When I was in my 20’s, I was excited by my Nissan 300ZX, pretty girls, and the prospect of making money. A lot of money. In my 30’s and married, I was excited about having kids, a long weekend away, and making good money due to the prospect of kids. A lot of money. Now 40 and married with two kids, I’m excited by a weekend that includes a movie–an animated movie, a documentary, a short film, a foreign movie with subtitles, straight to video, a movie with Carrot Top, frankly any movie—a good night’s sleep, and a weekend where I spend no money (or a lot of someone else’s money).
But it’s not quite that depressing. I still have hopes and dreams and I still get excited by things. In fact, the other day, a new Scooby Doo movie aired. The kids and I had talked about it for weeks. When the big night finally came, we could no longer contain our excitement.
“What do you guys think? This is a great movie, right?”
“This is boring. I hate this movie!” my son said.
Maybe my life is that depressing. The highlight of my month was a stinkin’ Scooby Doo movie that I liked more than the kids. At least my daughter didn’t hate it.
But then again, CJ played his very first soccer game and it was something to behold; 20 4-year-olds bunched around one ball aimlessly. He loved it which made it exciting for us.
My daughter started a new dance class and signed up for theater, cheerleading, and soccer while my wife got the privilege of signing her up.
As a parent, you have to temper your dreams. For example, hoping that the bathroom’s free and has toilet paper is a good start. Once you realize it’s all about the kids and lower your expectations, you’re less likely to be disappointed.
That’s not to say you should give up on your dreams entirely. Over a glass of wine, my wife and I still partake in the fantasy of a trip to Alaska.
“Beautiful, snow-capped mountains.”
“Whale watching,” my wife adds.
“Glaciers, a train ride, great restaurants.”
The glass crashes to the floor. Loud snoring comes from her side of the bed.
“Hon? Hon, are you sleeping? If you don’t wake up, I’m taking my girlfriend to Alaska.”
The snoring continues.
But one fantasy still remains intact that neither a sleeping wife or a four and seven-year-old can take away—fantasy sports. In fantasy sports, I’m the ruler of my virtual team. I can have the best players in the sport on my team, an all-star at every position, and after a bad game, drop them from my roster like a bad habit. It’s what I dreamed of as a child. Finally, a fantasy comes true. Unfortunately, my baseball fantasy came crashing back to earth as I came in 10th out of 12 teams. However, my fantasy football team is undefeated (after one week) and keeping the dream alive. It looks like I won’t have to watch that Carrot Top movie this weekend after all.
Copyright © 2009, Brad Manzo