I Didn’t Used To Drink Coffee

Over the past 2.5 years, our household didn’t just change — we blew it up.

I changed my job. My old job wasn’t going to let me be the dad I wanted to be. This one does.

We changed our house. Our old house, the first one we ever owned, had some great things going for it. But it wasn’t ‘home.’ The new place is being renovated and already is more like ‘home.’

We’ve had 3 awesome kids.

I wrecked my knee, gained some weight, repaired my knee, bought a bike and lost the weight.

I subconsciously learned all the catchphrases in Paw Patrol.

And invited in coffee.

I used to drink tea. Tea is consistent and nourishing. It’s like a loyal friend you haven’t seen in a long time but when you do it’s like nothing has changed.

Thatcher and I during one of our many early morning walks. On this particular night, he started crying at 1:00 a.m. and refused to sleep. We walked along a busy city street until 4:00 a.m. and he finally slept. Tate woke up at 5:00 a.m. and the day began!

I didn’t even like coffee. I considered it bitter and manipulating. It was more like that aggressive new friend of a friend you met at a late night event somewhere. It didn’t care as much for you as it did the the next party. That was coffee to me.

When Tate was born, Lainie and I secretly bragged to each other about how well he slept. We didn’t tell others because we didn’t want to be “those parents.” At breakfast friends would gasp, “you don’t drink coffee??” Nope, I didn’t need it. “But you have a kid now.” This was when it was just Tate. Don’t worry, I got this, I‘d smirk.

As Tate’s ‘enthusiasm’ for everything came bursting out, Thatcher came along and didn’t figure out how to do sleep. There were months of all nighters in pitch black rooms with a rocking chair as our only crutch. Early mornings crept up and shuffled into a quiet office with dry meetings in warm rooms. Tea wasn’t getting it done like it used to, so it was time to move on.

I used to decide when it was time to slow things down. Those days are long gone. It’s harder to keep up with all of the late nights, early mornings (anytime after 3:00 a.m. seems to be fair game these days), endless park visits, constantly keeping an eye on them, breaking up fights, daddy come play with me…It’s a blast, but you had better be ready to make adjustments and find mechanisms to work with the change, not against it. Coffee provided the artificial energy to do that.

Kids usher in a new era of you. Whether you know it or not your identity evolves and your foundation shifts.

For me, I let my old job consume me and decided that I wanted to be present for my kids (I’ll explain in a future post), so I quit. Money saved was put aside for a future boys trip or vacation with Lainie, now it’s rerouted to an education fund or a separate kid account. As we slowly renovate the house, we’re always thinking about how things can be made better, you guessed it, for the kids.

I changed my environment, perspective, sense of responsibility and priorities. And I know that I will never be the same again. No matter. I moved forward understanding that change was necessary.

It gets easier, but it was important to be open to it, acknowledge it, and be acutely aware of it.

For me, the manifestation of the change was a small cup of black coffee.

It’s no longer bitter like it once was.

I used to be tea. Now I drink coffee.

-EH


If you enjoyed this post then please tap the heart and leave a comment. If you didn’t, then please tell me why so that I can improve future posts. Lainie’s a better writer so you might enjoy her posts more. Either way, thanks for reading. And for all those dads out there, embrace the change.

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