There are things I thought I would never do, not because I don’t want to be there for my son, but because some things are just plain gross. There are other things I do now that go against everything I’ve tried to avoid throughout most of my life, but now I go out of my way to make sure my son is enjoying life.
Snot on my shirt. Not mine, but my son’s. Not because he came up and gave me a hug and some smeared across my shoulder or chest, but on my sleeve or shirt waist because I forgot a tissue. I think snot is absolutely disgusting, but have now, on many occasions, willingly wiped my son’s on my shirt because it was making it’s way down his face and into his mouth. I know I’ll do it again if need be seeing how it’s my fault I’ve forgotten the tissues, but I still think it’s gross every time.
I track the EL train here in Chicago now more than ever these days. I mostly commute by bike, but when my wife needs me to pick up my son after work I’ll drive the family car. Up in the neighborhood we live in here in Chicago the EL runs at ground level and so when commuting by car you can get stuck waiting as sometimes up to three or four trains go by before the gates go back up and traffic can move. This used to be the most annoying thing for me when driving, but now I track the train to try and get stuck waiting for it so my son can watch as it goes by. He’s almost two and is infatuated with trains and large trucks so every chance I get to see a smile pop up on his face because we see a train I make sure to get stuck.
Another thing I never used to do was share the last bite of my deserts. I would make sure to be the first one done so I wouldn’t have to share what I was enjoying. I always wanted the last bite so I could remember the flavors as I savored the last little bit, but now I often will catch myself taking the larger cookie or piece of cake and if my son gets through his first I will share the last bite with him. Or I’ll cut off pieces I know he’ll like to make sure he can have some once he’s done with his.
Maybe I’m just getting too soft with having a kid around, or maybe there’s something about being a parent that makes you think differently about things when it affects more than just you. I don’t know either way, I just know I’m always looking for ways to put a smile on my son’s face and sometimes it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to take.