Becoming Dad

Tonight I stepped into the long line (if by long line, I mean one generation) of Eagan dad-child relations.  One of my best memories growing up was when my mom would leave home at meal time, because my dad always made peanut butter and syrup sandwiches.  I don’t remember anything except for the sheer thrill of eating something my mom would never make for us.

Tonight, I introduced my kids to the tradition.

Jessey had to leave for a meeting at the church, so I did the only logical thing and made peanut butter and syrup sandwiches for the kids.  After my kids completed their routine of taking one bite and then running away to play and then running back for another bite (a ritual that takes up to a half hour in order to eat one sandwich), I went and sat on the couch (like any stereotypical dad would do).  My son then asked if we could play catch.

You have to understand something about me, and why this is significant.  I told Obi when he was 3 that, if he ever wanted to play with a ball with me, I would be obliged to say yes.  This goes back to my childhood again.  I was always playing basketball or baseball, with my brother, with my dad, and occasionally (perhaps twice) with my mom.  I love playing sports that involve throwing balls.  So, I gladly obliged my son’s request.

We started by playing catch and counting to 112 (he did all of the counting aside from the transitions, like from 39 to 40).  I was pretty impressed with his brain.  He’s pretty smart.  Then, I suggested that we play ‘basketball’, which involves me holding a hula-hoop and him throwing a ball at my face.  He’s actually naturally talented at this, but he hates failure, so he likes to quit when he misses three in a row.  I then challenged him to try to shoot the ball backwards, over his head.  He was remarkably good at this, and we laughed out loud together as we played.

I just finished my 5th of six full-time quarters of school today, turning in my final paper this afternoon.  This means I have freedom for the next 10 days to be worry-free dad (aside from all of the other things going on in my life).  It felt good just to relax and play with my son (Guinie was content to occupy herself while we played; she has no real desire to play games involving balls).  My son and I decided that tomorrow evening, we would all go bowling and then go to a restaurant to watch basketball (he’s never seen a basketball game, televised or not).  There’s really nothing better than the relief of a burden that keeps me from being able to be fully engaged in this part of my life.

Understanding that this is entirely boring for you to read, it’s my reality today.  I finished another quarter of school, and I got to hang out with my kids…without being concerned about getting back downstairs to work on homework at bedtime.  I really do have a lot to look forward to, and I am eagerly awaiting the summer, when I get to just be dad when I’m not working.  Today, life is good.  I’m celebrating that.


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