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Do you ever feel like the weekend was nothing but a slightly longer than normal dream? Like it flew past you as if it were late for a really cool party that you weren’t invited to? That’s how this weekend felt for me. Most weekends seem that way, but this one more so than usual. I imagine it had something to do with the flurry of activity going on around us these last couple of days.

Quick side note: Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads out there. I will never claim to be the best Dad in the world (even though I’ll gladly accept one of those “World’s Greatest Dad” mugs some day), but I will say that I always try. It’s not being perfect that makes you a great Dad, it’s showing up and making an effort. I think I do that, I know my Dad does it, and I’m sure all you guys out there do it as well. And without getting too moral/ethical on the subject (and changing some of the words to make it a family friendly comment), I’m going to borrow a line from a friend of mine who says: “Sticking your wee-wee in some girls hoo-ha, may make you a father, but it doesn’t make you a Dad.” My point; you gotta work at it.

Anyway, back to this weekend. As I sit here this morning mulling over the events of these past two days, I can’t help but chuckle a bit at what made them special. You see, our weekend consisted of the 1st birthday party of my best friend’s son on Saturday, followed by visits to both my wife and I’s families for Father’s Day. Now as a husband and father of two little ones, this seems like a perfectly normal weekend to me. But what got me thinking was how different this exact weekend looked for me 10 years ago.

Saturday: Slept in until almost 8 o’clock because the kids inexplicably did the same. Made trips to the grocery store and wholesale club, both before 11:00am. Put Iz and the Jakester down for naps early, then the wife and I got ourselves ready for the party. Went to birthday party for Xavier who had turned 1 earlier in the week. Had conversations with adults by keeping one eye on the person I was talking to and the other on Izzy, who at one point tried to feed Jake a handful of sand. Tried to watch a little of the US Open, in between helping Jake crawl up and down the stairs and getting more cake for Izzy since that was all she was interested in eating. Sang Happy Birthday to Xavier, then sang it to Izzy since obviously you can’t have a party without Iz being the center of attention. Headed home around 7:00pm in order to get the kids cleaned up, dressed in pajamas, watch an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and get them into bed by 8:30. Jen and I sat on opposite sides of the couch trying to see who would be the first to cry uncle and go to bed. Jen caved first…it was 9:30pm.

10 Years Ago: Probably would have woken up around 10:30 or 11:00am, though I likely wouldn’t have even contemplated getting cleaned up or dressed prior to noon. That’s when the real decisions would kick in. What to do on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Maybe hit the golf course. Call up a few buddies and hang with them. Sit on the couch in front of the TV and do absolutely nothing at all. All valid options, and despite my love for golf and hanging out with friends, there’s a good chance I would have chosen door #3. After a long afternoon of vegging out, I may have taken a nap. Dinner after that, either a meal prepared by my Mom or a fast food version “prepared” by me (and purchased with some cash from the folks). Then a few more hours of doing nothing before possibly meeting friends out somewhere. Finally, in bed sometime around 1:00am or so.

Sunday: Up at 7:15am with the kids. Received two new golf shirts and a beautiful picture frame with my two munchkins in it as gifts for Father’s Day. Had a quick breakfast in order to get everyone ready to get out the door by 9:00am. First stop, Jen’s family. A few hours and a failed attempt at a morning nap for the Jakester later, and we were heading out for the next stop on a busy Father’s Day; my family. We headed up to my Grandparents’ house where the family had gathered. Every time we go there, Izzy goes crazy over the pool. She loves it. On this day, the water temp was just slightly warmer than freezing but Iz didn’t care. Jen took one for the team by getting in with her. Both kids went down for naps (thankfully) and we were able to enjoy adult time while eating an early dinner. Got the kids up, fed them (which is to say Jake ate while Izzy took two bites then stuffed her face with chips- great parenting, huh?) and then headed to a quaint little dairy farm up the street for some ice cream. Inhaled a couple of ice cream scoops in 8.6 seconds in order to run around in a field with Iz and cousins David and Molly. Headed home around 7:30pm, kids were down by 8:30pm and then after a thrilling hour and a half of tag teaming the balancing of our budget, Jen and I slipped into bed at the ridiculously late hour of 10:00pm.

10 Years Ago: It’s Sunday so I’m sure I would have slept in even longer than Saturday, perhaps rolling out of bed and into consciousness around 11:30 or so. A brunch likely would have followed before heading up to my Grandparents around 1:30 or 2:00. No kids, just adults and my sister and I trying to act like adults. I imagine we would have lounged by the pool for a few hours before dinner and then another hour or two after. With a busy day of chillaxing in the sun, I would have come home and done the same in front of the TV. It’s even possible that my parents, my sister and I would have watched TV together believe it or not. Then up to my room where I likely played video games or listened to music until the wee hours of the morning again before calling it a day.

As you can see, what a difference 10 years, a wife, and two kids makes on a weekend. I still know some people my age who live the same life they were living 10 years ago and, from time to time, I envy them. They do whatever the want, whenever they want, with no one to answer to but themselves. Then I look at Izzy staring out the window of the house that I own with my wife. She points to a bird in the yard and calls to me, “Daddy, look…tweet tweet!” She’s so excited. I go to her, scoop her up in my arms and give her a big kiss while she giggles.

I don’t envy them anymore.

One last shout out to the Dads out there and to my little buddy Xavier…Happy Birthday big guy!

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