It’s 8 days before Christmas. 12:24am. and finally everyone is asleep! We have traveled up to Nashville to meet my sister-in-law who is flying in to meet us to make the rest of the 10 hour drive with Kym and the kids to TX were we will spend Christmas this year with her family. I’ll be flying to Dallas on Monday as I’ve gotta work the rest of the week.
As I lay here in the Baymont Inn in Nashville, TN with two kids in my twin bed and two in Kym’s twin bed and I can’t help but get a little emotional.
Yes, It’s been a absolutely HORRIBLE night. As one could imagine. 6 Groves in 1 hotel room = Insanity! 20 min in the room and the phone was broken, toilet had a slice of pizza put in it that caused it to over flow and I decided the best place to stick the boys, because their sister was screaming her head off and Kym was out trying to find a microwave to warm a bottle up was of course, in the bathtub. (probably hasn’t been cleaned in who knows how long) And the only thing I could find for them to play with was three recycled paper cups. After ten min it looked like a dadgum paper-mache project on the bathroom wall. (Recycled paper cups dont really last long in the water)
After the screaming, jumping from bed to bed calmed down we all laid on the bed and watched a youtube video cartoon called “The story of Christmas” as I laid there watching my little kids (4, 3, 2 & 1) take it in I thought to myself “Take a mental picture of this” these are the moments that matter. These are the moments that I will think back to and say were some good times. These are the moments I don’t want to forget. And then my little Bubba, Corbin (2) got within a inch of my face and said in his not so clear speech “Lobe uo daddy” and then goes to sleep on my chest. It’s that moment I want to remember.
You see before I became a dad I placed a high value on my time. I had my hobbies and my vices, the things I liked to do — mine.
4 years ago when we learned that Kym was expecting our first kid, I was initially resistant for all the obvious, “how will I afford/manage/handle this?” reasons and also because if kids require anything, they require TIME. Not only do they require it, they deserve it! I was faced with having to give up that which I consider very personal.
However, now that I’m a dad with some years on me, I can barely remember what I was doing with all the time I had as a kid-free man.
I don’t regret the “freedom” and “my time” that I’ve traded for becoming a dad. If anything being a dad is what makes up “My time” now.
In losing my time, I’ve experienced the following:
- Being a protector, teacher and provider to your kids it way more rewarding than anything else you can achive
- Hearing “Daddy!” screamed with excitement when I come home each day and being the recipient and giver of the most genuine hugs in the world. (Money can’t buy that)
- Hearing the word “Daddy”, and knowing the different meanings behind it based on the tone when it’s being said and knowing how to respond accordingly.
- The excitement that comes with watching my kids grow and learn and the outlook on life they gain every day.
- The particular strength and tenacity gained from becoming Dad that no trainer, gym nor any other life experience would have been able to teach or provide.
- Being blessed with the opportunity to continue the cycle: to pour wisdom into my boys as they quickly grow and will approach manhood before I know it, just as my father poured his wisdom into me often.
- Relearning to appreciate the little things, just as my kids do.
- Realizing that the “big things” aren’t really all that big because some of the biggest things in life are the little ones who call you Dad.
These are just a few of the unexpected joys that have come my way since I became a father. They make the hard work of being a parent feel like a cakewalk most days. And on those challenging days when it’s not so great or easy I think of the joy, privilege and honor of it all, and that really makes it okay. Because I get to be DAD to four awesome humans.
I read this blog post (Click link to read) PerryNoble.com a few years ago before I had kids and I remember thinking “wonder if that is true” Well. 4 kids later I cant honestly say…. It is.
You will have a lot of titles put on you in your life. The best title any man can ever have is to be called DAD. So if you are a Dad stop and enjoy the moments. The little moments, the big moments. Don’t get consumed trying to capture it. Just live in it. Take it all in and enjoy the fact that there is child who calls you dad.