Changes? That’s just the way it is. At least that’s what I tell myself. In Arizona, there really aren’t the tell tale signs of fall that I see in other’s Facebook pics. There are no leaves changing. No packing that hoodie for later that night. I built a fire a week ago and enjoyed it by sweating my posterior into non-existence. For the part of Arizona I reside in, there’s desert, and darker shade of desert. Despite all this, it really is a cool place to live. I just wish I had more seasonal change.
Changes in the Casa de Crutchfield are much more visible. But not in the way you would think. Sure, the task of raising three children that are four and under, produces an immense amount of change, but it is more than I thought it would be. The way I see things, and my reactions to things have been altered and I don’t remember when it happened.
I’m sure this wasn’t the first event, but it happened tonight, so it’s fresh in my mind. My oldest son approached me with a request for ice cream. Dinner was 20 or so minutes away and without thinking I said,”After you eat dinner.” I know this is what a responsible parent would say. If you took a poll of 100 parents, this would be the most generic response. It would be the number one answer on Family Feud. No one else would have an answer, except for the too creative aunt that you realize far too late is a liability. She costs you the fast money and future holidays are awkward.
When did I become responsible? I’m not too far removed from picking out all the marshmallows in a box of Lucky Charms. Not long ago, I sat in our car watching Cars, just to see how it would end. I own three collared shirts and one of them is an Ohio State polo my mom bought me less than a year ago.
The point? Why does anyone trust me to raise children? No. When did I go from Lucky Charms aficionado, to semi-responsible pre-dinner-dessert-denying father? Again, I can’t pinpoint the exact date, but lately it has been so in your face. I finish my sentence and I can’t believe what I just said. How can you not notice maturity when your breakfast consists oatmeal and coffee? That you have become the bedtime enforcer. That HGTV is on your TV and it’s okay. Persons in room to light ratio infuriates you. Puddles are not awesome.
While responsibility and grown-up-ness a grown up isn’t all bad. Maturity causes you to not care about what other people think. Not in a senior-citizen-nurse-groping-way, but in a go urinate up a rope kinda way. You notice more. Things mean more to you. An 18 year can’t appreciate how beautiful it is when your kids sleep. They wouldn’t understand how bad you want your daughter to say “dada”. A worksheet with recognizable name isn’t a piece of paper. It’s a treasure. They couldn’t fully get how a dad can don a cape and wear an “S” on his chest if he finds the Buzz and Woody cars underneath the bed.
Maturity definitely isn’t what I expected. There have been more surprises than I care to share. But I don’t
think I will reach full maturity anytime soon, but I’ll keep you up to date on when the transformation is complete. Ask me again in 40 years.