I Am Jack’s Imaginary Bargain

I Am Jack’s Imaginary Bargain


See that ship quickly sailing beyond the horizon?

That is your baby-free life and she is sailing away quickly.  On board are all of your friends that don’t have kids.  They are drinking 20 year old Scotch, smoking Cuban cigars, listening to music that is not the theme song to Winnie the Pooh and (the worse part) is that they are flagrantly flaunting it all via Facebook.  Those smug sons of bitches, right?  I can’t wait until they ALL have kids!  Kids for everyone!  Maybe then the rings under my eyes won’t stand out so much.

It’s easy to take that route.  Bitterness is surprisingly a much sweeter path than quiet nobility and, even if it doesn’t get the grease, the squeaky wheel is squeaking for a reason.  You can’t let yourself be consumed by the negativity.  Our time is finite, and the reality of that is never more apparent than when you’re devoting it all to the needs of another.  Despite this, the amount that you are STILL able to get done will make the whiny, procrastinating slob you were a year ago look like….well….a whiny, procrastinating slob.  And you realize your baby is not the only one that is growing.

Profound, I know.

Also very true.  I am a geek and passionately so.  I consume that culture on Godzilla-sized levels.  I bought video games I never played, would watch the same episodes of Quantum Leap repeatedly, and re-read the same comic book story arcs because they were “so damn good”.  Those habits certainly haven’t disappeared, but they do get leaner.  When time is of the essence, and your DVR is 88% full you don’t have the luxury to waste a second.  So, some things have to fall to the wayside but, just like with friends, you keep the precious few with you.

Now perhaps the most frustrating part of all of it is this:   my son, at this point, is biologically incapable of giving a shit.  He doesn’t care that he is, for all intents and purposes, a complete pain in the ass.  He does not give a damn about the sacrifices you are making for him and likely will not know the extent of it all until he is making them himself later in life.  Hey, to quote Rob Hubel:  “I love my son so much I’m afraid I might eat him.”  It’s true.  I’d do anything for Jack.  I’d create and destroy for him.  But, there are some days when I wish he didn’t know my cell phone number.

So the ship has sailed away.  It’s me, my gorgeous wife, our amazing son and the “precious few” (be it books, movies, exercise, hobbies, or even friends) that you deem worthy of hanging onto.  I’ll take that.  Because it’s not a sacrifice.  You have to be giving something up entirely to truly be making a sacrifice.  And not staying up until 4am watching MANIAC COP 2 so that I have the strength in the morning to lift Jack above my head and pretend he’s flying…that’s not a sacrifice.  That’s like trading a jar full of oxygen for a  crate of gold.

Sounds like a good deal to me.

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