When I work out. Okay, when I DID work out, I used to use 20 lb. weights to do arm exercises.
Now, granted, this was back when I was a younger man and THIS
was the George Ricciardella that was walking the Earth. Hot damn, look at that hair! I look like a Vidal Sassoon commercial.
But I digress. Jack weighs 22 pounds right now and I am lifting, carrying, halting, catching, wheeling and all around moving him much more often than the 10 minute work outs I’d do back before I turned 3o and my metabolism said “Alright, that’s it, I’m outta here.” How do I do that? How am I physically capable, how are any of us physically capable, of moving that amount of weight in so many different ways so often without just turning into a puddle of gelatin at one point during the day. It’s okay, put away your calculators and slide rules. Especially your slide rules, because I actually have no idea what that is. Regardless, stop figuring it out because I have the answer.
Anti-climatic? Perhaps. However I cannot attribute the stamina that a parent can display when taking care of their child while at the same time lacking the stamina to do something of equal physical exertion. When it comes to having to lift more weight than you should be able to repeatedly so that you can put your son in his high chair for dinner, you become magical. When it comes to moving at near super human speed because your daughter is about to fall off the couch and has no concept of gravity, you become magical.
Now I’m not a superstitious person, but until modern science can isolate the exact chemical reaction in your brain that deadens your nerves right up until the moment your child goes to sleep I will continue to rely on the term “magic”. Now, as I just said and as my comic illustrates, this magic is indeed finite. The moment you have put your child down for the evening the pixie dust wears off. Your body lets you know what you’ve been up to all day. It’s a good tired though. An earned tired. I’m not just talking about a “runner’s high” endorphin release type of satisfaction. It’s much deeper than that. You lay down with the knowledge that you have, hopefully, done more good in the life of your son or daughter than bad that day. That, even if you’ve made mistakes, he is now sound asleep. He knows he’s safe. He knows you’ll be there when he wakes up. And once you hear him babbling in his crib, not crying, you’ll know you did good by him. That he enjoyed waking up because he (and you) get to do it all over again. So, get up. Brew a pot of coffee. Warm a bottle and apple a new layer of pixie dust.
It’s magic. Don’t take it for granted.