A Sentimental Journey

I can be a sentimental and emotional guy. A dramatic movie might produce tears. A thoughtful and touching card from my wife will likely give me goosebumps. A tight hug and sweet look from one of my kids will likely melt my heart.

But on most occasions I remain dispassionate, able to separate my head from my heart on decisions big and small. When I reflect on my life, I have few regrets and try to tamp down any bubbling ennui about better bygone days.

The only thing I lament on a regular basis is the rapid loss of my once thick hair.

But I could barely hold back the wall of emotions that engulfed me last week when I sorted through baby toys and toddler clothes in the dark recesses of our garage. It’s a task that we’ve needed to undertake for years and we’ve held onto the items largely out of nostalgic feelings. It’s as if I’m grieving the loss of a part of my life and my children’s lives when our sole focus was teaching them to walk, talk and do simple motor functions. I’m romanticizing this time in our collective lives when our time was filled with hours at the park, play dates and absolutely no homework on the horizon.

The challenging thing is that the first few years of a child’s life are a total blur. The moment you arrive home from the hospital with your first child you deal with a combination of utter joy & unyielding love and a cocktail of sleep deprivation, anxiety, impatience & fear of how you will manage to get acclimated to this new life.

You do, eventually settle into a routine, become comfortable as a parent and your child begins to grow and change. Then the days roll by. And then the years roll by. Our babies are now 7 & 6 and I cannot believe they’re in school and using words like “roblox” and “Nintendo switch.” Where did our babies go?

I realize that all parents go through this. We all mourn the loss of those precious formative years even though at the time we decried the diaper changes, middle-of-the-night wake-ups and interminable doctor’s visits. Those days exemplified how our children depended on us physically for their survival. They couldn’t eat or go to the bathroom without us and they couldn’t articulate their thoughts about what they needed. Now, it’s me who’s beginning to feel like I’m not as needed.

Sure, my kids depend on me and my wife. We are still the center of their worlds and will be for the next few years, at least. We’ve created a wonderful loving environment where we share openly and honestly and dance and sing without judgment. It’s a beautiful experience for all of us.

But even as I always strive to enjoy each day with its successes and failures alike, I’m still going to miss the days of banging away on a toy piano or building new railroad track alignments to inspire my kids. That’s just part of being a parent.


The Beginning
About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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