I am a forty-something man who came to marriage and parenthood later than most. My wife and I have a preschool son and baby boy. I don’t know how I possibly could have handled marriage or parenthood in my younger days, before the wisdom of age taught me how to deal with such shady characters as wives and children.
My older son is very gifted. He has a special talent for discovering words that are inappropriate and using them creatively for maximum effect. He is also very efficient in explaining the rhyme and reason to his actions. If we ask him why he did something, he is almost certain to reply, “Because I did,” which I find both straightforward and philosophical. It is like saying, “I am, therefore I broke Mommy’s crystal vase,” only in more concise language. And when you think about it, why did any little boy break his mommy’s crystal vase? Because that’s why little boys are made–because he is. Ergo, “Because I did.” Duh! He certainly must wonder why we continue to ask such foolish questions.
My wife loves me very much. Sometimes I think she is about to love me to death, but mostly she just loves me to high anxiety. Her goal is to make certain that I do not grow stale within the narrow confines of my comfort zone, so she regularly attacks my comfort zone with a sledge-hammer. This is the comfort zone that I spent most of the first four decades of my life building. It is a significant and carefully laid out fortress, but she is relentless in her siege. Consequently, I find myself in uncomfortable circumstances much more than when I was single. These instances, she tells me, are the result of me breaking free of my lifelong fetters and finally feeling alive. Furthermore, she expects thanks for providing me with these many refreshing discomforts.
As for me, I’m just another father, struggling to make heads or tails of this life of raising children. Just when I learn the procedure, it all changes, and I have to start school all over again. Consequently, I make a lot of mistakes, or at least this is what I am told by the parent who is in charge of scoring my performance. At least I don’t ever have to wonder how I’m doing. I guess that’s the good thing about being a father. Fathers don’t have to wonder about how well they are parenting. There is always somebody watching over their shoulder, telling them just exactly what they are doing wrong.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.