Sunday, April 03, 2011

Family guy.

There are times when I get resentful of my family.

It happens. Take any red blooded, down to earth guy who used to do things for himself, who used to have freedom, and toss him into a suburban home with a mortgage and three children and an exhausted wife, and a job that is stressful and difficult, and it happens.

Life for me sometimes feels like work, even after work, and next morning back to another day of work, until weekend of cleaning kitchens and helping with laundry. Then there's diapers and making meals, and family coming over and then back to another Monday morning.

It's easy to look off wistfully to a decade ago when I used to fish for smiles from cute girls in Montreal coffee shops while writing plays.

I am not complaining. The grass is always greener, right? When I look back I have to fight the tendency to see only the good things.

Back then even though I was doing theater and had lots of time to write and catch movies and go to bars, I couldn't because I was chronically broke. Friends were always scarce because they were busy doing their subsistence jobs also. While acting and writing, I had to clean houses for a living, which was demeaning. I planted trees each summer in Northern Alberta, so mostly I didn't get to enjoy the city in summer when it was most vibrant and exciting.

This is all, in some cosmic sense, okay. Sure, sometimes I have to use a diaper wipe to clean red permanent marker off the home row on the keyboard (as I do now between paragraphs with red fingertips), and sometimes find myself grumbling under my breath, but this is chaos at its best. This is chaos for a reason.

In between the diaper changes and stopping them from running with sharp objects and time-outs, my boys and I cuddled, and we crawled around the living room playing horsey with my girl. I got to watch Owen get his crap in the toilet, and that was a triumph not because it reminded me of all the soiled Darth Maul underpants that brought us to this point, but because he was so disappointed that he couldn't do it before. The look on his face this morning ... the joy, the high-five he gave me, the little five year old grin knowing that he did it (he did it!!!!) and I know, chaos and all, that is where I am meant to be. That is what I live for.

And I would not trade one of those five year old grins for thousands of random smiles from cute strangers.

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