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Being a Middle-Aged Dad Isn’t What I Expected

July 24, 2012

I thought middle-age was going to be different than this. Not sure exactly what I expected. I’m more fit and have a little more hair than I thought I would. I guess it’s not the physical ailments, but my perspective of all the little things around me each day that are different.

When I was young I thought I would be fatter and balder than I turned out. My hobbies keep me in decent shape, and my thinning hair issue is more an exercise in damage control aided by my religious and generous use of Rogaine. I really didn’t think my eye-sight would start to go at 43, but it has. I can read just fine, but I can’t see far away anymore which means I wave to people I don’t know and ignore the ones I do know. It also means I don’t notice attractive women from afar anymore because I really can’t see them. My wife is fine with this, and I don’t need to be ‘noticing’ other women anyway. In my youth when I would notice a woman walking in front of me with thin hips and a fit physique I would think to myself, “she looks pretty good.” Now the only two things that comes to mind is 1. I hope her dad doesn’t see her in that. 2. She’s gonna have c-section babies. Middle-age perspective.

I didn’t expect to be this tired. I feel like I walk around exhausted and kept awake by a steady caffeine drip. This might be alright if I could catch up on sleep over the weekend. When I was younger I thought I would be about 80-years-old when I stopped sleeping until 10:00 am on the weekends. The reality is that “sleeping in” means waking up by 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning regardless of how tired I am. Some guys my age start having to get up 3 or 4 times a night, but I don’t have that problem. In fact, I am usually so tired that some nights I don’t move at all. So, instead of worrying how many times I may have to get up each night, I’m more concerned about not waking up and wetting the bed.

Last Sunday, I noticed a man walking his 4-year-old twin daughters into church. After thinking about how cute they looked and admiring their smock dresses, all I could think about was how tired that guy must be, what a beating it must be to buy two of everything and wondering how much they spent on diapers. I also couldn’t help but notice his wife wasn’t with him. She was likely still in bed feeling like she had been shot with a tranquilizer gun. But I noticed the girls’ hair did look good, he didn’t do that so the mom had to have been awake at some point. Middle-age perspective…

And although my pop culture is a little rusty, and I sometimes make the girl at the grocery store card me, and the waiter didn’t get my Seinfeld joke/reference at dinner the other night, there are a few positives to getting older other than a Netflix account through my kids’ Wii. When I go to a restaurant with my girls I no longer have to get on my knees to clean up enough food to feed three refugee families they would drop on the floor during dinner. Middle-age perspective…

© Johnny Hea – 2012 All Rights Reserved

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