Category Archives: Parenting
Being a parent we live busy lives. Many of us are trying to juggle our own schedules and also the schedule of our children, which seem to be about as busy as ours. Finding an extra minute is nearly impossible. When the doctor told me that I needed to lose 15 pounds and lower my cholesterol, I nearly laughed. Did this guy really think that I would find time to go to the gym?
I began to look into my schedule, wondering, where I could find it. I did not want to come home from work, turn around, and go for a run. That would cut into the time that I would get to play with the Rookie. After the Rookie would be in bed is also my opportunity to catch up on the DVR, my time to decompress.
There was one block of time that I had available. It wouldn’t be easy and it would require some sacrifices.
No Kids were harmed in the writing of this post.
Let’s forget that what I did was illegal. I could have been pulled over and given a ticket, however, I have figured out how to get out of a ticket. But, it was too damn cute to not get video of.
The Kid was in the backseat dancing. Dancing to the new radio station that the company I work for acquired. Something that all my colleagues would love to see. I had to turn around and get video as I drove.
The next day, I walk into work head upstairs and say hello to everyone hanging around the coffee maker. They ask me how my evening was and I whip out my phone and show them the video.
After the initial laughter of just how cute the Kid is, someone mentions that this is a video we will want to save and bring up at his graduation or to one of his prom dates to show off how he will be dancing later that night.
The phone rang. I was in a glass edit bay looking out a newsroom buzzing with activity. I had been out in a live truck all morning covering an overnight shooting in the Kansas City metro area.
It was Mrs. Rookie Dad. This is the 3rd time she has called me that day. I had been anticipating a phone call from her to tell me that it was time to go to the hospital for a few days now. The newsroom had been put on baby watch, knowing that at any moment I would have to leave.
But that morning, the calls from Mrs. Rookie Dad had been what I like to call the “nothing” phone call. A call that can wait until I come home to discuss. We were at the point in the pregnancy that I couldn’t just let the phone go to voice mail.
I picked up the phone and in my head I remember thinking, “Now what!” but on the other end of the phone before I could get out a hello, I heard:
“My water broke!”
Instantly, a feeling of guilt rushed over me as I stopped momentarily to think and regret what my thoughts were that morning. I realized that would be a memory I would never forget, the thought that went through my head when the Kid was born. That immediate regret turned into a smile and happiness though when the Kid was born at 2 A.M the next morning.
The moment that the Kid was born, my paid paternity leave started. It was only two weeks of paternity leave, more than what most new fathers get. Most get none. I was one of the lucky ones.
Let me be the first to say this, I SUCK at doing chores. I have the hardest time getting the motivation to do them after a hard day’s work. It is my thought that I should be able to come home and just be able to relax.
I realize though, that there are things that need to get done around the house. I know that the floor needs to be swept and vacuumed. My feet appreciate picking up the Lego pieces that are left on the living room floor, if they don’t end up in the vacuum. The dishes need to be done and the lawn needs to be mowed.
Doing these chores are a pain, I am not going to lie. The moment I walk in the door I hear my empty easy chair calling my name. My feet are hurting from walking to and from different sides of the building at work. The Netflix queue needs to be watched. However, the Kid needs to learn that not everything will come easy. There are times when we have to do things that we don’t particularly enjoy.
How do you explain death to a child? It is a question that I have been asking myself lately after hearing the news of Robin Williams.
The other night when we were sitting down to dinner my phone started to explode, not literally but the ringing from it was constant. Naturally, I have to check it and find out that Robin Williams died knowing that Mrs. Rookie Dad would be interested. We both were shocked by the news but little did we know that the Kid would be too.
The Kid, for those of you who don’t know, is named William. I just chose to use the Kid as his name on this blog. After making the announcement at dinner, William’s face immediately turns from a jubilant 3-year-old to heartbroken child.
“You mean I died?” He said.
Mrs. Rookie Dad and I look at each other shocked that the Kid made an immediate connection to the death of Robin Williams, all because of a name.
We tried to explain that it was someone else, someone that Mrs. Rookie Dad and I used to watch on TV all the time. This just made the situation even worse in the eyes of the Kid.
“Bad guys killed him didn’t they?”
“We don’t know that yet but I don’t think they did.” (We now know the most of the story)
“But only bad guys make people die.”
“Yes you are right, but sometimes people die from other reasons. That happens.”
I will be the first to admit that the death of Robin Williams hit me hard. It hit me harder than any other celebrity death. This exchange with the Kid didn’t help things. I could tell just how much he was identifying with the loss. How do you explain to a child that death happens and is a natural part of life?
It wasn’t but five minutes after we had finished eating that he forgot the conversation and was asking me to play cars with him. As I am racing cars with him I couldn’t help but wonder how this will affect the Kid. Will he ask about it later? Will he ask if the bad guys that killed that one guy were caught?
On one hand I am glad to know that he understands the difference between good and bad guys. On the other hand, I want him to know that death is a natural part of life. Maybe I am expecting him to grow up to quickly.
I don’t know if I am ready to answer the tough questions that parenting has to bring me. While explaining that bad guys aren’t the only reason people die isn’t that tough of a question, it was a sign of what is to come. A sign that I am not ready for.