To Be

By: Danny Thomas

I have written about parenthood, and life in general, being a practice of
giving in to chaos,

and about it requiring a sense of humor,

about the challenges of prioritizing and balance.

All of these things…

over and over again come up in my writing.

Funny thing is, all those things feel like part of what has
always been on my mind…

They just seem to take on more weight

as a parent.

Lately, I have been noticing
that what keeps me going is something like
straddling a fence
on one side is actively making moments
and the other is actively taking moments, or receiving the moments I am given.

It’s like
riding a wave…
somehow finding a way to be in control of myself
and the experience
while letting the tide of pandemonium wash over me…

Lil’ Chaos and I
spent the afternoon
building spaceships
and trucks
with Legos last Friday

it was the best.

It was the best
combination of
making a moment
and letting a moment happen
that a dad could have…

and here’s why,
I think,
it worked;
I set aside a few hours for Lil’ Chaos,
but we didn’t have a plan.

We talked about our time together ahead of time.
looked forward to it
with anticipation…

there were a number of things we’d been intending to do together
for a few days; play with legos, play in the snow, make a movie…

our time came, and we had some things to choose from
and it was Lil’ Chaos’s choice.
It was pretty darn cold outside
so we skipped the snow
and chose to play with Legos and film it…

The next time we have designated time
one of our options will be to edit our film.

I guess the point of this story
is that it is an example of riding that tide…

All around me
all the time
there are things to do
chores and tasks and schedules to keep

but also

all around me
all the time
are an abundance
of glorious moments
to take in.

the list of chores can’t be helped…
it’s a function of parenthood…
of life, in our place and time…

and yet right now, as I type, Kidzilla is snuggled against my left side
eating a banana
and watching Curious George
and there is a moment to receive…

it’s a matter of
knowing those moments are all around me
and making the choice –
between acts of scheduling, doing, and managing…
to be.

here, in this time,
a day past the due date
of our third daughter
I am finding it more important than ever,
and also more challenging,
but attainable
to be.


  1. says

    Danny, congrats on the third daughter. Your life is about change.
    Three daughters will soon keep you busy. My sister and BIL have three daughters (now grown) but I remember the days of their growing up and it was extremely fun and extremely chaotic. My sister used the dots on clothes. The oldest got one dot and so forth. This way at least it let those know who was stealing what from whom. Also, juggling three when there are only two parents made for interesting combinations. But having only had two boys I learned a lot of what it took to raise three kids with two parents. My older son has three as well and it is such fun to watch everyone. The dynamics are so interesting. You will have lots of stories to tell us I am sure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *