I don’t often get to hang out alone with my 3 year-old. I had that rare chance last week.
In celebration I gave him the opportunity to do “whatever he wanted.”
What he requested took me aback – with fatherly pride and a touch of sadness.
My 3 year-old didn’t care to go to Chuck E. Cheese or out for ice cream. Swinging at the park or feeding the ducks did not come to mind tonight either.
When I asked what he wanted to do, he sweetly said, “Daddy, can we go play in my room?”
My little tag-a-long child just wanted his Good-Bad Dad – uninterrupted, quiet and all to himself. Right then I recognized how much I’ve done right – and how much I do wrong.
I should explain to him that we’re both stuck in the middle – caught in-between the Uber-driver existence of older kid activities and the hyper attention that having an infant requires.
There is good and bad to being stuck in the middle – I wrote a quick poem to better explain this in his terms.
Tonight you stopped me right in my tracks,
I’m missing you grow, and you’re not looking back.
Whether it’s soccer, or choir, football or math,
Most nights I’m hurried right up to your bath.
The hustle has given you quite the chance,
To learn how to dribble, cheer and dance.
I’m sure that watching your brothers or sister at play,
Will certainly make you a singer, dancer or athlete one day.
None of that matters when you get sick of the chase,
When each weekend feels like an unending race.
There are no cars, but this race is sure tight,
Just one problem – there’s no finish in sight.
There should be time for you – time for us,
To buck this hurried trend and be done with the rush.
Let’s play cars or a game or just chat,
Taking the time to enjoy the very place where we’re at.
For you and me, kid, we’re now caught right in the middle.
I’ll try my best and so should you,
To make sure the middle has room for two.
I’m with you there, right by your side,
Even when it seems you’re just along for ride.
But until your turn comes and while you’re still so little,
For better or worse, we’ll be stuck in the middle.
I learned a great lesson from my son.
He needs my time – and I will always, happily oblige.