Every year when Father’s Day approaches, I have wondered why this holiday would be around in the first place. My wife blames this and Mother’s Day on Hallmark and the other greeting card companies. I, on the other hand, see it in a slightly different light. Father’s Day reminds me more of the somewhat dubious honor imposed by the Purple Heart, or what I call the “I forgot to duck medal.” I certainly am not taking anything away from the Purple Heart, because to achieve this honor you have got to pay a rather high and horrible price. By the same token, no one I know goes off to war hoping to get awarded the medal either, at least I know I never did, and fortunately, I never earned it. I was lucky, but with marriage and children, I was beginning to question that luck.
You see to be a parent requires a similar ultimate sacrifice, . . . your sanity. I will guarantee you that men normally don’t go into their adult lives hoping to achieve the “I got a bunch of Kids Medal.” The exception to this is the gentleman who willingly marries someone with kids. The greeting card companies are finally acknowledging this stellar achiever, and now that I am one of those idiots, I can finally appreciate what that really means.
So, what does it mean? Well, it requires you to never sleep, have a hot meal, or have uninterrupted quality time with your spouse. It requires you to check reason at the door, and step into a world unlike any other. In this alternate reality to a normal life, there are no right or wrong answers, instead there is only survival. Life is fluid, consistency is a dream, but most of all, sanity is optional; the less you have, the more likely you are to thrive as a parent and step parent.
This was the introduction written all those years ago, and there will be more to follow. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as something lighter than the normal geopolitical stuff. ~ Michael S. Pauley.