This is a picture of you on your very first hayride, at least that I’m aware of.
(You were obviously happy about it.)
The way I see it, going on a hayride is one of the most American things you can do in Autumn.
It starts getting too cold to enjoy being outside in October, so you show up to a farm (more marketably called a “pumpkin patch”) where enough other people want to have fun, despite it being too cold to be outside for an hour and a half compared to if they were simply in their own yard.
How it seems to go for most new experiences in your life, like the train ride at the zoo last weekend, you typically are quiet as you process what’s going on- to figure out whether or not you like it.
Typically, it’s not until at least the next day that you refer to the experience as a positive event.
But with the hayride, it was barely finished before you announced to Mommy and me, “I liked the hayride.”
After all, we got pulled by a tractor! That’s not something we get to do everyday.
Soon after, we made our way to the play area, where you had no trouble finding a toy tractor to reenact our adventure.
I was uncertain how you’d react to the Halloween decorations that were placed all along the ride, but you actually thought they were pretty cool- like the giant spider made out of hay.
So what are our plans for next weekend?
You guessed it. We’re headed back to the pumpkin patch to go on the hayride again.
I’m becoming more aware of the fact that I really get to have more fun with you these days. I’m especially looking forward to the holidays coming up for the rest of the year.
Now you are really starting to remember the activities and adventures we do together as a family.
That’s not to say you’re ready for Disney World, but I’d say you’re definitely approved for that 2nd visit to the pumpkin patch next weekend.
There is obvious humor in the fact my wife and I look normal and happy, as our son is reaching away from us and clearly wants out of the frame.
(Also, take notice of the couple in the upper right hand corner apparently embracing while they wait in line for a port-a-potty. Awkward…)
While dozens of people “liked” the picture on Facebook, no one specifically pointed out why they connected with it.
But I think I know why.
It’s because it serves as a somewhat subtle, visual reminder to fellow parents out there:
This is normal. This is good. Enjoy it for all it’s worth.
I think one of the biggest cliches in the world of parenting is this:
“Being a parent is the toughest job in the world, but it’s also the most rewarding.”
Well, I don’t buy that. Two reasons:
First, it seems pretty obvious to me that some of the toughest jobs in the world would include prostitution, coal mining, and truck driving. I mean… right?
Second, being a parent isn’t a job. It’s simply a necessary part of life.
Life itself is tough. I know, personally, I would love have access to my own free psychiatrist just to sort it all out.
But I don’t get that.
For me, I put parenting in a category like marriage. Attempting to be a good husband is not a job. In fact, it’s so much more than that.
Now that I think about it, how insulting it is to consider being married as a job. Instead, it’s a privilege with built-in responsibility and accountability so big that it can’t just be dumbed down to “a job.”
Being a parent is so huge that many moms and dads actually stay home while their spouse goes out to work in the “professional” work force. Because being a parent is that big of a deal.
It’s that time-consuming, that stressful, and that hard to put a salary amount on.
The value of a parent is essentially priceless.
So, no, I don’t think being a parent is the hardest job in the world. If nothing else, because I’m sticking with my weird prostitution answer.
Exactly a year ago today, after 22 and half hours of “coaching” my wife in labor, which consisted of me proclaiming stock phrases like “Oh look, here’s the head!” for the final three hours of the delivery, along with, “Baby, I’m so proud of you!” my wife finally gave birth to our dark Mexican baby. I will always remember the way he was silently starving for air as soon as the doctor pulled him out. He looked so mad.
Granted, he eventually morphed into the Norwegian little boy we know today as “Jack-Man.”
A few weeks later we moved him to Alabama, suffered mutual unemployment, then singular employment but still couldn’t afford to pay the bills, Parents.com contacted me about switching my daddy blog “Dad from Day One” to their website and so The Dadabase was born, then we moved back to Nashville and got our old jobs back, we had to buy my wife a new (used) car, then tried to move back into our townhouse but realized there was serious water damage that destroyed part of our living room ceiling, and I guess that leads us to where we are today: Finally, we have sense of normalcy that we’ve been desperate for.
And Jack has been along for the ride the whole way through, both oblivious to the chaos and eager for more excitement.
I admit, I don’t exactly know how to act. I mean, everything’s actually going pretty well right now. We’re officially moved back into our home and made it ours again. And I’m nervous to even say it- what if I jinx it?
Wouldn’t this be such an appropriate time to learn, “Surprise! We’re having another baby!” For the record, that is not the case. All I mean is that I’m so accustomed to life being crazy with some kind of constant fiasco, that I almost expect some kind of shocking surprise like that.
Wow, we as parents, have survived our first year! Sure, it’s awesome that our son is now a year old; so cool. But seriously, we not only survived raising him thus far but we made it through a lot of wacko stuff since then.
We as a family have made it through; thank God. Going through a whirlwind year like this has surely left us with unsettled psychological issues that we need to sort out with Jason Seaver (the psychiatrist dad from Growing Pains) but until then, I’ll continue using my writings here on The Dadabase to serve as my own psychiatrist.