By all measures, I should be asleep by now. Allergies have been absolutely killing me all week, and my general schedule - work, chase children, put them to bed, accomplish all the chorus/singing stuff, spend time with my wife, take a little necessary me-time, then to bed for five or six hours of sleep - has been taking its toll on me. I'm not as young as I used to be, and there's been a lot of mileage on Musical Daddy in the last several years.
However, everybody else in the house is asleep. That means, I can watch tv, or listen to music, and read a book, or a comic book, or whatever I feel like doing, for a little while. That kind of time, you know, is worth its wait in gold. When it was only The Boy in the house, I used to treasure those Sunday mornings, before he and The Wife awoke. I'd take the time to make a pot of coffee, and I'd just sit in my chair and read the newspaper and enjoy the silence and temporary, utter lack of momentum for a little while.
I understand that this craziness is somewhat temporary and definitely transitory. The babies will grow into boys and into teenagers and into young men, and I will look back with fondness at the times when they wanted nothing more than to wrestle with Daddy and snuggle up and read a story together. Little boys have little problems: fighting over an iPad, potty problems, and negotiating over an extra song or story at night. Big boys have big problems, and I am definitely not looking forward to those.
Don't get me wrong; I get It. I understand the general point involved: it's not the destination, it's the journey. It's not the man at the end, but the thousands of bum wipes and nose wipes and stories and songs and fights and arguments and "spoiling" with treats and sleepless nights and 3am snuggles and late night fevers and noodles for breakfast and pancakes for dinner that happen along the way. Every time I see my children is a treat, and I do my best, on a daily basis, to make sure that I've given each of my sons (and my wife) and overabundance of hugs, kisses, and "I Love You"s.
Eleven years (and three days) ago, I went on a date with a girl that I knew from college - we had worked together at a summer program, and I was intrigued. We met at a jazz club later on, and we spent the night talking, then made a date. Who knew that that date, three and a half years later, would end in marriage and a lifetime? Or, more precisely, three new lifetimes?
Three years ago, The Wife noticed a bump on a sleeping baby's belly. Who knew that that "tip of the iceberg" tumor would result in a new residence, a new career for me, two more children, and a relocation to Pittsburgh?
Wow, that got morbid in a hurry. I think that might be the allergy medicine kicking in. I certainly didn't mean for this to be quite so melancholy. I was intending on writing a small dissertation on how Little Bear follows certain scripts of behavior, which tends to confirm quite a bit about behaviorist psychology. I guess that will wait.
The bottom line seems to be that I'm not as young as I used to be, and I'm not happy about that. I'm not surprised; one can only function for 18 hour days with six hours of sleep for so long before your body starts to revolt. Sitting at a desk in a cubicle is not exactly the best way to keep one's self in peak condition; it wears on you, in a different manner than physical labor and teaching do. I know I'll adjust; it's just going to take time. Until then, it'll be a bit challenging.
And, while we are all adjusting to the new paradigm, I will take advantage of this wonderful, momentary, beautiful moment of stillness.
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