Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The time warp of fatherhood

The other night, I shook hands with a man who agreed to buy my little black truck from me for his daughter who is in college. When I envisioned this daughter, going only on the description of "in college" I imagined a girl looking between 24 and 29. She looked like she was fresh out of high school. Perceptions have changed.

Along with that, I have parted with my beloved truck. I have sold 4 or 5 cars in my day, and I was sad to see all of them go (Except the Corvette, I wish to never set foot in another one as long as I live). But selling the truck was especially sad for me. I hadn't done any modifications other than dark limo tint. I just kept it clean. Some of my favorite memories of this truck are me grilling in the driveway, with the tailgate down acting as a sort of "workstation" for my grilling masterpiece. Riding down the road to the nearest pond or river with a boat sticking WAY out the back of the bed. Going over a curb to get around someone who doesn't realize they are sitting dead still in an acceleration lane. And my all time favorite memory, though it was short lived, was me and Sip going to a pond in Luverne. It was down, what appeared to be at the time, a very steep embankment. With a boat in the back, she made it down with no problem, and back up with even less of a problem.

Part of me, it seems, was sold for $7,200.

Later I found myself searching the Internet for a good deal on a minivan. Honestly, I have always wanted a minivan, even before even being married. I loved the idea of the extra room on a long trip. But now, it isn't so much the "make and model" that has hit me in the face, but the social perception of a minivan that has come over me. Of course, this is all in my mind. The minivan no longer looks cool or feels cool to me... now that I am a father, it kind of just feels... dad-ish.

I LOVE being a dad. My son is the coolest. I have Z E R O regrets. But before the child came, the "college days" seemed like only a few years ago. Living in Monticello apartments seems like only months ago. And I still would wake up each day living off the high of graduating college and the fact that I had nothing to study for and no homework!

There is SOMETHING about having a child opens your eyes (Rather, slaps you in the face) to the fact that "You ain't young anymore!" I no longer look over to the "college section" at church thinking "Yeah, I am just a few years older than them, they probably look at me as one of them .". Trust me, the don't. I am seeing kids in college now that I knew when they were just entering the 2nd grade.

I heard a song on the radio the other morning from back in 1997 or 1998. About my junior or senior year in college. It was by Paolo Santos, "Sonny came home." Not the best song on earth, but it took me back to living in the apartments on campus. Being 22. I could have heard that song 4 months ago and still felt like it was kinda new. Today I heard it and realized it was very old. 10 years old. Heck, when I heard it the first time, I may have been goofing off with Stubbs, arguing with Brew about some meaningless topic, trying to get Mullins to email us, or riding in Sips Blazer. Ages ago.

This made perfect sense in my head, but writing it out has become very hard to explain.. I guess what I am saying is before my son was born, the idea of getting together will Mullins to go get some photographs of the alligators in the pond on the golf course in my neighborhood seemed do-able, almost like it was just a phone-call and a weekend away! The idea of all of us guys dressing up in black, and hiding on the grass air strip in my neighborhood so I can finally prove that there is a drug lord living up there seemed like something that only needed me to plan it and invite yall over! The thought that on any given Saturday, it would make perfect sense to drive down to Ryan F's. place in Florida just to watch a few football games, eat chips and order a pizza. Now, it seems like just an imagination I can play with to go to sleep at night.

I even thought about my last trip to Disney World with the Sips. For the first time in my life, I was at Disney World ( I had been 4 times before) WITHOUT ADULTS (Little did I realize I was an adult) but I felt free! I didn't have to get to the bus at a certain time, I didn't have to follow someone else around, I WAS IN CHARGE! Next time I go, I will be the adult. I will be a "rule setter" (Though my son will only be 7 months), and, I will be there with my parents... "Adults". So I guess that one trip to Disney world was really my last feeling of freedom, depending on your definition of freedom.

Of course, fatherhood trumps all of this... but that doesn't mean it isn't just a wee-bit sad. But I don't mind being a slave to the son. I heard a comedian describe parenthood in this way: "Having kids is like being in prison... but you REALLY love the warden."

I guess this is goodbye to the dreams of feeling young again. But hello to living the dreams of youth through the eyes of my son!

I sat over my son's crib one night as he drifted off to sleep. I thought about how sinless he was. How he is the closest, touchable human to Jesus Christ right now. Then I started to think about how much he looks like me and that made me think that I had been warped back in time. My son was actually me. And God had let me go back in time to where i was 5 months old... to make sure I don't make the mistakes I made in the past. It is kind of like, my slate is clean, my life has started over, and I can make things good and better by preventing myself (my son) from making my same mistakes. Makes me wish I could keep him sinless forever.... but, impossible.

Hard to explain, but would make a pretty good sci-fi book.


mullinz8 said...

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This is just the beginning! Fatherhood, once your child is out of the tiny baby having to keep the beautiful little pooper alive phase is awesome.

Isaac and I went on a scout camp out a few weeks ago and it was really awesome! Watching my son learn how to read, helping him sound out words, helping him understand what a nickel is, there’s so much fun! There is so much that’s new to a child, in fact everything is new to a child!!! I know that Sipp has experienced this first hand and that most of the rest of us have at some point second hand but being with a child as they are seeing something for the first time is astounding.

I have to tell you that I’ve got two really wonderful boys that are very well behaved and now I can take them somewhere and they, we can all do thing together.

Mind you I don’t have a mini van and I really don’t want one but our time is coming when we’ll have to get some sort of something that will haul a bit more. But that doesn’t mean, yes with all the joy, that I’ve lost my youth. I do understand your point but I also see that there is something to take a bit more pride in by not being a unlearned youth.

Ryan F. said...

So, you comin down this weekend to watch some games??

Diana said...

Tell me about it. Less than a year ago, I WAS a college student. I'm frustrated at church because everyone who has kids is way older than me and everyone my age is single and spending daddy's money.

In all seriousness, that was a beautiful blog, Jamison. You're a great Daddy.

Let me just say that I think about you guys everyday. I have an hour long drive to work and usually Fleetwood Mac's "Hold me" plays on my ipod. I can't NOT think of you guys when I hear that b/c Jamison uses it in all of his videos. I really miss you all. I vote we plan another reunion for next year.