This last weekend my hot young wife and I got away to celebrate our 10 year marriage anniversary. We took along with us our 4 month old but the other 2 went off to spend the night at a friend's house. It was wonderful to sit by the pool, relax, and eat wonderful food. What surprised me was that it gave us a chance to just talk about hard things which had not been pressing enough to resolve. What is wonderful about having a truly remarkable wife is that most of the things she brought up were things that I had been thinking about but didn't know how to verbalize. She was able to extract truths from me that I was nervous about or unsure of letting out into the wide world.
One of the primary topics of discussion was how we can do our most important job better. It has been truly wonderful to see Bumpkin and Buddy change so much over the past 6 months. At their age 6 months allows for a massive amount of personality development. Personalities that are so radically different to each other. It gave us a chance to discuss the beautiful changes in our adorable children and how we needed to really change our parenting styles to fit the specific developments of each of the 2. Bumpkin is a dancer and Buddy is a tinker and they way they react to almost anything is different. My parenting still had some homogeneous tendencies from when they were little and those needed a radical shift in this stage in life. My cognisant son and daughter have very different ways in which they need to receive my love and attention. For my daughter it is playing dolls, dancing to the closing soundtrack of Frozen, having Daddy Daughter Dates. For my son I thought it was building things. I love building things with him but it is sometimes hard to come home and try to put Legos together in a methodical way and not steal from him his joy of tinkering by an impatient, overworked father. He had become a little more aggressive and disobedient recently (in small ways he is still an amazingly easy kid) and my young hot wife suggested to me that I needed to spend some time wrestling with him. I thought that would be a great way for him to just work out some of that extra energy that sometimes sprouts out as doing what I asked him not to do, which is really the basis for what he has been doing lately, he is just fidgety. What surprised me was with what deep intensity he threw himself into Pappa wrestle time. He dove into it like a parched man into an oasis. Like a gasp of air and he loved it.
On the one hand it was amazing to see a psychological need in a human being filled, especially when it was my son's need. What really surprised me, and made me feel more than a little guilty, was how over the past few months I hadn't really wrestled with him like I used to and that lack was leading to some real uncertainty in his life. It really re-centred me. I have been procrastinating on a Father-Daughter date for some time now and this weekend it is happening. Not because Bumpkin has really done anything to deserve it but because I just love the crap out of her and want to make sure that she knows she is more important than all the other garbage that I could be doing. And today when I get home I'm going to let out a primal roar, even if it is after bed time, and wrestle my little buddy until we smash heads together or until his asthma catches up to him. Today I'm going to be a little better father than I was yesterday.