I am amazed that anyone who calls themselves a PARENT has the time to read this blog right now. In fact, I can’t even believe I had a free moment to sit down and write it. And I am really astounded that any parent could publish a column, or a book, or do ANYTHING that requires time and planning and thinking. REFLECTION is such a luxury when most of us are just struggling to survive.
I feel incredibly lucky to be in a position where I CAN reflect and muse and ponder, and set down those thoughts in writing, and share it all online. My wife and I have worked hard to create a shared parenting environment to give each of us some space to explore our own interests and goals while fully supporting the other and our children. Her salary supports us. Anything I make is a bonus. We don’t pay for childcare. Without support from family and friends, financially, emotionally, I don’t know how we could do it.
My days as a Stay-At-Home Dad have been filled with so many powerful and transformative moments, I wish I could record them all and share them with friends and family, and someday pass them on to my daughters. We capture what we can through photos, videos, memoirs and the like (like this blog), and recount with knowing smiles the small, hilarious, and touching stories of our children’s mis-adventures, and maybe this is all enough for us to feel satisfied, content that someone else on this planet knows how special they really are, like we do. And yet there is so much more that is not shared, that is not talked or written about, so many moments that we have experienced as parents that have enriched us and made us who we are today. It is all there, I know, sitting in our parenting minds, perhaps never to see the light of day, and maybe that’s ok. What would the world do with all that pain and frustration and sorrow? Surely the world would explode from so much joy, pride, and contentment.
I wonder if these thoughts ever occurred to my parents,and their generation, and those that came before. Maybe they did, but then were they quickly extinguished? Who has time to philosophize when there’s a house to clean or a meal to prepare. Just keep moving and get through the day. No complaints. No excuses. It’s all just part of life. And at the end of the day, the last thing you want to think about is how to be a better parent.
Perhaps when I am older, when my children are older, I will have more time to breathe, and then I can reflect and look back on these days with an easy grin. But will I remember everything? I fear not. I do not trust my aging brain, and I feel that if I do not record it now in some manner, then perhaps it will slip away and be lost forever.
(This is the second part of a series. You can read the first part here.)