Tearing up at Pampers commercials soft.
I’m getting better now that the second kid has come along, and getting all gushy over cute baby socks has turned into, “Why in the world is one of the baby’s socks in the sink again?” It’s all about perspective.
With one kid you have time to smell the roses and appreciate the clever slogans on their onesies, with two kids my reaction to their onesies is more like, “Party in your crib at midnight? Have fun. I’ll be shutting my bedroom door and putting the pillow over my head… at midnight.”
Don’t worry, I do have a heart, but these days it’s just more focused on some of the bigger ticket issues facing us parents… issues I couldn’t even fathom in my 20s. What seems like ages ago now, my life consisted of wedding after wedding after wedding after, yup… wedding. Once the first friend got married it was like a virus that rampantly spread throughout our peers faster than something in a Dustin Hoffman movie.
These days, that “virus” is kids.
On one hand it’s beyond amazing to see my friends produce little clones of themselves and for their clones to play with my clones while we reminisce about days past of going to bars and sleeping in. But on the other hand, the magic of parenthood comes with life changing situations and unrelenting challenges that even the strongest of us have a hard time meeting.
The down side of parenting is like this underground club.
But I love my secret underground club, and share the pain I see in others as if it was my own, which is why if I ever found a genie’s lamp on the beach (when am I ever on a beach?) and was fortunate enough to be granted three wishes, they would go a little something like this:
1. Pregnancy for all loving couples who truly want a baby.
This one gets me.
The world is ripe with people getting pregnant who either don’t want to, or are doing so for all the wrong reasons. All too often I read or hear stories about babies being born out of carelessness or bad decisions and yet I still see loving couples struggling to make it work.
From fertility treatments to acupuncture to prayer, it just pains me to know how bad these couples want a baby, especially since I know first-hand how much joy our two miracles bring my wife and I. So genie, with my first wish, I would like for any loving couple who truly wants a baby, and will love it as much as they love each other for the rest of their lives, to be able to get pregnant.
2. No more sick children.
Good, so now that everyone who should have a baby will have one, it’s time to take the next step.
Nothing is worse than a sick kid. Nothing. Ask any parent how they feel about this and they will say, “If I could only take their pain upon myself, I would.”
I’m talking about everything from the common cold, to pneumonia, to asthma, to leukemia, to cerebral palsy. All of it. I want all of it gone. Kids are just starting out; they haven’t even messed up yet. They haven’t stolen, injured, or committed a crime. They are innocent, little sponges with nothing but enthusiasm and reverence for the world around them and it just tears my heart out to see anything prevent them from living their little lives to the fullest.
So genie, with my second wish, I would like for all children to be born happy and healthy and remain that way until the age of 18 (I’m sure he would make me pick an age and 18 seemed appropriate).
3. Two loving parents for all children.
I’m not sure if I’m requesting this one more for the parents or the kids, but maybe the answer is – both equally.
All I know is that I have hives by Sunday when my wife leaves me alone with the boys for the weekend, so I can’t even imagine what this is like 24/7. My undying respect and admiration goes out to all single parents, and while I realize the job typically gets done no matter what, my wish – should you accept it – is for you to have a loving partner in crime to take on parenthood with.
For the children, this is equally important. My wife and I are like tag team wrestlers. She can tell when I’m getting short tempered and will quickly tag in and take over when I need a break and vice versa.
The point is – it takes two.
Genie, with my third and final wish, I would like for all children of this world to have two loving parents as equally as the two loving parents have each other.
So, if you like and agree with these wishes, send my wife and I on a vacation to some place that has a beach and I promise to spend hours upon hours on this beach searching for my magical lamp.
This article originally appeared on Chelmsford Patch on 4/14/12.