|Damn. Da-da forgot the sippy cups.|
Da-da's lived a hundred lifetimes. A thousand. And in there he's had some really terrible jobs (and terrible bosses, O the inhumanity), jobs that nearly did Da-da in, and while Da-da bitches a lot about his radioactive monkey progeny, well... being Mr. Mom is the best job he's ever had. Indeed, Da-da feels sorry for those who don't get/take the chance to raise their own children because of whatever reason. They don't know what they're missing. (Whatever you do, don't sign up for Au Pair Despair.) Sure, it's a hard job. MAN, is it hard. One of the toughest ever -- at least for Da-da and his rough brood. Summitting an Everest of broken glass every day while dragging around a bus-load of angry Rotarians would be luxury in comparison.
Regardless, being Mr. Mom is the best learning experience Da-da's ever had. You couldn't know this, o'course, but Da-da's got one of those installed memory banks that are annoying as hell: he can't forget anything, not the diaper episodes, the projectile vomits, the shushing-to-sleep episodes, the tantrums, none of it. But the hardest part of being a parent (for Da-da, anyway) is overcoming the fear that comes with being a parent. Da-da doesn't mean the fear of having children. He means the anxiety (that grips fathers more than mothers, perhaps), the TERROR that something's gonna happen to your little ones, fear that's multiplied when you have another... then it goes down the more you have, which must be some primitive passing-the-genes-on male thing. Or maybe it's because you're so punch-drunk by the time the other kids arrive that it doesn't matter, but you do get over it. The molten lava runs out of the caldera, burns its course, and leaves you stronger for it, not to mention getting rid of all those pesky leaves you needed to rake and trees you needed to prune. Needless to say, positive thinking and a good sense of humor is vital to the job, that and trust -- which is probably the toughest to maintain, learning to trust that everything will eventually go according to plan if you'd just get your ass out of the way.
Believe it or not, part of Da-da's rapprochement was the research he did into secret societies and arcane subjects and spiritual matters for over 20 years, research that lead to a deep, underlying understanding of, well... Life, the Universe and Everything, an understanding that stripped away obsolete bits of Da-da that never mattered to the climb, or the climber. He won't need that sofa or that samurai sword on the top of a mountain, so why was he carrying them? Same went for his music career, his art career, his silly tenure in the upholstered, treadmilled halls of Discorporate America. His idea of himself has been immolated on the push toward the summit, the crucible poured out, the bad metaphors either dashed on the rocks, or boiled, mixed with mayo and served on a crunchy roll. The hairless ape in the silvery firesuit was handed a walking stick and a new pair of eyes he wouldn't trade for all the music deals and book deals and art openings and other silly ego ephemera of a lifetime.
What's it like being a parent, so far? It's like watching a good, old fashioned thriller: Da-da laughed, Da-da cried, Da-da was on the edge of his seat. On to the next ascent... which looks steep, krikey. Where in hell is that UP escalator? (Sure are a lot of DOWN ones around.) Watch your step. And Happy Father's Day, gents.
|So long, Brad, wherever you are. Be sure to take the UP escalator, dude.|