Monday, July 15, 2013

Friends with Kids

(Warning: Don't watch this if you hate happiness, family, or juice.)

One of my absolute favorite things about being a dad right now is that I can feel these genuine friendships blossoming with my children as they get older. 

I love being a dad. I’m not minimizing the hard stuff. Sleep deprivation. The fact that any “personal” belongings are actually viewed as “communal” by anybody under 48.” Hoping your sarcastic remark didn’t do any permanent self-worth damage. And don't forget the weight of perpetual hope that you are somehow instilling every needful virtue, encouragement, and compassion directly into their souls. 

But I think some of my very happy moments lately are when I feel them looking at me like a friend. Still the dad. Still the mentor, or the referee, keeping things in bounds. But also...we’re friends. We have inside jokes. We listen to each others opinions. We’re vulnerable with each other and tell embarrassing stories. We share spiritual experiences. We do impressions of people. (Not of you, but of other people.) Together, we hate the dog that keeps pooping in our front yard. We get excited about going to the Creamery for ice cream, or when we see a preview for a movie that completely blows our minds. 

I’m not doing everything right. But when my daughter is telling me a story and throws in a made up accent because she knows I’ll “get it” and laugh - or when my son is running off to play with friends and invites me to come with him - I feel like I’m doing something right. I feel surrounded by friends within the walls of my home. 

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