Adulthood had been fairly easy until one day it changed into fatherhood. It went from sexy midnight rendezvous with my wife to midnight escapades of waking babies and changing diapers. Many nights were to follow with endless colicky sobbing, and then I would stop to give my wife a helping hand. Fatherhood was the beginning of the end to any notion of remaining here on earth with my sanity remaining intact.
I am constantly walking around talking to myself and looking disheveled. I appear as though I am auditioning for a part in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. However, most of the time I run around posing as a director yelling out directions to my little actors and actresses: “Cut! Let’s redo the scene but this time listen to your mother the first time she tells you to do something, stop poking each other- that’s for adults on Facebook to do, and let’s be quiet on the set! We have a movie called “Do your homework and Go to bed”, and we only have a small budget to work with! Okay action!”
I do not have hair anymore although I did before I had children. It is either a coincidence or an incredible indictment. Many times I wish my hair was available so I could pull it out for relief; after all children are incapable of listening or obeying until you completely reach hysterically for your own hair or theirs. They are supposed to be like students. However, my four act as though they are teachers because they are constantly testing me. And every now and then, they hand me a pop quiz. “Where do babies come from?” My daughters are nine and ten and I believe in telling them the truth, “All babies are made in the North Pole. Santa’s Elves use magic reindeer flying dust, and mix it with sugar and spice and everything nice, then bake them in an EZ Bake oven to be dropped down the hospital chimney. And then babies grow up, go to college, and date when they reach the young age of forty”.
My boys are teenagers and one is an ultra-extrovert while the other is an ultra-introvert. One never wants to come home and the other never wants to open the door to leave his bedroom. I do not know what they look like anymore because their faces are constantly buried in their phones. But I do know that they eat well, for they constantly leave a full sink of unwashed dishes and utensils while leaving an empty refrigerator and cupboards. I cannot tell you how many times I find a miniscule morsel of cake or a drop of milk left in its container. It is not left for someone lucky enough to have some. This is merely a duplicitous ploy. Essentially, this allows the excuse for not having to wash or throw the remains away. In addition to their eating habits, they approach their rooms in the same manner. They are teenage hoarders. I feel the best way to straighten out their room is either to shut their doors, or simply to lock them out so they cannot enter. They do not smoke nor take drugs, they only make me wish that I did.
Fatherhood, at times resembles a funhouse with its mirrors contorting life’s sensibilities. Perhaps, it is even a circus and who is ringmaster and who are the clowns remain to be seen. Maybe, it does not matter because as a family we remain forever linked under the big tent. Regardless of how many times I think it would be easier by escaping into the lion’s cage, and sticking my head into Simba’s mouth, their precious hugs always prevent me from doing so. I know the greatest entertainment in my life has been from watching them. They will always be my greatest show on earth even after the circus leaves town.
Unequivocally, I couldn’t have survived fatherhood without the help of motherhood. Thankfully, my wife allowed me to play good cop to her role of bad cop. Perhaps, she allowed this because she saw my inner child still longing to play by their side. I remain eternally grateful for the gift of fatherhood through the miracle of motherhood. I pray someday my children truly understand how much they have given me in my life. I hope someday they grow up to have their own children. For, I can’t wait to play good cop again with my grandchildren.