The Art of Parenting


Parenting is simple.

I’m a dad to three kids ages 14, 9 and 18 months. Being a parent means being able to adapt constantly and immediately.

The littlest, Raiden, got caught up in the round of sickness that hit the house. It was bittersweet. He lost a lot of his stubborn independence and he was lovable and snugly, including in the wee hours of the morning. Sigh. After a few days, he seemed to be on the mend. Amazing how the smallest human can rule the house.

I am mostly the stay-at-home keeper of the kids. And I am building a business. I had an afternoon meeting one Friday. After discussion with Raiden’s mother we thought he would be OK with the baby sitter. The time away from mom and dad would only be a couple of hours. When the baby sitter arrived, Raiden was upset and crying. I told her that I would keep my phone close if she needed anything. I assured her that he probably just needed some cuddle time to fall asleep.

As I was arriving to my meeting, my phone rang. It was the baby sitter. She wanted me to return to the house so she could have a car seat so she could take Raiden to the emergency room. I paused, he didn’t have a fever, his mom should be home within the hour, he’s been eating, he’s been going potty and he’s been full of boogers. I told her his mom would be home soon and it wouldn’t be helpful to go to the hospital. A few moments later my life partner called. Raiden is crying, the baby sitter is upset, can you go home and give him some love? Yes. I stopped in the middle of the road, flipped the vehicle around and (allegedly) raced home. At some point I sent an email to the person I was supposed to meet with to let him know I had a baby situation.

When I arrived home, I suppressed the guilt as I saw Raiden hysterically crying. It was heartfelt as he reached for me. I checked his diaper. I checked his temperature. A year before, I would be panicky. I remembered what the nurses said when he was born – skin to skin! I took off his shirt. I took off my shirt. I got in bed and laid him on my chest. I gently rubbed his back. He slowly calmed down as the babysitter quietly paced the hall. An unknown amount of time passed when Raiden’s mom quietly entered the bedroom, Raiden snoring on my chest. She smiled. I smiled.

Parenting is simple, I stated. I didn’t say it would be easy.

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