There have been a handful of extremely memorable days I’ve had as a dad. First steps, first baseball games, first time trying new things. But this weekend, I had a day with my boys that will be tough to beat. I had a late night Friday with the boys attending the Husker Baseball game vs. Creighton at TD Ameritrade Park and didn’t get home until late so a full day with the boys meant getting out of the house so we didn’t drive each other crazy.
We went to the zoo for the first time this year. From the moment they woke up until the moment they went to bed, they were perfect little angels. There were many points in the day where I thought “Ok, who the hell stole my ornery, punk kids and replaced them with these two fun loving individuals?” But they were perfect. No, I’m serious…absolutely perfect. At the zoo, Jack wanted to play with absolutely everything. He wanted to pet and see every animal (which is rare because he only ever just wants to ride the train 5-7 times each visit). Miles listened to directions and really branched out and tried new things. But the entire time, they were genuinely happy.
Maybe my favorite moment of the trip to the zoo was the thirty minutes we spent on this big mound of dirt. The way they explored, took risks climbing the “steep” side of the hill, and then sat next to each other and watched the train go by. They were best buddies. They were brothers. And in that moment, I felt a lot less of a shitty dad. I never had a brother and my sister and I are 12 years apart in age so I never had camaraderie like that. These two will have it and it makes me proud.
We finished the perfect trip to the zoo with a train ride. The conductor even took our picture (but he’s a terrible photographer so I won’t share this one.) Great conductor-shitty picturetaker. The look on their faces when he yelled “All Aboard!” made all of the struggles of parenthood worth it. Every single yell, the time outs, the tears, the breakdowns…they were all forgiven in that moment.
I love being a dad. I love that God placed these two boys specifically in my life.
I hope that in that moment, they saw me as their perfect dad, just as I now see them as my perfect sons. The three of us grew that day. We bonded in a way that I have never bonded with anyone. I felt a camaraderie with them. It’s the piece of my heart that’s needed filled for a very long time…