Sunday, June 21, 2009
Some Thoughts on Father's Day
Fathers may not admit it, but they like to push their children in strollers or wear them in slings because it secretly makes them feel cool.
When I wear or stroll Emmett down Centre Street, whether I'm at the coffee shop or bakery or library or the bank, people gawk as we approach--little old ladies ooh and ahh, young couples give us puppy dog eyes and hold each other's hand a little tighter, tattooed baristas say things like "that's one good looking lad" without a trace of irony, and even homeless dudes forget to ask me for some spare change. Emmett is my instant attention-getter, my get-out-of-obscurity-free card, and when he's with me, I forget that my hair is turning gray, that my hairline is receding, that my back is killing me, and that I didn't get enough sleep the night before. I could weigh 250 pounds, be hungover in Vegas with a huge beard and two loser friends like that fat dude from The Hangover, but throw a baby on me and I'm pure box-office gold.
In fact, Emmett's kinda gotten to my head. I'm more than a little immodest when he and I are hanging out. Take this situation, for example:
Little Old Lady (who sees me standing in the aisle of the convenience store with Emmett strapped to my chest): Oh, how cute! How precious!
Chad: Thank you!
LOL: How old?
C: I'll be 33 in July!
Or this one: I'm walking down the sidewalk with a cup of coffee and I overhear a beautiful woman say to her friend, "Isn't he darling?"
Chad: Are you talking about me? Thank you!
Beautiful Lady (choosing to ignore me): Just adorable!
C (choosing to ignore that she's ignoring me): Thank you, thank you, thank you!
BL (who looks the other way as we pass, then whispers to her friend): I was talking about the baby.
Okay, so maybe most of the time they are talking about the boy and not the father. But yesterday, Father's Day, we were at a Building 19 looking for discounted Persian rugs, when an older gentleman, stooped with a cane, and I had the following exchange:
Older Gentleman: That sure is a cute one!
Chad: Thank you!
OG: Enjoy him because it won't be this way forever!
C: Kids grow up pretty quick, huh?
OG: Sure, but so do their parents! One day you'll be like I am!
So I am getting old and getting older by the minute. Good thing I have Emmett around to make me look young. And in case you think this is vanity or pride, please remember that this is Shakespeare-approved vanity or pride. Shakespeare tells us in his second sonnet that to have children is "to be new made when thou art old, / And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold."