Right Here, Right Now
And here you are, a father. A dad. Daddy. Dada. Papa. Pop. You are immersed in this new biological brotherhood where you are now someone’s father. People are counting on you. Their livelihood depends on you. No, pressure, right?
Wrong! This, father friends, is who we are, and where were are for a long time. It’s survival at the beginning trying to keep wife, baby, and yourself alive. But then you start to figure it out. You start integrating. How children define you becomes more apparent now that you’re a parent. That’s right, you’re a parent.
You start doing parent things. You carry it all with you. You load and unload. Your conversations with other parents are about naps, food aversions, and the latest products. The trenches of fatherhood are familiar—it’s a battle, a daily struggle, a thankless job sometimes. You start to describe your bundle of joy as, “my kid.”
And then, the road smooths out as they actually eat and listen, sleep all night. You feel like you’re back in the driver’s seat. But then sometimes you’re lost. You question your rank. (Did you have a rank to begin with? No, silly! But it’s typical you would think that!)
You see other dads out there on the playground and sometimes you fraternize, and all is good in the dad world. But other times you try to out-dad them. “Look at me play with my completely well-adjusted kids that love me so much! Look how agile I still am!”
Later, you tear out of the Pick-Up Sticks parking lot because somebody raged in protest, someone else had to poop, and forget it—we’re never going out to eat again, okay? Do you hear me?
This is just the beginning, Dad. You’re settling in. You’re buckling up for the ride. But this ride is as if they mashed “it’s a Small World” with Space Mountain, and instead of being in the dark, it’s bright as day and the little kids keep getting bigger, having more opinions, and the song keeps changing.
But you know, there are those moments when you sit down at night, when the house is quiet, they’re all asleep—you did the dishes and folded the laundry and took out the garbage (wasn’t it just garbage day like yesterday?) and you think you’ll maybe sip a beer in the quietude of your castle and then, just then…where is the goddamn remote?