Go on vacation, for one. I turned 40 on vacation, which was awesome. You can learn a lot on vacation. Get perspective. But the first full day back really evaporates 90% of the benefit. The difficulties and struggles are all present, front and center, once again.
It really is true what the studies find time and time again: couples with kids are less happy, and the kids are the reason, but you'd still go back and do it all again. Its a complex mystery how something that can be - is - so hard and at times misery inducing can also be something you yearn for almost the minute you leave it. A parents life is harder at almost all times, and yet more full as well.
As I type this, one of my kids is downstairs screaming for me. Screaming. And I just saw him literally 2 minutes ago. When I was going away, I got it. He was upset we were leaving. Its understandable. But I'm here; I'm working from home today. He even stayed home from school and got extra time with me.
I need a vacation. Oh wait.
|Broken; everything seems broken.|
Instead, in a little nice reminder of how much life can really throw at you, it added a little whammy to the flavor of 40. You see, in the 17 days I've been 40 years old, my family of 5 has experienced the flu 5 times (all of us!), an ear infection 3 times (2 kids and wifey!), and broken foot once (the only kid with healthy ears has one foot!).
All in 17 days; a little more than weeks.
Nighttime hasn't even provided a respite, since Rand's foot pain and caused him to wake several times each night. And not just wake, I'm talking full on, Hulk out angry waking. Horror movies have been made about children who were less angry.
So yeah, 40 hasn't been the best, so far. But this is as good a time as any to remind myself that, in reality, things could be a LOT worse.
Anyway, welcome back, Daddy, and happy - cough - birthday.