Over 2 years ago I began blogging about the prospect of fatherhood as my son Max (then nicknamed “Zig”) was nothing more than a tadpole in my Wife’s belly. We had just moved to Wichita, KS from our digitally nomadic life in the Adirondacks and I was adjusting to corporate life, the Midwest, and the end of diaper-free days…”So Long Freedom!” One of the main inspirations for me to start writing was the lack of information for fathers-to-be. Everything I read talked to me as if I was an emotionally stunted being who needed simple words and step-by-step processes to fathom the idea of becoming a parent. Statistically I found that most women begin their journey of motherhood the moment they learn they are pregnant while a father’s journey tends to emotionally begin at the moment of birth. This is because most women conceptualize the idea of giving birth, have an intimate experience as the child grows inside them, and thus spend their time wondering what the baby will look like in the days after their birth. Fathers however, tend to picture their child at a later age when they can have interactions like throwing a baseball in the yard or teaching the child how to ride a bike. I refused to let my journey begin so late into my child’s life so I began blogging about my experience to all of you. Today, as my son is turning 15 months old, I understand why Dad’s envision their babies-to-be at older ages.
If you’ve been reading the blog throughout this journey you’ve probably figured out I’ve had trouble with the adjustment to the sound of crying in my house…especially at night. Teeth, constipation, colds, bruises, shots, and more have all lead to the constant inevitable…crying. “So Long Sleep” should be the name of my blog. Like all things there are ups and downs in parenting, and after surviving the ebb of my patience while his last molar tooth came in – we are now in the flow of good father-son time as his teeth have almost all pushed through. The other day I experienced the most All American Homecoming to my family I can imagine…and it was awesome.
I had been on the road for a week in Richmond, VA for business when I got back to Wichita. The following Monday I was thrown back into the fire of marketing as I sifted through thousands of pages of demographics and maps as I planned my media distribution for the balance of the year. At the same time I was on the phone planning the next store grand opening I am leaving for next week…and of course doing my regular daily duties of my job. My head was spinning. The one thing that clears my head is often driving and I was excited to saddle up in my car (though it is almost completely broken down) and make my drive home while rocking out to the radio. Of course the phone rang…business call. I talked the whole way home and then found myself parked in the driveway as I wrapped up my call. Then it happened.
The front door opened and out came my son Max. He cautiously made his way down the front steps and called out “Dada, Dada, Dada!” My wife Kate followed behind with snacks and it was clear…I needed to get off the phone which my phone caller graciously allowed me to do. I got out of my car as Max ran into my arms and threw a great big hug around my neck…one of his new skills I adore and truly live for. I picked him up so I could hug him back and kiss my wife in the driveway of our house we own that is surrounded by the well manicured lawn I mowed on Sunday with a PBR in hand. “Bask-ball!” Max cried out with excitement, “Bask-ball!” We know this word well…it is his favorite…”Basketball.” I retrieved the basketball from the garage and we proceeded to play. I dribble around Max a few times (who is a terrible defender) and shoot at the lowered 7′ hoop from point-blank range and make an easy basket. Max and I then run in circles and shout “Goooooaaaaal!!!!” Then I hold the ball out to him, he grabs it with two hands, I lift him up above the rim, he shoots, he scores, we run in circles, we shout, “Gooooooaaaal!!!!” Repeat. Repeat. Repeat…and pray it never stops and he never grows up to be a teenager that hates me.
It’s easy to see why Dads think of days like this…its the best I’ve ever felt as a dad. Playing basketball in the driveway with my boy. My boy! Then he pooped. “Kate?!!!”