Embrace Later

We live in a world of immediacy.

Just do it.

Seize the moment.

Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today?

But parenthood is all about laters, not-nows, and tomorrows. Both for the kids and for us.

I microwaved my cup of coffee so many times today that it became funny. Every time I went to take a sip, someone pooped or screamed or cried.

Ken turned to me at dinner and said, “I was going to tell you something important, and now I’m too tired to remember what it was.”

Raising kids is a kind of blessed torture. There is no immediate end in sight.

Sure, there are some cool days: the first soccer goal; the first bike ride; the first caught fish. But without the kids, those days probably would have been pretty cool anyway. Us married, but childless, kicking around South America or maybe relaxing on a cruise.

Plus, with kids, there are all these really stupid days, days when even the simplest endeavor – ducking into the supermarket or driving home from church — is excruciating.

CHILD 1: “Dad, you have to roll down the window. I can’t breathe back here.”

Dad rolls down the window.

CHILD 2: “I’m freezing.”

Dad rolls up the window.

CHILD 1: “Seriously, I can’t breathe.”

Rolls it down.

CHILD 2: “I can’t feel my toes. I’m so cold.”

Rolls it up.

All the way home.

The only way to get through a lifetime of days like this, or at least twenty or so years of days like these, is to be willing to put off until tomorrow what you were quite simply unable to do today.

Even drinking a cup of coffee.

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