Winter Break As A Parent Has Me Excited To Ride NJTRANSIT

My body is broken.

I’m fortunate enough where my company has a winter “shutdown” during the Holiday Season.  We’re technically “closed”, even though in this day and age that’s not 100% true.  You’re always on, you’re always working. It’s a grind and until this past “break”, I eagerly anticipated its arrival. I’d have time with family, I could sleep more, get errands done, hit the gym and above all, not have to commute.

So here’s to ringing in the New Year and re-chargin’ the batteries in this 34 year old body!!!

….

….

…….

idiot

This was the first year that I was a full blown parent.  My daughter is now 1 year old, is the light of my life and constantly wants her “dada”.  There’s nothing better, let me be clear about that before I go on so the internet doesn’t deem me a son of a bitch. Being a parent is by far the most rewarding thing that’s ever happened to me.  Having a little version of yourself is the ultimate.  Everything thing they do you just sit there in amazement and awe … it’s truly remarkable that human beings can create human beings.

… that is, of course, until you listen to the same  Bruno Mars song for the 450th time. My body is broken.  Between playing on the floor and picking her up so she doesn’t fall off the couch like Black Widow on Vormir, my lower back is on fire and the slip discs now have their own slip discs.  Privacy?  Overrated.  My own thoughts?  Only when I’m in the bathroom.  Every minute is equal to an hour and every hour is a lifetime.   So what I’ve come to realize is that this “shutdown” wasn’t of my company, but of my body.  This ain’t a vacation, it’s work.  Day after day, it takes the old body a little bit longer to get going.  Sometimes, I don’t even shower. Brush my teeth? That’s a bonus. Don’t like my breath from 3 cups of coffee?  Well .. that’s just too fuckin’ bad.

On the bright side, during the Holidays it was great.  It’s what makes it all worth it.  It’s what makes parenthood a blessing.  The magic is in the air and the in-laws are over a plenty to help.  It’s a team effort, filled with love and anticipation for the little ones … but when those days end, it’s fucking OVER MY BROTHERS AND SISTAS.  My back, my ass, my shoulders, everything is working overtime.  When the baby wants “up up”, my back is bending “down down” 100% of the time.

My body is broken.

Now I FINALLY understand all the jokes the parents in the office used to make before my little one started to crawl.  Twitter reminded me of this so eloquently this morning as I surfed the web from the protected confines of my toilet seat this morning …

Luckily, I’m fortunate enough to have in-laws that watch my kid during the work week, which means I don’t have to fork over another mortgage for daycare as so many do … HOWEVA, what I didn’t take into account is that Grandma and Grandpa would need their time off as well, just like any Nanny or daycare would. So it was just me and the wife vs. baby and baby kicked our fucking asses up and down that house.

Fuck baby shark, fuck Elmo, fuck the Little Einsteins, all those muthafuckas can kick rocks.

These are the Little Einsteins. Cute, right?

Fuck em.

So I get it now. This is what the tweet above was talking about – the sad joy of dropping your kid off and kinda/sorta being happy about it while feeling guilty at the same time.  You know it’s wrong, but deep down, it’s tears of joy that you can’t hold back.  I didn’t even have to warm up my car this morning. I got in that bitch ice cold and drove before the front defrost took effect. My happiness melted that shit straight off my windshield. Don’t deny it, you know it’s true to, because the drop off line at daycare might as well be Black Friday …

black friday GIF

That’s why when I woke up this morning I shed a tear.  WORK IS OFFICIALLY BACK IN SESSION, BABY!  I have never been so excited to drive to the train station, park my car for $8 bucks and walk my freezing cold ass to luxurious NJTRANSIT for a ride with a (hopefully) heated car, a seat and my fully charged iPhone.  I could surf the web, listen to a podcast, hell, even drink a cup of coffee if I wanted to.  Maybe, just maybe I’d get a head start on work and catch up on emails and bang out some adult-level productivity.  Excel spreadsheets you say? Forecast reporting? Submit my overdue expenses? HELL. FUCKING. YEAH. It was amazing.  It was freedom.  It was what us in the game of parenthood refer to as “a vacation”.  Shit, I didn’t even care if we got delayed.  It was encouraged.  I could take in the scenery, look outside at the junk yards and burnt automobiles and they looked just like the sun setting on the horizon from a tropical paradise.  A glorious sight for someone who has spent the last two weeks covered in milk and shit while their toddler tries to crocodile roll off the changing table.

And through all of this, this day has come. The day that I’m grateful for NJTRANSIT and the privilege I have of living in New Jersey so that I may ride it for the next 35 years. Rated one of, if not the worst form of transportation of the world, it is my choice for how I want to spend this January 2nd, 2020. A decade from now I’ll look at this day and say, wow, I can’t believe it came to that. I mean, I was sitting there rooting for delays. Rooting for the chance to sit in silence with the objects outside my dirty ass window at a standstill. In fact, when the conductor came by, he must have thought he was the Pope. I would have kissed his hand if he let me.

If you look close enough, you may actually see a tear. A tear of joy …

P.S.

On the ride home now. Dude is snoring on his first commute in 2020. Fucking gross.

Also, parenthood is the best.  Would’t trade it for the world.  So ignore everything I said if you made it this far.

Happy New Year!

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