I can’t even type it. Sure, I can say it. But, the word floats from my lips and up into the clouds. It’s not real. For another 3 weeks.

I can’t promise I won’t cry on his first day of school. In fact, I’m crying right now. I need to slap myself in the face and snap out of it. Hello? Hondaddy? Worm is growing up. In another 3 weeks, I may just be Dad.

I’m not going to say that the past 5+ years have been fast and furious. Some days were fast. Some days were furious. Some days…well, the trauma to my psyche has thankfully caused my mind to forget.

But I’ve been lucky enough to be the stay-at-home parent. Lucky enough to be there to witness him changing (sometimes more quickly than his underwear, but never more quickly than his socks) every day. For that, I’m grateful. (Thank you for the chance to raise our children, Steph.)

Our house doesn’t fit him anymore. He’s bigger than that now…mentally and emotionally. When he’s home, I can feel the pressure against the walls that more needs to been seen, felt, heard, experienced. He knows it. And if he’s anything like me, more means everything from here to the moon. Who the hell am I kidding? He is like me.

So, this is it. Because pretty soon, there’ll be friends and play dates  hanging out with buddies, sleepovers, study sessions, homework, alarm clocks, schedules, calendars, plans, lists, organized routineness. College.

The luxury of 3 naps a day. Puree prunes. 10000 diapers. 8000 bottles. Staring at the baby monitor wondering if he was asleep or dead. The warm blanket of Wormie hugs on my skin just after a nap. Hide and seek in the house. Holding his own bottle. Standing up in the crib. Pulling all the couch cushions down. The 6am wake up call of “Could you play with me?” before I’ve reached for my morning tea. The mid-morning cuddles on the couch. Playing cars on the playground slides. Tiny bite-sized pieces of apples, grapes, and sandwiches. Philosophical discussions about Lego cars, planets, and Play-doh. Thursday hamburger day. It would take days to write down each experience, but I’m going to miss all of it (except maybe the couch cushions part).

I’ve gone through the range of emotions with stay-at-home parenting. It’s changed me. The initial idea of it was fluffy and had the smell of freshly laundered sheets. The reality, though, contained much more grit and the sour stench of sweat. I’m different now. As much as I’d like to be who I was 5 years ago, I can’t. A big part of me longs to wake up one day and be him again. That guy was awesome. But if we go back there, I would no longer be Hondaddy. And he’s sort of awesome, too…when he’s not wiping butts.

I don’t think I was very good at being a SAHD. If I was to rate myself from 1-10, I’d probably be a 7. I probably could have put more effort into it, I don’t know. (You could always use the excuse that you could have done more, right? If you didn’t die from the effort, you probably could have done more.) Either way, I hope I was good enough. I hope that one day Worm will think that I was good enough. I kept him alive and well long enough to get upgraded to care for a second one, didn’t I? (I didn’t get a pay raise to go with the extra responsibility, though…poor negotiating on my part, I guess!)

I didn’t love every minute of it, either. I didn’t cherish every. single. second. (If anyone tells you that they did, they’re kidding you as well as themselves.) Nor, did I plan a whole lot. I never wanted to inundate the kids with too many outings. We set up playdates here and there, but commitments were few and far between. Sometimes, all we did was kick a ball around the house, or paint watercolors. Yes, there were also days when we did nothing but eat, sleep, and poop. (Ok, maybe watched some TV too.) The important thing is that we were together. And that is what I loved.

The playfulness and free flowing whimsy of youth that I presently drink in will soon be portioned…and after Mushie follows suit, will completely stop.

I’m flooded with fear. Happiness. Sadness. Anxiousness. Nervousness. Uneasiness. Confusion. Sentimentality. Nostalgia. Hope. Excitement. Ready. Yes, I think I’m ready.

Bring it.

If there’s one thing I can accept, it’s change. It’s tough for me to adapt sometimes, but resistance is different than reluctance. Change is inevitable. (Where have I heard that before?) It allows us to grow as human and become what we were meant to be. It challenges us to do more, achieve more, be more in our lifetime. It’s a gateway to opportunity. And this is ours.

Just like Worm will be taking another step in his life, so will I. We will learn and adapt to our new future together, and our new future alone. Plenty of tears, hugs and kisses will be exchanged and as we let each other’s hand go and wave goodbye one last time before the teacher finally kicks us out, I’ll watch as he floats up into the clouds and grabs that K (and the rest of the word) with both hands.


I’m proud of you, Worm.