The Chaos of a Family Man

dpI’ve been on vacation with my girlfriend and her daughter the last week. A two year old woke me up every morning. She would smile with squinty eyes and giggle. The kid is adorable.

At night I stayed up late with a woman who wanted my attention. We would talk, play card games, play video games, stare longingly into each other’s eyes. Maybe make out.

The entire time I was sick. I was exhausted. Yet the end of the trip hit. I woke up Sunday morning on my own. No one was going to wake me up. While my nieces and nephew would demand my attention, they didn’t demand it in the same way as the two year old.

At night I could play video games. I could read or write. My evening was my own. There wasn’t an immensely attractive woman who wanted to stay up with me until late night.

Maybe I’m old. Maybe I got a glimpse of a life I’ve wanted since I was 18. Maybe living on my own and having to answer only to me for five years has gotten monotonous. When I woke up Sunday morning, the peace and quiet of my old life restored, I felt empty.

I woke up knowing I could be content with the life I have. I could be okay coming home alone to play video games or write. I could be okay deciding when I wanted to interact with toddlers. I could be okay with no one truly relying on me.

Despite that, I thrived in the chaos of having a family. I thrived with Dana depending on me. I thrived with her daughter. For a week I was a provider. I mostly provided emotionally, as a presence in their life, but it was good. I discovered I thrive immensely on the chaos, as having a family, even a small and borrowed one, is chaos.

I’m excited for what is to come. I’m excited for where my life is heading. I was definitely meant to be a husband and father, I just wish the path hadn’t been so painful for me to reach this point. Yet it means so much more now.

What are the blessings in your life? What were you nervous about, or what was chaotic, that you found you thrived under?


Demands of Father

Muric walked down the corridor, naked under the cloak, wandering idly as he let his mind roam back to the night he married his wife.

It was in the ballroom of his father’s castle, where everything was lavish. Women poured in all intent on meeting Muric, to claim him and his castle as their own domain, to chain him to a bed and have him put child after child in their bellies. There had been many balls, and every time Muric remained on the edge of the party, barely getting to know the girls. His father would ask if he found a future wife, and Muric would say none interested him.

The years passed, and Muric’s father became more insistent, “Man doesn’t breed keeping his eyes upon the past. Move forward. Find a new womb for your seed.”

Then there was the final ball. Muric stood aloof in a corner with his friends when his father approached him. “Muric, look at the women in this room. Pick the most attractive. You will marry her tonight.” His father’s red face drove his friends off.

“But father….”

“Enough pining for some bitch. I don’t give a damn what your criteria is. If you want some youthful maiden or some smoldering temptress that has likely seen more than a few turns, I don’t give a damn. If it’s based on her face, tits, wealth, I don’t care. But you will not dwell on past mistakes, you will look at one of these and you will marry her tonight. And then you will go into her and give me some grandsons.”

“But father….” Muric hadn’t let her go. He gave her too much and held nothing back to give anyone else. Only too late did he realize she took everything and gave nothing.

“No, boy. If you do not marry this night I send you into exile and if you are found wandering any of the kingdoms bending knee to my banner, you will be executed. Now look around, speak to them if you must, and find where you’ll start plowing.” Then father walked off, putting on his happiest face, carousing as he did so well.

There was a woman with hair the color of sunshine, straight and long, with two braids going from her bangs to the back of her head. She had a delightful form, far more beautiful than any he had held previous, with ample breasts which were not overwhelming and hips that a man could hold firmly while making love. Her emerald eyes were a rare treasure indeed, and color he had lusted for in youth. It could all be his.

Within thirty minutes of the scolding, he marched up to father and said, “That one, there. I’ll wed her.”

Approvingly, his father nodded, and the priest was summoned.

Walking the dark halls, remembering the past, Muric mumbled, “That one. Like you were chattel. I’m sorry, Jessica.” He continued his walk.

Christmas at the Davis Household

Currently my youngest brother and his wife are staying at the parents’. I’m staying there as well. Sure I live fifteen minutes away, but I’m lazy, the breakfast is good, and I’m usually here until midnight while being drunk.

As fair warning, my sister in law, Brenna, has been basically a part of our family for ten years? I think. So as they’re getting ready to go to Christmas morning church with her family, this happens.

Me: Hey, hey, Brenna! Brenna!

Brenna: Yes, Paul? (This is sighed, like, what do you want?)

Me: What’s under there?

Brenna: (She looks at me like I’m a plague victim) What? What’s under where?

Me: YES! Ahahaha. (I giggle)

Brenna: What?

Jesse (Brother): Underwear. He made you say underwear. (Leaves, shaking his head)

Brenna: Are you serious? We’re going to church now.

I love my family. I was holding onto that one all morning.

In a Pinch

It was two days after Thanksgiving. I was glad to be at my brother’s house, playing board games and video games, spending time with my niece and nephew, and overall relaxing.

The morning after we arrived, I found out my two year old nephew, D, was starting to learn how to figure out when he needed to go to the bathroom. When I woke him, taking him out of his crib, he grabbed his crotch. “Do you need to be changed?” The boy nodded after getting over the excitement of seeing his uncle. It had been two or three months since I saw him last.

Three days later, two days after Thanksgiving, it happened again. We were preparing dinner when he grabbed his junk. He pulled on my sleeve, “Pau!” He has issues forming the l. “Pau!” He grabbed his crotch more emphatically.

“Do you need a diaper change?” He shook his head. “Do you need to go potty?” He nodded. Crap.

He took off towards the bathroom, while all the other adults, the ones who have delt with potty training before, were busy. I followed and he pointed at the training toilet. I peeked out of the bathroom. “Mom! Mom!”

“What?” Her hands were ripping apart a beef roast.

“He wants to poop on his own. What do I do?” Time was of the essence. He could have an explosion in his little pants at any time.

“Well, how do you go to the bathroom?” Thanks mom. “Pull down his pants and diaper and put him on the toilet.”

I rushed to remove his Toy Story pj pants then fumbled with his diaper. Every time I removed a tab, it flung back to re-adhere. Blast! He held the tab the third time. He was helpful when I changed him previously as well. Bright kid.

The diaper dropped and I already knew it was too late. A foul, brown cake plopped down with it. Behind me, mom said, “Still get him on the toilet.”

D sat of his own will. But he angled his legs. Mom said, “Get his legs straight or he’ll pee all over.”

“D, can you bring your legs forward?” He did. But his pee pee was still aiming out, not at the little splash guard meant for his little guy. “Sit back, D. Come on, man. Please.”

He sat there, staring at me. “I’m sorry,” I said. Then I pushed down his pee pee to make sure he went in the training toilet instead of all over the bathroom. And me.

A weak grunt came from his tiny lips as it scraped plastic. Brow furrowed and his eyes were wide. There was not hate in his gaze. Just betrayal. “I’m sorry,” I whispered.

He stood up, streaking poop along the seat, poop that had been dispensed some time ago. He went to put on his pants. “Wait,D!” It was too late. Little man pulled them up, and the inside was colored brown. The battle was lost. And I had betrayed him.