“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Benjamin Franklin Engraved Portrait

By Bureau of Engraving and Printing & Smithsonian Institution [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The above is a famous quotation by Benjamin Franklin (taken from a play called “The Cobler of Preston”) in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy in 1789. As a husband and a father in the 21st century, I happen to disagree with the illustrious Mr. Franklin. How can I be so bold? Life is so full of doubt! While I know we can be certain of death and taxes, Ben Franklin strikes me as a tad cynical. I can be confident of much more. Allow me to illustrate.

My 6-year-old can be brilliant, steadfast, and obedient, but I am certain that in the last two minutes before the car is supposed to pull out of the driveway to take him to school in the morning–EVERY morning, he will turn in to a wobbly pile of idiot Jell-o who don’t know nothin’ bout nothin’–slack-jawed, eyes glazed over. Trying to get him out of the door and into the car is like trying to drunkenly thread a needle with cooked spaghetti. I am certain of this.

Also, of the many tangible things in my universe that I can lay a foundation on, I know, with a fair amount of certainty, that on days that I magically wake up at 6 a.m. full of life and energy, I can bring a parade through my house, crash cymbals, wash the dishes, castrate howler monkeys, use a chainsaw on the refrigerator, and make breakfast–all without waking my children. However, on days that I have the opportunity to sleep an extra 23 minutes and I actually take advantage of it, I’ll roll over to give my clock the thumbs up and accidentally let a tiny fart slip out, putting the entire house on Red Alert. BWOOP! BWOOP! BWOOP! BWOOP! CONSCIOUSNESS ALERT! HE’S AWAKE! RAISE HELL TO THE FIFTH DEGREE IN T-MINUS ZERO SECONDS.  I am certain this will happen.

I am quite confident that the car will need the most expensive repairs right before a road trip, the washer and dryer will break right after a night of pukefest, my back will go out right before I need it the most, and my in-laws will once again call during dinnertime showdown and continue to wonder why we always sound too busy to talk. These are some of the truths in my life.

Finally, I am quite certain that tonight, when I finally nod off to dream land, in that peaceful moment between wakefulness and sleep, my body will wake me right back up and tell me I have to pee, one last time. And on my trip from the bathroom I will peek in on my beautiful children, nestled into their beds, and I will know that I will love them and the woman who gave them to me forever–with all of my life. Of this, I am certain.



The Beginning
About Jared Tullos

Husband and Father to 3. Doodler, Tinkerer, Stinkerer. Regional Standout in Staying Alive the Goodest.

As a Southern country boy living in the city, I have experienced both the horror of gridlock traffic and the hilarity of seeing a chicken eat a snake.

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  1. Jared, you’re so right. Now that I re-read the quote from Franklin, I have to wonder if he had children.

  2. James Hudyma says:

    I love your outlook on certainties.

    • Thanks. I’m just happy I’m not alone and a platform as great as Dads Round Table exists. It has certainly helped my outlook on dadhood period.

  3. Al says:

    Franklin was known for being largely snarky and immodest ( famously so). It’s what makes me chuckle every time I hear someone quote his “Standing on the shoulders of giants” line like they are being humble. He was basically saying “oooooo yeah look at the amazing stuff that came before what we did. Except, Not!”

    But I like you guys, you’re alright ( as Rodney would say). Keep it up!

    • Doesn’t Isaac Newton get credited for that most often? Either way, yes, he was quite snarky. For someone who is quoted as saying “Well done is better than well said,” he sure did say a lot.

  4. I am fairly certain that when I go to bed tonight I’ll hear some crying in the baby monitor!

    • Me too. Our 1 year old has started waking up at night again. It was a good run. Now I have a squirrel who intermittently lives in the eave above our bedroom. I can’t wait much longer on the landlord to exterminate him. I’m certain the next time I can’t sleep until 1 or 2 am, when I finally make it to bed the squirrel will be waiting for me so it can scratch scratch scratch thump thump thump. Seems like a lot of our certainties revolve around sleeping activities…Anyone else got any non-sleep ones?

  5. I had to catch my breath after laughing at the howler monkey reference before I could fully appreciate this article. I love running themes in writing and you nailed it in this one.

    I am certain that if we leave our boys together in the same room, without our supervision, there will be either crying or screaming within 5 minutes. No question about it.

    • Same here. My boys are 1 and 6 and they already bicker. sigh. Glad you laughed. I had a great time writing this one. My wife was in tears when I read it to her (especially the inlaws calling at dinner part).

  6. Robert Loftus says:

    Haha! Sounds like my life, especially since every time I wake up to go pee it wakes one of the children. My son is now just like dad and wakes every three hours or so during the night, so going through the same thing. Great piece, being a dad really is the greatest thing in the world. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, this I am certain.

    • It truly is the greatest. I was pretty screwed up before I had kids. It totally brought me to planet earth.

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