Staying Present

I know. I haven’t written in a really long time! I think about it every day though. It’s just been a struggle to find the time to sit down and express my thoughts. Between working and home life, there’s hardly been time for anything else. I promise to try and do better from here on out. Not just in keeping up with my blog entries, but as a person too. See? Better already…

In the last few weeks, Jacob’s vocabulary has exploded. He’s also been talking in multiple-word sentences (like 6-9 words), has the memory of an elephant (I hear they remember things, like, really well – which leads to me wonder how that was empirically tested; I imagine it must be pretty hard to play memory match with an elephant, but I digress…) and we’ve enrolled him in preschool for the fall. That last one blew my mind. I mean, how is it possible that he’s old enough to go to school?!

It’s really incredible how fast the time goes by. Everyone tells you it’s going to go fast, and you believe them, but when you experience it, it’s just something else. The days pass by like seconds and the weeks are rolling by in what feels like minutes (another reason I haven’t sat down to write in a while). People joke and say: “next you’ll be asking him what time he’s coming home and who’s car he’s taking” and I honestly feel like that’s going to happen before I know it. Naturally, my next thought is: “What if he doesn’t want me around anymore?” Right now, he freaks out when we’re not there, and sometimes that makes things, well, challenging to say the least. But we still cherish those moments – because we know that in the blink of an eye, he’ll be a teenager who can’t get enough privacy… Just this morning, I came back from my workout and he was already awake with Cherise. He said hi to me and I went into the kitchen to make breakfast. Then out of nowhere, he melted down and ran up to me, grabbed my legs and started crying. I knelt down and hugged him and he just hugged me with all of his might and told me he loved me. My heart nearly exploded. He calmed down, and then the next thing I knew, he told me to go away and proceeded to do the exact same thing to Cherise – hug her and cry – we both just cracked up.

And that’s the beauty of parenthood. There are a million moments like that every single  day. Some of them make you burst and tear up, while others make you want to beat your head against a wall. And if you blink, it’s easy to miss them all (except for the ones that make you want to beat your head against the wall – somehow, those moments find you no matter what you do). So the most important thing to do as a parent (in my humble opinion) is stay present. Present with your child(ren), and present with your spouse.

The thing is, lately I’ve realized something. When you’re single, you can behave however you choose – you really only have yourself to answer to. When you get married, things shift – you now have someone there to call you out on your crap. When this happens, one of two things occurs. 1) you both grow as people and grow closer together as a couple, or 2) you split up because you can’t handle each other’s crap or someone wasn’t willing to work on their crap. Given this context, marriage is difficult enough. But throw a kid or two or three into the mix, and now you have a party! Now you are not only accountable to your spouse, you’re a role model for the child growing up under your roof. There’s an adage: Children do as we do, not as we say. And it’s totally true.  That’s why I believe the most important thing you can do is stay present. If you’re in the past or the future, you’re not only missing the gift of the present, you’re likely to react to your child or spouse in a manner that is completely out of context, and that is totally not cool.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of this on occasion. As a father and husband, it’s sometimes hard to stop worrying about bills and other garbage. Your day is jam-packed with either work or activities and you’re doing it all on minimal sleep. It’s sometimes easy to forget that as parents, we’re in this together; we’re on each other’s team (Look, I know that’s a Lorde lyric, but it applies, okay? Can we just agree that it’s a good song and move on? K, thanks!) and we shouldn’t take things out on each other. They say that parenthood is a trip. I say that it’s a journey – if you’ll allow it to be. It’s a journey that’s taking me to the very core of who I thought I was and is, layer by layer, revealing who I truly am – someone who just wants to be a great husband to my beautiful wife, and a great example for my son.

And I know that I’m getting closer to my goal every single day.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Jacob’s Daddy

 

 

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