Websters defines the word “insanity” as “your two year old constantly screams at you the phrase ‘Koen (or “I”) do it’ while your oldest son constantly screams that he ‘can’t do it,” often times when referencing putting on clothes, riding a bike, or staying in his room for more than six second once he’s put down because he either has to pee (despite the fact that he peed literally less than five minutes ago) or because he heard a noise outside and needs to ask you what the noise was, even though it’s often times as obvious as a car driving by our house.”
It’s a weird definition but totally 100% true — look it up. So, if the word “insanity” means all those things, the word “sanity” would therefore be defined as “when two parents finally get both kids down to sleep and can daydream about a trip where they can sleep in, talk to other adults about things other than carwashes and trains, and after a day where those two things are accomplished, look at each other and admit they miss their kids a little bit.”
Believe it or not, there are some days where your mom and I are hanging on by a mental thread. You boys can be the sweetest, kindest, best eaters in front of others-kinda kids. But you can also be, well, insane. Somehow, I fell like every parent goes through this phase (some phases can last 18+ years, or so I’m told). I feel like every parent looks back at raising kids (once those kids are slightly older and slightly stable), and admire how difficult the journey was and how much they appreciate where those kids are now.
One time when I was a freshman in college, three friends and I drove my car down to Ft. Lauderdale for spring break. The year was 2005, and we weren’t able to get Waze to load on our Chocolate, slide-to-text cell phones. So we used paper maps to find the best route to and from FLA.
Two things happened while driving to and from that trip. One the way down, my car broke down, needed a new engine put in, and we had to take a greyhound bus from Melbourne, FLA to Ft. Lauderdale. On said greyhound bus, we literally overheard someone tell someone else they were just picked up from getting out of prison. Maybe this was a way to scare four kids probably wearing Hollister polos and cargo shorts, but it worked — we were a little out of place. Oh, and one of my friends was holding an 18-inch box TV because my Avalon hada power outlet in the back and we were taking turns playing PS2 from the back seat of my sedan.
PS – a greyhound is a public bus people had to use before Uber or whatever kind of teleportation you have now that you’re reading this.
On the way back, after greyhounding back to Melbourne to pick up my car (and now down two because their parents bought them plane tickets to fly home), on the way home while in WV, and again, using a paper map, we got lost and took what looked like a shortcut up and down Appalachian mountains trying to reconnect to the main road.
The point is, whatever happened on that trip is mostly lost. For one reason or another, I don’t remember much about what we did or where we went on that trip — although I’ve never been able to stomach Barcadi O since — but the two things that stick out most to me are what happened during the journey to where we were going.
Still with me? Picking up what I’m putting down? I think that is probably parenting in a nutshell. Things are insane when you focus on each of the moments, but as I write this and think about the journey to get to where we are, sometimes…., well, I kinda think I really like being with you boys and watching you grow up.
There are also certain moments, like the one now where Reagan is crawled up on your mom and Koen, you’re leaning against my leg watching a real-life carwash on Youtube just on repeat, that make me really, really happy. I’m sure in a moment we’ll tell you it’s time to go up and take a bath, and a chaos-bomb will go off and send everything into crazytown, but I also want to acknowledge that even though you two are absolutely, without a doubt, certifiably insane sometimes, I kinda like you both and hope that you look back on this time when you’re both older, and think that it was a pretty good ride.
Love you boys.