, have no knees? I don’t know, but I’m certainly never going to tell them.
For now I am truly enjoying the real paradox of parenting young kids, really trying to soak it all in, because I know it is fleeting. But right now we are the absolute center of their universes. My son wants nothing more than to pick my brain about new vocabulary, practice his ‘L’ pronunciations, and demonstrate his newly-honed jumping skills for me. He wants to play basketball with me, make cookies together, and share his snacks with me. He wants me around ALL THE TIME.
Who wouldn’t want that? The kid is in love with me, and I with him. We are besties all the way.
And then there’s HP. Though more of a Mama’s girl, we still have our own little thing going. The way she crinkles her nose just to make more room for that huge smile she gets when I walk in the room.* Then there’s the way I put her hands on my face and drag them gently across my stubble, eliciting giddy giggles. She went on her first swing by herself a couple weeks ago. Safe to say it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Of course there is a downside to all this euphoria, otherwise it wouldn’t be a paradox. The same burden we carry of them needing us, physically, mentally, and just about every other way is also the greatest feeling we might ever experience. They DO need us, and it feels good to be needed. This is why people have more kids, simply to recapture this feeling right now. And, like being in love, who wouldn’t want to bottle this?
I know in my head they will outgrow this; they will outgrow us. There will come a time very soon when they WON’T need us, then a time when they’re embarrassed to be seen with us, a time when they don’t talk to us, etc. All parts of the cycle; just not the parts I’m looking forward to. As for Sunday, I’m looking forward to my favorite pozole at a Mexican restaurant with my wife and two adorably-occupied high chairs. And I wish you all the very same.