Being a Dad is hard.
Some of the time it’s really tiring, and I don’t mean that sometimes I really fancy a nap, I mean that I could be laying on the cold floor in the depths of being truly shattered until I’m summoned by cries, and I honestly have to consider how to dig even deeper to find the fumes of fuel to get up.
Then there’s the many, many times that I feel so selfish for just wanting a quick second to mindlessly flick through other people’s life updates on Facebook. I know she’s probably fine, sitting right next to me, quietly playing and oh no, she’s eating soap.
How did she even get that? I swore it was in the cupboard behind a child safety lock. I scoop her up and we scurry to the sink to wash her mouth while my wife runs in and starts looking up the side effects of eating a bar of moisturising, neutral pH balanced soap, which by the way is endorsed by the most successful one from the cast of Friends.
The worst part is being away from her while I’m at work. I spend many moments glancing up at the framed photo of her on my desk from the time we went to my wife’s aunt’s farm for Thanksgiving. It was a misty morning but we’d all woken up and my daughter and her cousins wanted to play outside, so I brought my camera and set it on the hood of the tractor with the timer on.
Now I look at that photo every time I get a little tired, frustrated or just to take a second to remind myself why I go to work every day. I spend my days at the office so she’ll never want for anything.
She’s the warmest greeting when I get home and her smile is so genuine that I sometimes cut my lunch break a little short so I can head home a couple of minutes early.
The weekends are the best though. I get to wake up first, usually. I have a cup of coffee and wait for my daughter to start talking to herself and I know that’s the signal to open up her door and greet her. I usually get an assortment of sleepy demands in return but they come with a hug so I’ll gladly oblige.
Any time spent with her, no matter how upset she gets or how many Bubble Guppies stickers I have to peel off my socks, will always be cherished. Even when she’s having a meltdown because I wont let her eat the cat’s food.
I wonder if one day she’ll read this. I hope so.