Monday, February 22, 2016

Different Worlds

I was talking with a young single coworker Friday night as we left work. He asked if I had big plans for the weekend. I told him we were doing pinewood derby one day, finishing a school report on the Polio vaccine, and if the barley and hops gods smiled on me, I'd get a few beers in while watching the game on Sunday. His response was one of shock, and I could hear it in his voice as he said "we live very different lives, friend!"

His weekend was obviously going to be the one of a young bachelor in the city, I'll let you imagine the details, but it's safe to say Polio was not a disease he was worried about, and a beer or two wouldn't even cover the opening round. 

I wouldn't trade with him though, and while he's enjoying his youth, he has no idea how much he may one day enjoy the other side of the coin with a weekend like the one I had.

He has never experienced the joy of seeing his son's face light up as his pinewood derby car which he labored over in frantic half hour sessions with him crosses the finish line. He has never watched his daughter learn something new and come to him with the look of new knowledge in her eyes as she relays the facts about polio and the vaccine that changed the world. He has never sat down to watch a football game, and had his toddler climb into his lap, grab his face between his two tiny hands and give him a kiss, making all the noise of the stadium melt away and the beer in his hands a less important part of the experience. 

He doesn't know the joy of waking up every day to a person he shares every detail of his life with, the unique passion that is married love, the soothing effect of talking about his day with someone who knows about the day and the week and the year before. 

These are the things he doesn't know. These are the things that sound mundane until you live them. These are the things I traded my weekends single and partying for, and one day I hope he finds the dad life to be as fulfilling as I do. But how does one explain the wonder of parenting to someone who is not yet a parent?

We had a laugh about our different lives, and my closing words were "one day, you'll see..." We both smiled and waved as we climbed into our cars, he into his coupe', me, my four door sedan, and pulled out to enjoy our "very different lives".

Whatever they may contain, enjoy your weekends, and know I'll be enjoying mine as well, even if I am covered in school paste and sawdust.

1 comment:

  1. So true. Great post, and I have worked with a lot of young people over the years, so know all too well what you are saying. Cheers.