Fatherhood changes a man.
That may be an obvious statement, and it is also something that is true of women and motherhood as well, but it is the way that fatherhood changes a man that is unexpected.
Before fatherhood I never thought of activities like going to the bathroom, taking a shower, or taking out the trash as a way to take a break. After fatherhood there are times when I am so ready for a breather that I take the trash out whether it needs it or not. Also, as a dad if you want peace and quiet while doing your business in the bathroom you are going to have to lock the door. Small humans are by no means respecters of personal space.
Before fatherhood I had never been asked to play the big bad wolf for two princesses while playing catch with one aspiring ballplayer and pitching to another future major leaguer who was batting. This requires a tremendous amount of skill, and to be completely transparent, I don’t know that my brain really has the mental processing power required to pull it off. But as long as a princess doesn’t get clubbed with a bat, I call it good.
Before fatherhood I never knew there were people on this planet who cared so much about the color of their cup, the shape of their pizza, the cut of their sandwich and the temperature of their breakfast. I now know that each and every one of these things can go from a typical, normal, everyday activity to life or death faster than you can say, “Paw Patrol, we’re on a roll.”
Before fatherhood I never knew how much my own father made things up as he went along.
I know that now because after being a dad for eight years I can assure you that while there are moments when I have a clear plan that I work hard to execute, I’m still waiting for the moment that one of my plans comes to fruition.
I assumed my dad knew what he was doing because he made it look easy. This is due to two things.
One, I had a great dad who always knew what was truly important, and that tends to clarify things for you, even if you aren’t really sure how the details are gonna work out.
Two, I had a dad that was a lot better at bluffing that I ever realized. All those times that he told me to, “jiggle the handle,” or some other peace of sage advice were guesses, often they were educated guesses, but there’s no need to let the kids in on that part of the process. They’ll figure it out soon enough.
Before fatherhood, I never knew how much I’d love being a dad, that it is one of the true great joys of my life. But I guess I should have seen it coming, my dad told me this is how I’d feel.