Confessions of a Reluctant Father
I’m going to let you in an a little secret . . . I never wanted to be a father.
Not only that but I never really wanted to get married either.
Knowing this, it’s hard to believe that I spent this past Saturday morning at the princess birthday party of my twin girls. They turned four and are infatuated with anything princess, so my wife planned an unbelievable party that any princess groupie would die for. There were lots of gowns to dress up in, enough pink to make even Barbie want to puke and a special appearance by Cinderella herself.
It was every girls dream and I was one of only a handful of Dads that was obligated to be there.
If you asked me 10+ years ago if I would be wearing a cardboard crown and standing next to Cinderella at my twin daughter’s birthday party I would have told you to lay off the wacky weed.
Yet not only was I there, I was loving every second of it.
How the Hell Did I Get Here?
Back in my youth there seemed to be an endless number of reasons not to have kids.
- Freedom – I wanted to travel (specifically go scuba diving every six months)
- Financial – kids sap all of your money
- Energy – kids mean no sleep
- Time – children are one of the great time-sucks
- Commitment – having kids is a lifetime obligation and once in, there is no way out.
That’s kind of alot to accept. And my list for avoiding marriage is the same.
The above list of the big five combined with watching every episode of Married with Children at least two or three times, engrained in my brain that marriage and kids was a fate that I was going to make sure didn’t befall me.
So, with all that to go up against how did I end up with a tied knot and not one but two rugrats – and happy about it?
Well, that’s easy, I fell in love – not once, but three times.
I met my wife (the soon to be Supermom, but back then she was just mild-mannered Michele) who made me completely redefine my definition of happiness. For her having kids was a life-long dream and certainty. Once I realized how important it was to her I was swayed to consider changing my stance on children, however, all through my wife’s pregnancy and surely during the first six months of my twins life I had some serious thoughts of “what the hell have I gotten myself into?”
Then, without warning, it happened . . . That feeling overtook me.
A feeling that only parents know about and can understand. It’s a feeling that has been described in many books and told by many a mom and dad, but one that is impossible to accurately describe. It’s the feeling you get when you look at your child and understand that he or she is yours. I am convinced that there’s no drug on this planet that can replicate this high, no amount of money that can bring this joy and no amount of romance that can equal this euphoria.
It’s this feeling that caused me to rewrite my big five list to the reasons why children are the greatest thing to happen to you on Earth.
- Discovery – experiencing joys I never knew existed and happiness I thought was made up for the movies
- Ingenuity – to find the money to grant them all of their desires
- Happy exhaustion – totally worn out by the memories I created with my kids during the day
- Quality time – teaching my daughters new things and watching them grow before my very eyes
- Commitment – having something as noble as raising two beautiful little girls as my life’s work
Those of you without kids think I’m crazy, I know – I did too when I was on the other side. This feeling is real, this happiness on steroids does exist. Nothing I can say or write here will describe or prepare you for it, it’s just something that needs to be lived to be understood.
Now, I’m a very proud and enthusiastic dad and I look forward to every second (well, not every second – I mean, who could like temper tantrums) of my life with my girls. Nothing on this planet will ever come close to the overwhelming joy I get when I see their faces light up as they yell, “Daddy!” and run into my embrace. That’s the stuff I live for now . . . and I’m not looking back.