John Cave Osborne
Wait, what? First day of school? Yep. That’s right. First day of school. Today. October 22, 2012 is the first day of school for our baby.
Suffice it to say that things did not unfold accordingly to plan, but few things do, we’re learning, when you have five kids. Even so, it’d be a while before Luke went to any type of daycare. Our oldest didn’t go till she was three. Same with the triplets. And the same was to be true of Luke, too.
So here’s the deal, Luke.
Daddy’s leaving on Saturday to go on a backpacking trip. Yes. Your mom knows. I told her up front, before we even got married. You know, that backpacking was my thing. See, a buddy and I hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail each year. One day we hope to complete the entire 2,200 miles.
Here’s the catch though. Both of us are family men and don’t like to be away from our brood for too long. So we take two short trips a year and try to knock out as many miles as possible. Last time, we hiked 18 miles on three consecutive days. That’s about average for us — 50-ish miles per trip, two short trips per year.
Even at that pace, though, this thing will still take us over two decades to complete, a patient man’s goal to be certain. Obviously quite a commitment, but commitments are good, Luke. The discipline it takes to honor them makes you a better man. And that’s part of the reason why I’m doing this.
The other part is all the lessons I learn each time I go. Here are 15 I want you to know about.
So I’ve got something for you. A little riddle if you will. Each and every evening we give our little one a bath — usually right there in the kitchen sink — before dressing him in his pajamas and getting him ready for bed. Then we let him play with the triplets for a while (as they swap out, getting bathed one by one by one) before putting him down.
And virtually every single night, he’s covered with dog hair.
My trio turns five tomorrow, and I’d say “I can’t believe it,” but isn’t that what everyone says? And what, exactly, is so hard to believe about time passing? It’s been doing it, for me at least, for 42 years. So instead of saying, I can’t believe they’re about to turn five, I guess I’ll say this:
I can’t believe how much those guys have changed me. It’s funny. I’m supposed to be the one teaching them, right? But it’s often the other way around. That’s why I’ve changed so much, in fact. Because they’ve taught me so much in their first five years. Here are 15 such things I’ve learned since September 29, 2007.
Hey! Congratulations, Dad! A healthy baby boy. That’s fantastic. Now what?
I’ll tell you what — a little something that’s been going on since the beginning of time. Your wife will try to go all “cutsie-cutsie” on your junior associate, thereby inadvertently contributing to phenomenon I like to call The Little Lord Fauntleroy Syndrome whereby your boy is paraded about in any number of questionable outfits which border on (a) costumery (not a word, but still) if not (b) public humiliation. Put more simply — if your kid could speak, he’d be all like NO. Dear God. Please, NO!