Fatherhood

I haven't blogged in a couple of days, and I'm still trying to decide if I'm OK with that. I mean, on one hand, if I'm not consistent with my blogging, how can I expect to be a good writer and bloggist? On the other hand, should I really be writing every single day even if all I have to say is pointless and not worth reading? Those are both good questions, and I don't have the answer to either one. I do know that it was probably a bad idea to start blogging again the day before I go on vacation. My bad.

A couple of months ago, a guy I work with at the coffee shop mentioned that he was wanting to start a blog about fatherhood. He had done alot of research and apparently, the only blogs he could find specifically about fatherhood were aimed more towards the whole "my two dads" crowd. Not the old sitcom from the 80's where the 2 guys get into a handful of zany situations living as, and I quote, "two single straight men raising a teenage daughter together," but the kind of crowd comprised of two male "partners" trying to raise a child together. But I digress . . . not alot of men are willing to write about the challenges, joys and all around craziness of raising a child. As a result of that conversation, I've decided, as I did with my Tuesday Devotionals, to devote 1 day every week to blogging about being a dad. My friend is planning on starting a blog about fatherhood as soon as his son is born in April and I hope to be a contributor on his blog so I may as well get some practice in before I break out into the crazy world of blog contributions. So without further adieu, Fatherhood:

Right now I'm on vacation with my 11-month old son. This has been his first real vacation and I have to say it's turned out alot different than I expected. I'm not really sure why, but for some reason, my brain always defaults to expecting either the absolute best possible outcome or the absolute worst. Here are the 2 possible scenarios that I saw:

#1: Ryder stays perfectly quiet from the time we step into the airport until the time we take our seats on the plane. As soon as our butts hit the seats, he falls asleep and doesn't move a muscle or make a single sound until we are at our final destination. After we get there, he never cries once and only makes messes in his diaper immediately after he wakes up. He smiles at everyone and waves hello to them and ends up learning the alphabet and how to walk, run and ride a bike all in one afternoon of glorious rest and relaxation in the beautiful, warm sun. The ride home is almost as glorious except during our layover in Dallas, he wakes up just long enough to utter the words, "Mommy, Daddy, I love you." He then falls back asleep and wakes up the next morning in his crib at home.

. . . or . . .

#2: Ryder begins screaming the second we get to the ticket counter. He grabs out tickets out of our hands and tears them up as soon as the ticket lady gives them to us so we have to ask her to print off new ones. The metal detector keeps going off when we cary him through and after a full body scan of me and him, it's determined that he must have swallowed a small metal ball bearing which is solely responsible for setting off the detectors. Once We finally get on the plane he loads his diaper 3 times and it oozes out all over his back. As we try to clean it up, he starts to scream and doesn't stop till we land. He comes down with the flu our first night and spends the rest of the trip coughing, throwing up and pooping while we exhaustedly hold him and try to comfort him. After we finally make it home, we realize that we left his favorite toy back in Virginia and have to pay ridiculous amounts of money to overnight it back home so he can finally sleep.

Believe it or not, neither of those is exactly what's happened so far. Granted, the trip isn't over yet, but I have a feeling that the way it's gone so far is probably the way it'll continue to go. My brain tends to over-imagine things alot and assume either the absolute best or the absolute worst is going to happen, but if there's one thing I'm learning from this trip, it's that raising a child seems to be a combination of the best and worst all wrapped up into one. As much as I miss being able to travel with nobody but my wife next to me, and not have any concerns about "age verification" or figuring out that they unload the carseat in a completely different place than the rest of luggage, I wouldn't trade these last few days with my son for anything in the world. Being a parent certainly requires a certain level of sacrifice, but, to be honest it's so much more of an investment than anything else. I'm probably not going to get to read or nap as much as this trip as I have in times past, but the time I don't spend reading or napping is time that I get to spend playing with my son and teaching him and developing him. Fatherhood isn't only about the great stuff and it isn't only about the bad stuff. In my opinion, Fatherhood is all about the investment that we have the opportunity to make into the lives of the wonderful blessings that God has given us. At least that's how I feel about it today. We'll see what happens tomorrow.