I’m not actually bipolar, nor do I suffer from depression, but I’m willing to admit that if you observed my interactions with my son, you would see a different version of me on Wednesday as compared to Sunday.
During the weekdays, I just can’t get enough of my son. I think about him constantly. I look at his picture on my desk. I just want to hold him and kiss him and wrestle with him.
Then the weekend comes, and by Saturday evening, I’ve had my fill. I’m mentally spent.
The lack of a pause button, the inability to have a real conversation with my wife unless our son is asleep, the need for a moment to space out… it leads me to a state of insanity that doesn’t let up until Monday morning when I’m driving to work.
Man, I wish I could live in a world where there was a reasonable balance.
During the workweek, I barely have any quality time with him. Then during the weekend, it doesn’t feel much different because of all the housework and errands that have to get done.
So I guess here’s wishing for heaven on Earth. Or at least a version of reality where neither my wife nor I have to work but could just stay home with him all day. Where our son would take completely predictable naps on a definite schedule and where there was no stress on our part to get him to sleep.
Sounds like I’m not referring to a kid at all, but instead a programmable robotic puppy.
That’s the problem with reality. You can’t turn real life on and off.
There have been more than a few people who were surprised when they learned that I am not married to a girl in her early 20′s; instead I am only three months older than she is. Today, my wife Jill turns 30 years old.
We were both born in 1981, graduated high school in 1999, and had our first child in 2010. Not only is my wife my best friend, but we have experienced the same amount of living. In 2007 when we started dating, our timelines became one as we have shared our lives together ever since.
For our first dance at our wedding reception in 2008, we actually had two songs played back to back: “Everything” by Michael Buble was a more natural, understandable selection, which represented our “normal” sides. But we felt the need to also include a song that represented our mutual quirkiness, too. So we chose the weirdly beautiful, “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds.
In “The Luckiest,” Ben Folds explores the idea of the importance of a shared timeline, answering the idea of what life would be like had the love of his life not been born in the right year:
“What if I’d been born fifty years before you
In a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I’d be outside as you passed on your bike
Would I know?”
I imagine the statistical chances of the two of us being born in the same basic era of time, as opposed to decades or centuries apart. Instead, we were born in the same year and did find each other.
Jill and I have this plan to die naturally in our sleep while holding hands when we are 80 years old. Sure, we realize we have zero control over the previous sentence ever becoming true, but it’s how we’d like to think our shared love comes to an earthly end.
Speaking of, “The Luckiest” also addresses this issue:
“Next door there’s an old man who lived to his nineties
And one day passed away in his sleep.
And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away.
I’m sorry, I know that’s a strange way to tell you that I know we belong.”
The two of us are normal enough to play Michael Buble at our wedding reception for our first dance, but we’re also off-beat enough to play a Ben Folds song that talks about the “luckiness” of being born in the same time era, as well as, dying near the same time in old age.
I’m aware of my natural ability to be weird and abstract. But somehow that worked for me and my wife chose to spend her life with me. To quote Ben Folds one last time:
“I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you… I am the luckiest.”