In our continuing series, our own Marv Nelson takes a look at what it takes to be a father.
My wife Hilary and I have good friends who invited us on a vacation with them this past week. Jen and Sean are our friends, and the vacation spot was Maryland, so we jumped in our soccer-mom mini-vans, loaded up our kids (4 kids, our two and their two) and headed off on a great adventure!
The trip was really relaxing, fun, and all around amazing. The trip back however, proved to be a bit less of all of those! It was pouring down rain at one point, windy out the wazoo the next, and pretty much a toddler/pre-school whinefest in both vans the majority of the trip.
While on the way home, Jen's parents, who had joined us on the trip, said their favorite fast-food stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is Roy Rogers. Sean, appalled, blurted out: "Why!? It's so greasy!" To which they replied: "The other places are just as greasy." Sean admitted this, but said something to the effect of: "But Roy is a different type of greasy," and we left it at that.
So on our way home, I see a sign for Roy Rogers and decide to play a joke on our friends and ask via text message if we could please go to Roy Rogers. We banter back and forth and joke about this possibility when all of the sudden we make a turn to actually stop at Roy Rogers...Hilary and I try to call stating it was a joke to no avail. 'At least this stop has La Famiglia as well' we think out loud, if all else fails we can get some pizza.
We didn't want to go to Roy, but his options were starting to look pretty appealing since it was between that and an A-Plus mini-market. Sean and I give each other the nod, which was a Daddy's way of saying: "It's OK man, just this once".
With the "man" approval, we head over to get ourselves some greasy and nasty processed food from the underworld. It went from bad to worse.
The "happy meal" from Roy was an amazing paper bag and a few overly waxy crayons. The meal was two greasy chicken fingers and so-soggy-they-were-dripping french fries. I took one for the team and ate the french fries so I could spare my son. I just got a spicy chicken sandwich and grabbed a soda from the A-Plus. My son ordered a chocolate milk and if there was one thing they didn't skimp on, it was the extra-sugary-giant-chocolate milk they gave my son!
The chicken came in holsters for guns and everything was 1920′s cowboy themed...a little much fellas...it was just a giant greasy waste and we all knew it. (You reading this; stop judging us. It was the end of a rough car ride, we were desperate and we were at the end of the rope...so back off!)
To top top it off, my daughter was a crying mess, untill I used her high-chair as a "ride" and started quickly swaying her back and forth. She LOVED that so much that my wrist got completely tired, but naturally her smile kept me going and doing it over and over again.
I hope your're wondering why I share all of this ridiculously detailed information. Well, it's simply: Daddy Life may not be the easiest life, but I love it! And you'll love it too.
As Daddy's we'll fail and we'll fall, we'll make our kids eat crappy foods and you'll say stupid things, like when I threatened at Roy Rogers: "You've got to at least drink your chocolate milk, otherwise no Lego Batman in the car!" This trip to Roy Rogers (like many trips before and many after) proves once again that we can go through rough times, but we can get back again.
If you're going through a rough season of parenthood...remember there is a "Back Again" coming soon!
Last Night at around 1:30 am, Roy even had a "back again" as my son MJ's body rejected every molecule of said greasy "goodness". One bath later and MJ is doing better! So, If Roy can do it...so can you!
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