(My goal was to write a blog every Thursday… and this is the THIRD WEEK IN A ROW I’m actually doing it. We ask you to celebrate responsibly. Please do not overturn cars or climb up light poles.)
5 Vastly Underrated, Incredibly Awesome Things About Being a Dad
1. Being a father is an opportunity – a golden, juicy, can’t-miss opportunity – to be completely, utterly, unashamedly, proudly RIDICULOUS.
That’s right. And admit it, you want to be ridiculous. You want to build a Duplo tower to the ceiling, specifically for the joy of knocking it over. And you want to do it again. You want to make explosion noises. You want to act out a scene with a bunch of Beanie Babies that ends in a giant fight. You want to play hide-and-seek and use the little hiding spot you’ve been eyeing since you bought the house. You want to crush a wiffleball with a red fatbat and make crowd noises as you trot around imaginary bases.
People at the office frown on all these things. I know that from experience.
But when you’re a dad… ridiculous isn’t just tolerated. It’s celebrated. Little onlookers will giggle and laugh and think, “Daddy’s the BEST.” And your wife will even find it attractive. Imagine that.
Win/win/win/win/win/win/win/win/win. It’s all win, man.
2. Making your own kid laugh is one of the best things in life.
Sure, making other people laugh is nice. Once, while observing me with some guys talking on a back patio, it dawned on my wife: “Wait: Are you guys ONLY trying to be funny? Is that what you’re doing? You’re all just sitting there, thinking, ‘What funny thing can I say next?’ That’s it? That’s the entire focus of conversation?”
I paused, stroked my stubble, and offered the following explanation: “Yes. That is correct.”
But getting the guys to laugh is nothing like getting your own kid to laugh. And the more challenging the laugh from your kid, the better. The Ultimate Dad Ninja Challenge, of course, is to take your kid’s tears and turn them into laughter. I will explain how to do it:
Kid: “Waaah… I fell and maybe sort of bonked my knee… waaah… it’s the end of the world, etc. etc., Waaah. Waaah.”
- Immediately make siren noises
- Place kid on kid’s back
- Start talking like an EMT while hovering over kid: “I think we need CPR…STAT.”
- Do little fake CPR. “I think she’s going to be okay… I don’t know… Let’s see if she responds to stimuli…”
- Aggressively begin tickle procedure
- When she starts giggling in spite of herself, don’t stop. Just say, “Yes, she seems to be responding to stimuli.”
- Watch as wife looks on, smiling, incredibly attracted to you
ProTip: Make sure child is not actually seriously injured before doing this. If, say, child’s leg is broken, this procedure may actually cause dip in wife attraction level.
3. It’s fun to entertain their friends, too.
Think of it: Small crowds, readily available, to try out your awesome magic tricks, puppetry, or comedy. It’s like convening a Focus Group, Jr. to evaluate and give feedback on your new material.
4. Video games are COOL AGAIN!!
Playing video games by yourself = not especially cool to your wife.
Playing video games with your kids, and you’re all laughing together = at least kinda cool to your wife. Mostly. To a point. But yeah.
Now, I’m not saying you should procreate new humans strictly as an excuse to re-visit your Mario Kart or Madden glory days. But if it works out that way, well… what can you do?
5. You get a very vivid picture of how good God really is.
Here’s what I mean by this, and it’s kinda dicey to write about and keep rated G, but:
Think about this: One night, or day, or whatever… you are attracted to your wife, and she to you. You desire her. You enjoy her, and she enjoys you. It’s one of the best parts of marriage, most of us guys agree. It’s not a dirty thing, it’s a fun thing.
Now, fast forward a few dozen months, as a result of that very enjoyable evening: You’re playing baseball… with a new human.
Fast forward some more dozen months: You’re talking to this new human on the phone, and you hear his deep voice, talking about his job, which happens to be protecting the United States.
This has been my experience. And the same thing goes for my daughter (except for the “deep voice” and the military officer part.) But people don’t talk about this enough: All the pleasures, all the fun, all the laughs, all the closeness, all the heart-bursting pride, all the tickles and giggles and games and late-night talks and family photos and car trips and ice cream cones and running through sprinklers and shared favorite movies and struggles and driving lessons and heartaches and graduations and… it’s all the result of yet another blessing from God.
And if you’re a stepdad who steps in as a father? You’re a hero, who gets to experience the goodness of God’s adoption process in a whole different way.
There’s no other way to look at it. He’s that good. One indescribably wonderful thing, and the result? A thousand more indescribably wonderful things.
So we get to see that, up close and personal. Wow, huh? What kind of being would love us that much, give us that much, and then enjoy the ridiculous, the silly, the fun, and the profound, right along with us?
Must be a Dad.
Happy Fathers Day.