Well, not really. It’s the first Monday of summer break. It’s the sweetest “sleeping in” a kid has in their childhood. That first full week of summer break and that first Monday where you don’t need to wake up to an alarm clock or a parent saying “Get up, dammit! You’re gonna be late!! It’s that first morning where it really “feels” like vacation. I can tell you my wife and I went to bed between 9:30-10pm. When did my kids go to bed? Hell if I know. I know that they’re old enough now that I don’t have to worry about knife fights, fires being started, or the dog being dressed and made to dance for future Youtube video sensations.
It’s a good feeling, I have to admit.
There are those moments when I get a little nostalgic for the days when the kids were tiny. When you were everything to them. They relied on you every waking minute. It was hard, don’t get me wrong. At times, I felt like I was losing my mind. But the good outweighed the bad, for sure. I think what I miss most are those moments before bedtime when they were little. I’d swaddle them in a blanket, much like a cocooned caterpillar. We’d bought this contraption that would strap to their crib and it would play lullabies, but in a jazzy style. It was so relaxing, to me and to them. It would light up and all that as well, but the music is what was so great about it. I remember I’d get it going, turn off the light, and sit in and rock with the kids, swaddled up tight and I’d give them a bedtime bottle. I’d pat them on the back until we’d get a good “BURRRRRP!” and them I’d just rock them. I’d hold them and we’d rock in a dark nursery, no light except for the strange contraption in the crib playing quiet, jazzy versions of “Rock-a-bye Baby”. There in the dark I could imagine what this little belching bundle would end up being like when they got older. Who would they look like when they got older? Who’s sense of humor would they inherit? Would they be allergic to cats like their dad? Would they be in band like their mom? Would they be tall like their grandpa? Would they be short like their grandma? In that darkened room, rocking and holding that baby I helped create, that was the most peaceful part of the day for me. It was like meditation. I imagine it was like the womb for them.
There were nights when it wasn’t so meditative. Like when they were gassy, didn’t want to sleep, didn’t feel good, I didn’t feel good, I was so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and older sibling would want to “pop” in and say something, etc. But most of the time, it was a great part of the day. Now, I can look back and answer those questions I pondered in the dark. They look like their mom AND dad AND grandparents. Their sense of humor changes daily, but they definitely lean towards my twisted humor most of the time. One of them is allergic to cats. One is in the band. One is tall like their grandpa. Two are short like their grandma(but there’s time, they more than likely will surpass grandma in the height department). How have they turned out so far? They’ve exceeded my expectations. More than I could possibly imagine.
So summer break is here. Here’s to no broken bones, no broken hearts, warm summer nights, and staying up late watching movies. Just keep the TV down…your dad still has to get up in the morning.