Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Proud Dad moment

My apologies again, Followers. Mommy B and I have been rather busy lately with a whole smorgasbord of things going on, and it’s been rather difficult to get back to our blogging. In addition to my parents moving to Charleston within the last month, Mommy B has decided to go “back to school” in an effort to earn her Master’s degree in Nursing. She’s taking all online classes for the next 15 months which means even less time available for posting. On top of all that, I’m studying hard to obtain my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification by this summer. Because raising two kids under the age of three just wasn’t enough of a challenge for us…

In all seriousness, this is something that Mommy B has wanted to accomplish since she graduated from college and she feels that it will exponentially open more doors in her career path of choice down the road. So right now was probably the best option for her to obtain this additional degree before the kids get involved in after-school activities. And while my place of employment is not mandating that I obtain my PMP certification, it has been something I’ve been eyeing since I started working in the project management field a few years ago. My company looks very favorably on this certification and I, too, feel that it will provide more opportunities for my career in the near future.

Now then…

Last week, one of my best friends I’ve had since moving to Charleston accepted a two-year position as a consultant in London. Needless to say, our mutual friends had to throw him a going-away party to wish him the best in his endeavors across the pond. Unfortunately for me it was on a school night, but I helped Mommy B tuck the kids into bed and went out to a local watering hole to meet up with the group. Rule #76: No excuses. Play like a champion.

The majority of the party-goers were former colleagues of mine, so we had a great time reminiscing of past times when we all worked together – sometimes on the same team with the same manager! I hadn’t seen most of these folks since I left in August, but thanks to the power of Facebook they know all about what we as a family have been up to. One conversation in particular tugged at my heart strings.

One former colleague asked me how things were going with the family, and I replied with the obligatory “hectic”. Duh, I have two kids under the age of three – and a little hobby on the side called a full-time job… how do you think it’s going? We chuckled a little, and while this particular person was single and didn’t have any kids, she said something to me that I’ll never forget. She said, “I’m sure things are crazy for you, but I can tell you guys genuinely love being parents. I can see it in the pictures on Facebook.”

It kind of caught me up for a second while I pondered her statement. And the more I thought about it, the more I knew she was right. I do love being a dad. Granted, there are still times when I want to pull my hair out – but there is nothing I want to see more at the end of the day than my kids’ smiling faces. They get so excited to see me when I walk in the door after Mommy B has brought them home and I’m not there yet. I know this is just a phase, and it won’t last… so I’m trying to soak it up as much as possible. No matter how long and tiring my day has been, I do my best every day I walk in the door to match their excitement to see me with my own excitement to see them.  My smiling face and big hugs shows them that they are loved just as much by me to them as them to me, even if they don’t understand it yet. When they see me excited and ready to play with them once I’m home, it makes our bond that much stronger. And Mommy B is never shy about capturing many of those moments on camera.

That statement really made me realize that a picture really is worth a thousand words. It would take me hours to try to explain the parent-child relationship to a non-parent, but the pictures Mommy B puts online capture it all effortlessly (maybe with the help of a witty caption every once in a while). After a million images of my kids’ smiling faces flashed through my head in a matter of milliseconds, I looked my friend in the eye and replied, “You’re right. I do love it. And there’s nothing else in the world like it.”

I don’t recall if I intentionally puffed my chest out a little bit after I replied or if it was subconscious, but I certainly held my head a little higher the rest of the night. I told Mommy B this story the next day and she blushed a little at the thought of it all. I told her that the entire evening had really reinforced what I’ve known all along and try not to take for granted – that I’m extremely lucky to have what I have. While I’m a firm believer that for the most part people make their own luck with a combination of opportunity, knowledge and execution – I know there are countless families out there that have it much worse than I do. I’m blessed to have a magnificent family, and hearing the same thing from someone who isn’t around to see it all was very gratifying. I posted once long ago that no one is an expert parent, and it was wonderful to hear that I’m at least doing something right.

It was a Proud Dad moment indeed.

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