Friday, January 18th, 2013
2 years, 2 months.
As I sat across from you and Mommy last Sunday morning for breakfast at The Perch in Nashville, I had an epiphany for the first time since you were born:
“I am happy about my life.”
Since you arrived, Mommy and I have overcome dual unemployment; two moves; one of our cars breaking down in the middle of the 2nd move; buying a new car; the ceiling of our living room caving in; you having a febrile seizure; me almost losing my job last summer; to finally where we are today:
A state of normalcy where I can finally exhale.
I don’t think most dads’ lives were as chaotic as mine when their first child was born, so perhaps I had a late start in getting to the point of coming to the realization of how happy I am about my life … as a parent.
Today as I was listening to my favorite radio station, WAY-FM, I learned about an article in USA Today called, “Are Parents Happier? Dads May Be, But Not Mom, Singles.”
I read the article which refers to new research in the journal Psychological Science and I get it; at least in my own head. No one needs to explain to me why research would show that dads are happier than single men, single women, and moms.
Here’s my explanation, as spot-on or dead-wrong as it may be:
I’ve never heard a man say, “All I’ve ever wanted was to be a dad.” Yet, I’ve definitely heard many (if not most?) women say that, in regards to becoming a parent.
While I obviously don’t speak for all or most men, I myself never longed to be a father; I just always knew I would be one.
For me, becoming a dad was something as predictable as getting a job, getting married, and getting old.
I only had generic expectations in regards to being a dad. What I didn’t have were dreamed-about expectations about how complete and meaningful my life would seem once you got here.
But that’s the thing. Honestly, I was surprised by the amount of meaning my life gained once I became a dad two years ago.
It’s like I finally mattered to the universe. Because now I matter to you.
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