Who is Dad?

You’re a dad.  Everything scheduled has to be scheduled around the dad schedule.  You have work to get done, well it had to be fixed in around the daddy moments.  It’s frustrating but fruitful at the same time.  Hard to explain. Only now do I get the opening to type these reactions to the morning, all the kids’ needs and times– constant juggling.  You understand.  I know you do.  Especially if you don’t have babes.  I mean, imagine the freedom you have now being completely re-arranged.  I’m not a bitter dad, I’m still very much free to do what I please, to an extent (most of the time which is write or run, or read).  But for you, with no kids, just imagine your entire content and context changing.  Things need to be done that concern your work, nothing in the way of that happening, you being up to speed with all assignments and tasks.  Now, throw two or even one life in your arena, one you have to care for.

This morning was one of those challenging ones, to be honest.  Feeding both kids, one eight months, the other four-and-a-half.  Getting both dressed while the whole time thinking of what I have to plan and write for today’s classes.  And, I’m getting over an animal of a cold that took me away from work and sent me home yesterday.  I’m dad, I have to push through it.  And it’s more than “hard”, or “tough”, or “challenging”.  It’s not even life-altering.  It’s a stinging blessing that you struggle with and are rewarded in the immediacy of that struggle.  The fact that it is so hard makes moments like this, me sitting here with headphones in and sipping my 4-shot mocha more cheering and renewing (yes I NEED that caffeine, all we working parents do, even if you don’t drink coffee you need something).  My schedule, now is mine.  In this moment.  Valued more than one without babies.  Not saying that someone without kids doesn’t appreciate time to themselves, or know struggle, or can’t understand what I’m here expressing.  It’s a contrast they can’t even microscopically grasp.  That doesn’t make me better than them.  In fact, this “comparison”, which it’s not, isn’t about me nor them.  IT’s about life and the gravity of caring for someone else, a couple of ‘someone-else’s’, or more.  Life is different.  I’m a dad.  It makes this sweeter, more reflective—  I, am more reflective, appreciative of this time to myself and the time with them, even mornings like this where I’m ready to pull my scalp off.

I think back at my dad, how he always kept his cool.  How did he do that?  And, with his airline pilot hours, sometimes coming home after being up who-knows-how-many hours.  No, he didn’t teach like I do, or write.  No, he had a real job.  One with an at times torturous schedule.  He was dad to me, my sister.  He still seems so to us.  Collected, composed, none of this angst or teeth grinding.  Or that I could see.  Still learning, I guess.  Me.  The dad.  The only one on the planet who’s thought this, right?

Yeah, right.

Better now that my context, content, story is what it is.