As you will soon come to realize, I’m new to the world of blogging. In fact, until last week I was under the impression that a web log was something that a hacker cut from a virtual forest (I might be exaggerating a bit there). Long story short, I don’t have a lot of technical know-how or any fancy blogging skillz (the Z is super trendy and hip….trust me!), but what I do have is an amazing family. My wife (Sue) and I have a brilliant 6 year old daughter (Lexi) and a hilarious 2.5 year old son (Zach).
Now, until last November, I was a medicinal chemist with a major pharmaceutical company (and had been for nearly a decade). Unfortunately, the company decided “to go in a different direction” when it laid off ~60% of my department. My wife is a teacher (thankfully we DO have an income and health insurance), but since my ex-company showed me the door, I’ve been home with my kids every day by myself. While I look for jobs online, craft cover letters, resumes, research summaries, and “network”, I also get to take care of them! I get them ready in the mornings, I drive my daughter to and from school, I make them lunch, I put my son down for a naps, and then I’m about ready to crash! I used to think my medicinal chemistry career was stressful and high paced, now I realize it was a lovely break from a non-stop career! There is something you should know…a secret that I discovered that I bet the majority of the world has yet to realize. TAKING CARE OF KIDS ALL DAY IS HARD!
I’m not going to lie..at first I was not even close to good at it. Finding shoes in the morning and getting on coats was like pushing a boulder up a volcano as it erupted. Figuring out what they wanted for lunch was like researching a cure for the common cold. As the weeks passed though, a strange thing started to happen. Not only have I gotten better at taking care of them, I’ve gotten better at being daddy! While I desperately need a job, my unemployment has given me a rare opportunity to spend REAL time with my children before they go all “Cats In The Cradle” on my old ass. Not that I wasn’t involved when I had a job, but spending all day with them every day…well it affords a different perspective. I get to see all the funny moments, the magic moments and of course the not so magic moments.
Sure I hear tantrums more often (still not so good with the tantrums), but at first, my daughter would get into the car after school and ask why Grandma couldn’t come pick her up (Grandma took care of them during the day). Now, she gets in the car and tells me about her day with a smile (or at least what she “remembers” which typically isn’t much). My son used to get mad if Daddy tried to change his diaper, but now I sometimes get requested over Mommy! So, while I still feel (like any stay at home parent) that I’m continuously spinning in circles (hence the Dizzy), I have a new appreciation for the remarkable children that I have! As for my wife, well as a teacher, she is off in the summer. Often times, being the naive Daddy I was, I would get home from work, look around the house and innocently say “so…uh, what did you do all day”. After one week at home, when my wife walked through the door from work, I looked at her and said “I get it now…”. She looked around the house, didn’t say a word, but knew exactly what I meant!
Now, you might be asking yourself (if anyone is actually reading this), “Hey Dizzy Daddy, what makes your family so blog worthy?” The short answer is….nothing. We’re just like any other family, and like any other family, every day is a new adventure. I would wager that there isn’t a family in this world (or any other if you’re so inclined to believe) that couldn’t fill a few books with the anecdotes, quips and quibbles of everyday life. To a father like me, the ordinary IS extraordinary! I may not save people from burning buildings on a daily basis, but I am getting pretty good at keeping my son from eating quarters! I might not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but my daughter is amazed that I can do push-ups with her sitting on my back! When you have kids “Normal” is filled with joy, laughter and note-worthy moments if you take a minute to look around! Every family is essentially a microcosm of amazement waiting to be explored if you just broaden your definition of amazing to those simple moments that make you smile. And that, my friends, is the long answer!