So last week was kind of shitty.
Taxes screwed us. The New York City public school system lottery screwed us. I got sunburn. I went to the dentist. My landlord raised the rent. I got spoiled on “The Americans”. I thought Harrison Ford kind of ruined the Star Wars trailer. It was pretty lame all around.
As a result, I found myself in a bit of a funk for a few days. Thank god I have a kid.
Every year around this time, a million different websites do some goofy version of a March Madness competition. So far I’ve seen brackets for beer, TV shows, bands, even junk food.
But has anyone done one about parenting? Probably! But now I have too! Introducing March Sadness: Dad and Buried’s Tournament of Complaints!
Where even the winner sucks!
Parenting has a lot in common with sports. Raising a child requires the energy and stamina of an athlete, the vigilance of a referee, the devotion of a die-hard fan and the patience of a coach.
Being a parent is basically like competing in a daily, year-long, rest-of-your-life tournament in which your endurance and your wits are constantly being tested, usually by someone much smaller who has to constantly be told what to do while even though they’re a lot more important than you.
Coincidentally, except for the fact that your kids go to college after you’ve (mostly) finished, instead of not really going to college at all (because the NCAA is corrupt!), parenting is a lot like March Madness.
Let’s count the ways…
I spend a lot of time complaining about all the things parenting has taken away from me. My energy, my free time, any instance of silence, the ability to open a bag of chips without a mop-headed midget running in and demanding all of them, without even knowing what they are.
But today I’m looking at the bright side.
Parenting doesn’t just take, it gives. And over the past five years, I’ve acquired some amazing talents that never would have manifested if I weren’t responsible for a child.
Because with great responsibility comes great power…
In a recent post for Lifetime Moms, I mentioned that the issue of my son having “bad influences” – i.e., influences that aren’t his parents – wasn’t one I was expecting to encounter for a while. I expected him to be primarily under the influence of me for the next few years.
And then he met Xander.
And Xander ruined my son’s childhood.