Several years ago – before children, when time was a thing to be toyed with and spent frivolously, I would write long, rambling blog posts about life, the universe, and everything inbetween. I would empty my head through the keyboard as easily as turning on a tap – churning out 750 words with relative ease. Granted, I wrote 750 words in order to post to the website “750words”, but that’s besides the point.
I used to have important things to say – or at least I thought so.
These days I’m lucky if I get ten minutes late in the evening to write the literary equivalent of “I’m still here – not sure how – but I am”.
I used to have big thoughts about important things. I read books about philosophy, science, and history. I had dinner with friends, and talked into the early hours – stories from childhood, dreams for the future, and hopes for tomorrow.
These days I’m pleased if I can find two socks that match.
I’m not quite sure what happened to that happy-go-lucky guy. I’m sure he’s still inside me somewhere – probably bashing silently against a window, demanding to be let out. He’s been pushed aside by a house, children, a career, and the enormous adventure of “making up parenting as I go along”.
I’ve never read a parenting book. People tell me I’m a great Dad, but when you’re in the thick of it, you don’t really compare or rate yourself – you just get on with it. I remember when some of our friends had their first children, and they obsessed about this chart, or that percentile, or the other signal for exceptional ability. I thought they were all mad. I still do.
We adopted. We couldn’t have our own children – the story, spread over perhaps three years – is told in the catacombs of my blog. We went from zero to three children overnight, and life as we once knew it was blown away like a scene from the Trinity nuclear tests. I think a lot of those big thoughts about life, the universe and everything might also have been blown away. Perhaps not lost entirely – just blown around a corner to be dusted off, and re-discovered one day.
I sometimes wonder when that day might be.