So here’s the thing: being a single dad is way less cool than I thought it would be. To be fair, I never laid in bed awake at nights as a Dashboard Confessional listening angsty teenage thinking being a single dad was the way to go. Sometimes you expect life to get easier, when big changes come about, but the truth is, kiddo, you and your life will always travel with you, despite geographical coordinates or roommate situation—albeit roommates I use loosely, at best, to describe living with yo’ mama.
Life is Good, for Us
We hang out often and do really cool stuff—you love the fuck out of swimming with me, and you’re getting the hang of it, which makes me Proud Papa Bear—and eat things and watch things and play with helicopters and trains and cars. But you’re a lot of work, kiddo. I mean, to be fair I’d rather sweat my dick off at a park at noon in the Texas summer (it blows) than be at work, but a fella has to make a living to buy your goddamn yogurts and Nutrigrain™ bars—I happen to know the hex code for the ™ symbol, so I use it, or I’ll lose it, you understand.
I’m balancing a lot of things right now, little bear. Money and relationships and friends and bars and fun and work and Netflix and mileage… But when I hang out with you I have one goal, and that’s to make it about us, because we don’t have as much time together as we once did. There was this feeling, when I was in college and waiting tables; I’d finish my homework and my life would be nothing but that moment. That’s almost the same sensation I have when I am hanging out with you. Things are less heavy.
Sometimes I Forget to be Myself
Being a dad is the simple part, really. Having fun, taking you places, watching that gangsta’ Thomas the”Railroadin’ Motha’ Fucka'” Train doin’ some hood-rat shit, blowing kisses to the hunnies, and kickin’ off our shoes at really inconvenient times (you 99% of the time), that’s easy. It’s figuring out what to do when you go to sleep. Sometimes I get a little sad… Other times I like not being around people and just going balls deep in Netflix. I realize I am missing things, being a dad, fun things with people my age. Most people won’t understand when I say “meh, I’m okay with it.” Sometimes I don’t understand that either. There’s a world to live, and you’re asleep. Why the fuck do you go to sleep at 7? Just kidding, parents need a break. But also, we could crush it at the bars right now, just sayin’.
Your teacher at school said that I was the best “baby daddy” she’s ever seen. It may have been a passing compliment, and not actually sincere, but that’s the best compliment I can receive, to be honest. I give up a lot in life to make sure you’re taken care of, and it makes me happy to do so. You’re the best part of my life. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, kiddo, but the time we get together will never be one of them.
In retrospect, maybe chill out on the whole, quite literally, shitting all over the place thing.