Monday, March 24, 2014

Mr. Mom and Other Derogatory Remarks

It's been nearly a month since my last post. Which means, for those of you that are keeping track, I'm many posts behind on my blog-a-week goal. Part of the reasoning in laziness; it takes time to sit down and write my thoughts. It would be so much easier if I could just think about it and have it posted... alas, here I am, typing what flows so quickly in between my ears. Another is that we had experienced a mold problem in our apartment, so for the past few weeks I have been busy moving things from Apt. 1 to Apt. 2, during the few hours I have alone in the afternoon and the few hours I have with my wife during the evening. But, despite my excuses, I am what I do. Or in the words of the late Jonathan Larson's Tick, Tick... BOOM!, "actions speak louder than words." I can't let the past define me any more then I can allow other peoples' opinions to give me meaning...

I know that being home with my son during the day is not the norm, particularly in the area I currently find myself in, but being outside of the norm doesn't bother me. I've never had to "fit in," I usually find my own way. I also know that what I'm doing is saving money, as well as giving my son the opportunity to be at home with Dad, which not many kids have and something my wife and I found important (being that we each had our parents working from home most of our lives). The only thing that bothers me (here comes the rant) are the snide comments, "How's being Mr. Mom?" or "How long are you on babysitting duty today?" You'd be shocked, but I find it inconceivably ignorant putting these labels on what it is I do. I have a full-time job in ministry, working at both a church and on a college campus, so insinuating that I have nothing else to do is wrong. And assuming that because Mom isn't at home, I have taken the role of her is also fundamentally naive. More than that, it's rude and the reason so many other problems are caused: constrained expectations. We force things into a mold of "how it's always been" or "just how it works" and kill the joy of what is actually at work in this improvisational sort of a life.

I'm not "babysitting," I'm being a father. When I am home during the day with my son I don't turn into a mother or whatever else is insinuated by calling me "Mr. Mom." I am a man living life with my son in a way that most others don't get the opportunity to and I plan on enjoying every moment I have, because it may not be forever, it may not even be for the rest of the year; I don't know how long I have to enjoy life with my son, as I've learned from a near-death experience and a sibling gone too soon, so I will savor every day and every moment I have with him. I will continue, with all my strength, to raise my son "in a manner worthy of the gospel" and to keep to my convictions, no matter how much I fail at them. Using a line from Batman Begins, "It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me." I pray that my actions may always speak louder than my words, and when I fail that others may give me the grace I need to continue striving towards the goal (just as God does) and vice versa.