Top 5 Lessons I Learned from Hanging with a Fellow Father

Daddylibrium hit the road for work last week, disrupting my blogging schedule but  letting me reconnect with a fellow dad well versed in this site’s life/fatherhood juggling act.

My old chum has three beautiful children, a shared sense of fatherly overload and a similar knack for self-reflection. Here’s what I took away from my weekend …

  1. Dining out with kids doesn’t have to be a disaster – I met up with my friend, his wife and their three kids for dinner Saturday night. We had pizza, ice tea … and not a single meltdown, timeout or other kiddie-induced hiccup. His girls are a few years older than my sons, and what a pleasure it was to eat with young-uns without having to play referee in between bites.
  2. Don’t feel guilty for needing a tech timeout: My friend brought an iPad along with us when we took a trip to my old stomping grounds with his four-year-old son. That meant the little guy tapped away on it while his father and I caught up on ’70s era rock and our mutual disconnect from today’s music. I often feel like a less than noble father when I let my son use my tablet on a car trip or even at a restaurant. Bottom line – when used sparingly there’s nothing wrong with letting technology give you a breather. Those Angry Birds need company, too.
  3. Should old acquaintance be forgot? Nope – Got the chance to visit with two old friends I haven’t seen since moving to Denver during the last leg of my trip. There’s something wonderful about that, even if we don’t keep up with one another as we should. Memories matter, and the friendships we forged along the way helped get us to where we are right now.
  4. The future’s so bright, but where did I put my shades? – My friend is one of the more ambitious folks I know, always taking a class, considering a new hobby or simply plotting vacations two or three years down the road. It’s fine to be overwhelmed by fatherhood, but it shouldn’t stop you from thinking about tomorrows to come.
  5. The grass is always greener … but it still needs to be cut: I would love to move into a bigger home down the proverbial road. Our bedroom is too small, and the upstairs bathroom ensures we never gain weight lest we get stuck entering or leaving it. Yet my friend also pines for more space even though his home is far bigger than ours. Bottom line: We always want more, and there’s not a bloody thing wrong with that. What matters is knowing what you truly need, what the costs will be (both monetary and in time spent maintaining it) and having the wisdom to resist the knee-jerk urge to keep up with the Joneses.

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