If you ever played baseball, or even just owned a baseball glove, then you probably remember having to break it in. This was my favorite part of the whole baseball playing experience. Probably because it was the only part of baseball I was really good at. I played baseball for maybe 5 years, and I was terrible. As a kid I would never admit that, but now that I’m older I’m fine with this fact. I sucked. Well, I guess I was half decent in the field (right field, that’s when you know you really suck), but behind the plate, pure suck-ness. I had maybe like 10 hits in my 5 years of ball playing. Anyway, thats all irrelevant. What is relevant is the breaking in of that new glove. You get out the tanning oil, squirt it in, and massage it all around the palm of the glove. The smell of new leather tickling your nose hairs. You grab a ball and start throwing it in, maybe 100 or 200 times. You tie that ball up in the glove and let it sit for a while more. Squirt more oil, throw the ball 100 or so more times. Maybe heat it up a little. Then after a couple days of this routine and a few days of practice, your glove fits, well, like a glove.
How is this relevant you ask? Well I feel like that glove right now. In the early stages of being broken in. Maybe the balls been thrown at me 25 or 30 times. I’m no where near ready for the game, but I’m getting there. Soon enough I’ll be a seasoned vet. The events of the other night (see My First Full Fledged (Parental) Freakout) made me realize this metaphor. I realized that I have a lot of breaking in to go before I’m a seasoned vet on the field of parenting. I’m still batting in the number 9 spot. I may have been moved from right field after the other night though. So I’m making my way up. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be hitting cleanup and playing shortstop (I don’t know why shortstop, I always liked it a lot for some reason). But for now, I’m at the bottom of the roster.
I’m sure every (new) parent goes through this same set of feelings. You feel like everything is going great (and it is, it totally is), but then some little event or snafu comes along and you say to yourself “oh right, I’m a new parent and I’m not prepared for every little thing.” or “Oh right, I’m a new parent and it is OK to freak out over this or that.” And then whatever it is that made you feel like that passes and you’re back to your normal (relative to being a parent) state of mind. Waiting for the next test to come your way.
For me that next test came today, well is still taking place. In fact if it were a 50 question test I’d be at question number 17. Mon went back to work today. Just for a few hours. Leaving me to handle the parenting thing by myself for the first time. Up ’til now the only time I’ve been left alone with him is the two times she ran to the store for like ten minutes. It’s a pretty exciting event for me. I don’t know why I’m so excited, but I am. I guess it’s like my first time at a more important spot on that roster, to see if it’s going to work out. So far so good. I haven’t struck out. Yet.
I feel like I should be doing something though. Like there should be some sort of special Papa & Son activity to go along with this. Maybe when he gets older, since right now all he can do is sit there, trying to keep his head from flopping over. But I’ll have to start coming up with some rad Pop’s day activities as he gets older. Mon will be back to work in November, only part time, but still I’ll have at least one Saturday a month when it’ll just be
me and him, him and me. Looking for some mischief to get into. Because that’s what boys do. And no matter that I’m a Father now, I’m still just a big kid looking for a fun time. And I now I’ve got someone to share those would be all alone days with. And mischief there will be, oh yes, there will.