by Christopher Neal, A Boy Among Men.
My days are usually quite hectic. The chaos starts from the time I wake up until about 30 minutes before bed, when I force myself to stop working. Mornings are filled with getting kids up, fed and out the door with my wife. Then, it’s time for me to get ready and fight the daily battles associated with being an Investigator with the Sheriff’s Office. After work, it’s picking the kids up, getting home, getting them fed, getting the adults fed and then the struggle of getting all 3 kids in bed and asleep.
The only way not to go insane in this constant-motion lifestyle most of us have is to find some calm water during the day and just relax for a few minutes. That doesn’t necessarily mean sitting and doing nothing, but more a shift-of-focus that allows the stress of the day to fade into the background. Believe-it-or-not, as much as they add to the chaos, the boys help create most of the calm water.
Before Little Boo started walking, he and I used to sit on the front steps after I got everyone home and wait for Wifey. Time seemed to slow down, and we would quietly watch the wind in the trees. All the cares and worries of the day just melted into nothing, and I could feel the calm water. That has now been replaced with a daily walk down the driveway to check the mail and then a wagon ride around the yard. The effect seems to be the same though.
The big boys tend to stay in-motion after we get home: riding bikes or playing (fighting) in their room, so they don’t create quite as much calm water anymore. However, later in the evening, they often come through with a request to help with Legos or a puzzle or my favorite: read a book. Let’s face it, it’s awfully hard to worry about bills when you are reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
I have friends who don’t have kids, and I’m sure that they are convinced they have it made with far less worries and much more relaxation time than those of us that do. I don’t think that’s true though. Nothing in the world can help you find that calm water like your child. The feeling of peace you get from focusing on your child, even for just a few minutes will never be equaled. The next time you feel like you are being shot through the rapids, just remember calm water is never very far way.
Bio from Chris: “My name is Christopher and I am the proud father of 3 boys. I am a full-time Sheriff’s deputy and freelance web designer. Last year, when we found our we were pregnant with the youngest of our 3, I decided to start writing about what it’s like to be a Dad.”