I have never been in a boxing match.
I have never been in a fight.
I have never been in a wrestling throwdown (other than when I entered a tournament for eleven-year-old kids and had to wrestle a guy with a mustache).
However, I am a parent. It feels like a fight sometimes.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s the most wonderful experience of my life. There are moments that are so beautiful they make me cry. There are moments that make me laugh. There are so many moments I’ll cherish forever.
However, there are also moments that bring out the worst in me.
Sometimes, I feel frustrated.
I don’t think we talk about those moments enough.
I’ve never experienced anything like staring at a baby that has been crying furiously for an hour. Those moments when you’ve tried everything, but the cries keep coming: feeding, burping, diaper changing, rubbing his/her back, swaying, silly baby talk, pacifiers, more diaper changing, bouncing, running water in the bathtub, playing music, singing, and anything else that has even a remote chance of getting your baby to stop crying.
Sometimes, nothing works.
I wish I could say that I always remain calm, cool, and collected in those situations. They are so intense and so raw. I wish I could say that I always empathize with the precious little babies that have no ability to function in the world without my wife and I.
I’m human. I’m a work in progress.
Despite the insanity and intensity of those helpless moments, I’m thankful for them. They are making us better and stronger people and parents. They also make me appreciate the sound of silence.*
*Not the awful Simon & Garfunkel song though.