Happy Birthday to me. Another year officially logged into the history of my existence on planet earth. I awoke to a sense of disbelief that I’ve completed yet another full 365 day journey around the Sun. My sense of time, you see, became disjointed once I became a parent. Since that fateful day, I’ve lived each moment without concern for any regimented adherence to the calendar. Instead, I became aware of the passage of time through my children. For example, If a person inquired, I could tell him my daughter’s specific age via months but if I was asked a question like “What is today’s date?” I’d look back at the individual with a vacant stare. Yet my birthday acts like a reset button, forcing me to emerge from my layered existence to take stock of the events that unfolded in the last 525600 minutes. I’ve come to the conclusion I”m either on the verge of greatness or perpetual exhaustion. Probably both.
This morning my children greeted me like any other day. They had yet to be prompted by their mother to wish their Daddy a Happy Birthday. That being the case, there were the usual hugs, giggles, demands, screams, and strong assertions of their desire to play. In my half conscious state, I smiled to myself thinking, “man, I’m tired, but I love my kids.” My wife inevitably stirred because my children are good at the whole including everyone in their play time regardless of their parents state of physical alertness. The sounds of laughter, electronic chicken noises and clapping thanks to the Sid the Science Kid toy microphone resonated in the living room. A fun toy I’d recommend for children when it’s not 6:30 am in the morning.
I’m fully aware that my role in life now centers around fatherhood. The challenges arrive each day coupled with the joy of new discovery. I’m thankful to be included in seeing the world with fresh eyes. I can’t fathom life without them or my wife. Not that I haven’t toyed with the “what if” game. Yet no matter how pleasant the potential outcome of this musing might be I’m always drawn back by the thought my children would not have existed if I had undertaken a different path. I also cold not bear the void in my life created by the absence of my wife. Without question she’s a complicated woman with all the perplexing mysteries man can never hope to solve about the female species. Still, with but a look she melts my heart. I am, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, crazy in love.
Being a member of the fellowship of Dads for a mere four years, I realize I’m at the nascent stage of one of the greatest challenges of my life. Looking at my existence through the lives of my wife and children provide me with a tangible measure I can build upon in the years to come. My once independent aspirations driven by ambition now include my family in the big picture. I have grown as a man and will continue to need the strength of my family to endure. The potential seems infinite. i can’t wait to see what lies ahead. Today’s truly a good day. Happy Birthday to me.
Vincent Daly aka CuteMonsterDad is a graphic designer, writer, actor, artist and most importantly a husband and father. He is the founder of CuteMonster.com, a resource for Dads.