Once upon a time in a distant land called Ohio, a man had a great dream. “I will become a famous actor and writer and live the life that snobs dream of.” The dream was big and grand and in the man’s mind completely attainable. Wait for it… Wait for it… The man is me. In Swingers, Mikey joked that he thought they were handing out parts at LAX. I assumed I would get a part as I crossed the GWB. My new bride and I packed up all of our belongings and headed to The Big Apple. As a lifetime card-carrying member of the insomniac club, The City That Never Sleeps sounded appealing in so many ways. The dream was dragged through every crap job that I was forced to endure. Then something happened. I heard two words that change every life that they encounter, “I’m pregnant.” No longer living my own personal dream, new plans had to be made. The dream had to be put on hold. Nine months later I held the most precious item ever made. My boy had arrived. Nothing else mattered anymore. I was a daddy. In my quest to become the greatest dad of all time, I read every book out there. I even read the weird ones. As the months went on, new plans were laid down. I was going to become a stay-at-home dad. Why dream big when a giant big beautiful reality was in my arms. Almost 2 years after that my daughter was born. What have I learned in my close to 7 years of being a dad? I’m glad you asked. Things change, dreams change or not, hair falls out and turns gray, backs get beat up, and strange things can grow on the body, but the love that little eyes shine upon a parent cannot be duplicated. The dream is there, but not as important. Soon I’ll place my latest play aside and go and pick up my kids from school and they’ll tell me all about their day. Then we’ll have some snacks and play. I’d miss out on all of it if I would have crossed over the bridge and Martin Scorsese handed me a script. My greatest part I’ve ever played is being a daddy. Not a “dad.” Not a “father.” I’m a daddy and it was the role I was born to play
This is a great post and one I can definitely relate to as both a parent and a writer.
Even though my oldest is already five, I sometimes still struggle with finding the balance between work and family. You really seem to have the hang of that, I’m jealous!
If I only I had the complete hang of it. I love the role but it continues to be a work in progress.