As our dedicated legions of fans well know, Christian and I are both parents. Of children. We have been for awhile now, and it looks like we will be for at least a bit longer.Recently, I’ve noticed how those children--the ones I parent--are taking up more of the time that I had considered mine. It probably comes as no surprise to others, but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little dismayed at the idea that their existence should infringe upon my life. Especially when I want to spend moments of my precious life doing, well...nothing, or not much, or very little.
Here’s where my wife would probably come in and say, “Seriously, were you not aware of that part of the deal when we made that decision?” To which I would reply with a dopey looking stare, and a sad hunch of the shoulders.
But...this blog is about nothing if not radical honesty, so I say to you, Christian, and to our friends, that I think I am that kind of dad who loves his kids, but who loves the idea of some personal time maybe a bit more.
I’m ready for the hate mail responses on this one, or maybe even the call from CPS.
What are your thoughts, blog-buddy?
Christian: Oh dear God, your children are several years older than mine, and you’re saying it doesn’t GET ANY BETTER? I hardly ever have any free time right now and you’re telling me that never changes? I’m kind of freaking out here.
**grabs two bottles of scotch and a sleeping bag**
What about that Golden Age of children you keep telling me about? Where they reach an age where they want nothing to do with you?
Are you saying that doesn’t exist?
**grabs toothbrush, kermit the frog puppet, poors one bottle of scotch into half empty can of pringles**
I’m kind of having a hard time breathing right now. This is not the kind of news I wanted to hear. I don’t get more time to myself as the kids get older? It’s already been four years, for the love of god’s free time!
**finds a nice corner of the basement to hide, climbs into sleeping bag head first, starts drinking from pringles can**
Pat: Hmm...is your wife hating me right now? Sorry to send you into another spiral.
No, it’s not really that bad. I mean, I get to do plenty of things that I want to do. Like go to the hardware store....to get supplies to fix the things that, over the years, the kids have broken. Or to the library...to pick up books that the kids have put on hold. Or to the county fair...where I get to listen to the tweener Nickelodeon pop starlet that my daughter loves.
See, it’s not that bad. In fact, on the right day, I might even be wearing the kind of glasses that make such a life look really good.
That turn things around for you?
Christian: I don’t know.
**cuts holes in sleeping bag to fit arms and head through**
Those things you listed sound an awful lot like parenting to me.
**goes searching for supplies in basement, tells kermit the frog puppet to “Stay here and keep quiet”**
Granted right now a lot of my free time is spent wiping butts, reading mindless books, and spending hours working on four-piece puzzles, so your list actually does sound slightly better. But only slightly better.
**finds VHS copy of Red Dawn, box of butterfingers, and Christmas decorations, makes bandana out of silver tinsel, whispers to self “Wolverines”**
What about my dreams of learning a second language or learning to scuba dive? Granted I really never planned on actually doing those things but I have grown very attached to the idea of pretending I would do them some day.
If my future is going to be anything like your present then I might as well stop pretending that I will eventually have time to pretend that there is stuff I want to do with my free time.
Was the point of this post to crush my spirits?
**goes back to basement corner, thinks pringles can of scotch might be slightly less full, eyes kermit the frog puppet suspiciously**
Pat: No! Not at all! Have you forgotten about all the time you’re going to have in your golden years to do all of those things? Provided you live that long.
I’ve just completely resigned myself to the idea that I will get my life back in a generation or so (I think President Lincoln referred to it as a “score”), when the kids get to suffer through exactly what we’re going through right now. I’m planning on being the BEST septagenarian ultimate frisbee player the world has ever seen!
Christian: A score? I have to wait a score! You know how long a score is? (It’s several years isn’t it?)
**ties pringles can of scotch to own leg, points at kermit the frog puppet intimidatingly**
I don’t know if I can wait that long. If this kid thing continues to take up all my free time when am I going to get a chance to finally write that rock opera based off my Jared-from-Subway fan-fiction “50 Shades of Tuna”?
**finds additional unopened package of gold tinsel**
You know how timing is everything in the music business. Right now IS THE TIME for a rock opera based on Jared-from-Subway fan-fiction to hit it big. Who knows if that will still be true a year from now.
I’m not happy about any of this.
**starts making matching sweaters for self and kermit the frog puppet out of silver and gold tinsel, repeats to self, doing Tim Gunn impression, “Make it work. Make it work. Make it work...”**