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?

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