My children have made me a different person. Not so different that you would not recognize me if you haven’t seen me in years. I’m still the same height, about the same weight, and my hair is still black. Well, my hair is another story. I also still enjoy the same hobbies: sports, writing, reading, and music.
Yet, my boys have changed me. Profoundly. I don’t mean in the love and protection area either. Though there is an article on wired.com about a study which showed that there are “brain changes associated with fatherhood.” Yes, it’s true: I’ve changed in those ways as well.
But this is not about those types of changes.
Some moments have a long term impact. Blissfully, many do not.
July 14 marked three years since I started blogging. I went back and looked at some of my early posts and came across one about BR playing Kickball.
Here’s a few lines from the post:
“They said he was the worst kick ball player ever.”
“BR said,” my wife continues as we are lying in bed “that the kids said he is the worst kickball player ever.”
“Who said it,” I replied angrily. I wanted to yell at all the kids or even worse. I buzzed my wife, to give me more details about BR and what occurred.
“He didn’t say names. He just said a bunch of kids.”
“Yes, he is unhappy about it.”
“No, he didn’t say anything back at them.”
“I don’t know why he didn’t say anything back at him.”
“I told him next time someone says something mean to him, he should use his voice and tell them to stop just like Flat Stanley did.”
“He is anxious for Tuesday.”
“Because on Tuesday, he is going to be the captain of the team.”
Now, I am worried about Tuesday. I don’t want him to embarrass himself, feel bad about the situation, or be over anxious.
I went on to note my wish that my children would have acquired my sports acumen as it was a huge asset in helping me get deal with my own shyness. I also explained the challenges my children face and promised that I would work with and support BR.
Why bring this up now?
The remains of the tree.
It’s always hard to return home from vacation. There’s mail to sort through. Suitcases to be unpacked. Laundry to be washed. Upon returning home from Disney World last week, my family and I discovered something that made our landing back to reality more difficult.
The tree was gone. Yes, the tree that straddled our property was now a stump. Just after we moved in – 7 years ago – the tree directly in front of our house was removed. Now, there were two trees gone.
I miss the trees.
I was a late adapter to smartphones. I saw people constantly on their smartphone and wondered, “What are they doing?” I saw a woman on the bus who feel asleep holding her smartphone on her lap as if it were a child. She might as well have caressed it and said, “how sweet.”
Yet adapt I did. I got a smartphone after tiring of hearing my students teasing me about the stone age. Besides, I wanted another option for those long tedious bus rides.
However, I promised myself I would not use be one of those people who is constantly checking his smartphone. Communication and information does not have to be instant. In other words, the smartphone would not be my third child. The children I have keep me plenty busy.
Our recent family vacation to Disney World was the most significant trip we ever took. Each of us was excited to go. While flipping thought the radio stations on the way to LaGuardia airport, we heard the song by American Authors. The chorus came on:
Oo-o-o-o-o-o This is gonna be the best day of my (Oo-o-o-o-o-o)life My li-i-i-i-i-ii-ife Oo-o-o-o-o-oooooo This is gonna be the best day of my (Oo-o-o-o-o-o)life My li-i-i-i-i-ii-ife
At that point, SJ said, “It’s true. Actually, it’s going to be the best week.” Yes, we were excited and the bar was set high.