Friday, April 20th, 2012
31 years for me; 17 months for him.
Having a kid will make your life stressful; that’s for sure. But a child also brings a certain joy and humor you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.
Oh, hi. My name is Nick Shell and today is my birthday. I am now 31.
“Happy Birthday; may it be your best ever!” you might proclaim. And I would thank you.
But you see, April 20th is more than just a special day for pot heads to celebrate.
It’s more than just the day that Kony 2012 would have made its big reveal in the streets had society not outed the now infamous video as illegitimate.
My birthday is sort of like the cursed numbers are for Hurley in Lost. Bad things happen in the world on April 20th. Like on my 18th birthday:
Oh yeah, and guess who I share a birthday with: Adolf Hitler, born in 1889. Seriously.
(Also, Joey Lawrence; but I guess that’s not a bad thing.)
This is the day of the year that you should hold your breath as you check the news. If we can make it through this day without some kind of massacre, I’ll be amazed. In fact, by writing all this, I’m actively trying to jinx the “420 curse.”
So why did God choose such a dark day of the year for a an arguably normal and mild-mannered guy like me to be born? All I can say is that it’s comic relief to the world. It somehow provides balance in the universe.
And as I think about this concept of comic relief I can’t help but think of my son during the past 365 days in which I was a 30 year-old man.
Never has my life been more challenging, stressful, humiliating, exhausting, maturity-enforcing and unpredictable since he was born. It hasn’t all been easy.
During my year of being 30, in addition to the culture shock of learning by immersion what to do with an infant, I was unemployed for the first part of it, then I got a job, and I also got this gig writing for Parents.com writing The Dadabase, then had to move my family back to Nashville because of financial reasons, my wife’s car broke down half-way during the move and we had to buy a new car, and our roof caved in the week we tried to move back in our house in Nashville.
We eventually got back on our feet here in Nashville. Then we became vegetarians. And not that long ago, Jack had a febrile seizure.
Um… what else? I’m sure I’m forgetting something.
It hasn’t been a forgettable year; clearly not.
I’m ready for 31. I’ll just say that.
But back to my son serving as comic relief in my life. It’s the little stuff that gets me; in a good way.
Like when I watch him chew viciously on his toy plastic vegetables though he knows they’re just for pretending to eat.
And how he likes to sit in the fridge after he mows the carpet each day.
How sometimes on the drive home in the car, he’ll start randomly making donkey sounds after 20 minutes of silence.
My kid makes me laugh; even during some days or weeks or months I wish I could just fast forward through.
Here’s to hoping the world doesn’t end today. [Insert laugh tracks here.]
My current favorite song, as it relates to all this:
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