Waxing the Tangent: A Late Night for a Tired Dad
I've been out of school for years, yet my education continues. The courses now are harder and longer, but the rewards are greater in turn. I am no longer striving for a piece of paper to frame on my wall or living for penny beer night, basketball tickets and sorority girls. My exams now are of a more personal nature, and while the grades may be reported daily the tests are constant and never ending. There is fluctuation to the day and so too does my coursework change and adapt, not only daily but at times by the minute.
Perhaps you've figured out by now that I am referring to Parenting 101. At one point I would have sworn that the best part about such an undertaking would have been the late night study sessions, but that would have been the old me. The new me doesn't long as much for days gone by. I do not stand at my proverbial, or literal, fence and pine for the greener grass. My lawn is beautiful.
The few times that I do talk myself into doing something for myself are not moments relived, but rather hollow shells of what I am missing...at home. What can a bar and a decent jukebox offer that I cannot find in the arms of my children?
That's the secret. Nobody talks about the good stuff. They warn you and show up at the mall in sweatpants and curlers in their hair. They let their kids stand on tables in restaurants and perform random acts of obnoxious behavior, and then they reply in kind, annoying the rest of us and ensuring that their children stay the trail they're blazing for them.
The truth is that children will test you and frustrate you, that is for certain, but they will also stir things in you that you never imagined. Concern and worry will invade your conscience and tenderness will wrestle with the discipline you've spent a lifetime resenting. Suffering around you will impact you greater. It doesn't sound wonderful does it? Don't be mislead. These are just the side-effects of joy, and they pale in comparison to it.
I find that I've become sentimental, sappy and punch-drunk. My hours grow later faster and early faster still. So now I sit here in a hot and quiet home rambling a paradox, who exactly, has created whom? That is the chicken and the egg of it.
It would make a great thesis.