Monday, June 16th, 2014
3 years, 6 months.
It was 15 years ago that I graduated high school. This past Saturday, the day before Father’s Day, I had the privilege of going to my class reunion.
I say “privilege” because Mommy nor your Auntie Dana (my sister) even had a 10 year class reunion. As for my class, we’ve had one every 5 five years; and I have full confidence we’ll continue to have one every 5 years, thanks to the thoughtful dedication of one of our class officers, Tabatha Thomas Greenwood.
(As if you needed me to tell you, that’s me in the white shoes. I say that, because what other guy would be wearing white shoes?)
Obviously, I had a great time, being the nostalgic guy that I am. But it sure helps that in my graduating class of 183 students, they all happen to be cool people I actually want to see and catch up with.
I feel that the people I grew up with since 1986 (the year we started Kindergarten) really do have this special connection with each other. It’s this common interest that we make it a priority to see each other every half a decade. Everybody truly wants to be there; I can tell.
What really stood out to me the most this time, as compared to our last class reunion 5 years ago, was how proud we were of our kids.
Five years ago, you weren’t living on this planet yet. Mommy and I hadn’t even been married a year back in 2009.
But this time, I was able to share in the glory of fellow dads my age who enjoyed talking about our kids more than anything.
It just goes to show you how much becoming a parent really is a blessing in life.
Which, speaking of, the funny thing is you and Mommy were in California this past weekend. I wondered if I needed to write an explanation on a name tag; something like this:
“Hi, I’m Nick Shell. Yes, I promise I have a wife and a son, but they are currently in Sacramento catching up with my wife’s side of the family, who we only see once a year. You see, my wife had more vacation days at work than I did, so she and our son got a head start on our annual family vacation. I’ll be joining them in a few days, though.”
Turns out, no one seemed to think it was that weird of a situation. Granted, there’s definitely some irony in the fact that the very next day was Father’s Day and it would still be days later before I would see you again in Lake Tahoe.
So despite not actually seeing my wife and son on Father’s Day, I still had a great weekend. I missed you and Mommy a lot, though!
Hopefully in 2019, for our 20 year class reunion, you and Mommy will be able to make it.
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Thursday, July 21st, 2011
If you are around age 30 and are a mom or dad, then you likely fall into one of three categories: A) You had your first child while I was in college; B) You had your first child while I was still single and establishing my career; or C) You had your first child around the same time I did. So your oldest child is either around ten years old, five years old, or is still an infant. And yet you’re still about my age.
While living in Alabama from March 28th until last Friday, I worked with Mandy Wilhite-New, a girl I grew up and graduated high school with. A while back we were talking to each other about our kids and she pointed out the fact that it’s often difficult to relate to her similar aged friends who have infants and toddlers. Mandy and her husband have both a 10 year old and a 6 year old. It was ten years ago, back when the first Shrek movie was still in theaters, that she was experiencing what I am now. Yet Mandy and I are both 30.
I’ve heard it said that compared to 30 years ago, today’s younger adults are more dependent on their parents both financially and emotionally. In other words, our own parents had to “become adults” more quickly than we did. So in theory, even though by a calendar’s standards I am 30, compared to this point in my own parents’ lives, I’m more like 22 or 23.
So while I got to travel the world and take my time in settling down and getting married, I don’t have the abundant parenting experience that 30 year old parents with a 10 year old have. It’s also safe to bet that I don’t have the same level of maturity, in certain senses, because in theory, I am a younger, less experienced adult. I have more growing up to do and more humbling experiences to encounter.
The bottom line is that becoming a parent has a lot to do with adult maturity. That’s obviously not to say that adults who never had children or are unable to do so are less mature; not at all. But the undeniable fact is that becoming a parent changes you into someone else. Becoming a parent is a disciplining process that has no other comparison.
Once you produce and care for human offspring, you will undoubtedly be removed of much selfishness and self-pride. And no caring parent is immune to this fact. No parent has a baby that feeds himself, changes himself, entertains himself, pays for himself, and takes care of himself. (Or “herself” as the case may be.) So there’s your dose of irony for today: Nothing makes an adult out of a person like a baby does.
Today is a Lucky Book Giveaway Day! In the vein of “removing selfishness while serving others,” the featured book this time around is “Lead. Serve. Love.” If you are too busy for some daily inspirational reading but still would like to somehow fit in a bit of motivation to start out or finish off your day, then this book will be perfect for you. You can read plenty of reviews of the book here. (Its average rating was 4.5 out of 5 stars.)
To the first five readers who leave a comment saying they want it, I’ll have the book mailed to your house. Include your mailing address in the comment itself or email it to email@example.com.
*Within an hour or so of this post being published, I got my 5 winners for the book. Hint: When I give away books here on The Dadabase, it’s always on Thursday nights around 8PM Central Time. But not every Thursday…
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1981, 30 year old parents, baby, Class of 1999, daddy blog, free book, inspirational reading, Lead Serve Love, parenting, Shrek | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Spirituality, Story Bucket, Storytelling