Well its time to get a little personal. I know you’ve read my intro (what?? you haven’t? why not? pure gold!!) so you know about Darth Small. My son is a little over a year and a half and the most important thing in my life. Events today have convinced me to periodically step back from my “punctual” posts updating you on games I’m playing and branch out. Like many gamers, I am also a parent. It gets hard at times and doesn’t always leave you with much time to be anything other than a parent, but it’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. cliche sounding, but if you’re a parent, you completely understand.
So as I said, an event occurred today. While making him something to eat, my son decided to play his favorite game: throwing things down the stairs. I finally got my wish and my son has finally decided he wants to paint with daddy. I probably should have been a bit more specific… This popped in my head while scrubbing the carpets and after jailing him to his crib. It made me think of what’s going on in my life right now and my plans for, not just my future, but our future.
My life before fatherhood: I’ll start by being truthful. I never wanted to be a father. The idea scared me and I wanted my time to be my time. Is that selfish? Not at all. What would be selfish is being like that after you have a kid. Recognizing that that is what you want in life and choosing not to have a kid is acceptable. But I digress. Before my son, I had no real direction in my life. Sure, I could do what I wanted, when I wanted (in my mind anyways). Did I play more games then? honestly, no. Was it easier then? Absolutely! I could just do it when I had time. No looking for someone to baby sit or waiting until he’s asleep so that I can wage battles with my plastic soldiers. I was living the dream, right? Not really. I hated my job and had little direction in my life. I had quite a few pipe dreams that I always found an excuse not to chase and lots of half attempts to get back in school. I always put things off saying, “things will work out when I have the time to focus on it.” I honestly wasn’t happy with how things were and had no idea what to do to fix things.
Life with a baby: My son came pretty unexpectedly. I have been together with my wife for 11 years (married for 8 now) and we were told we couldn’t have a baby. Well, someone fumbled their roll cause… here we are! I don’t need to tell you, I was terrified. I could barely take care of myself, and now I was expected to take care of this helpless being for… ever! I doubted myself every day and had no idea what I was doing. Then the day came when he was here. I know everyone says it, but it was the most amazing day. And I’ll tell you what I’ve found: its no where near as hard as I made it out to be. Instantly, I knew what I had to do. I got a job that would better our situation at the time, and as soon as Ashley was able to get back to work, I did what I had been putting off for 10 years and got back into school. I’m currently 6 month away from graduating school for Network Security and it’s all thanks to him! As anyone with a kid will tell you, there are plenty of challenges to gaming of any kind once you have a kid. I won’t argue that at all. I will say though, if you really want to, its amazingly achievable. Now, you simply have to plan ahead for gaming. Ironically enough, I’ve actually been much more productive with gaming (oxymoron, I know) since having him than before. I guess having to consciously think about when you’re going to play helps. I still have regular game nights.
The future: I’m excited to see how things go in the future. I won’t push him, but I’m hoping he’ll be just as into gaming as I am. I’m genuinely excited to show him all the worlds I’ve seen. I can’t wait to have a constant gaming buddy that will appreciate the games. If he’s not into it, sure I’ll be disappointed, but its cool. I’ll help support him in whatever he wants to go for. Gaming isn’t for everyone. Sometimes gaming parents need to be reminded of that.
(side note) In case anyone was wondering, I didn’t get pictures as I had to get to work, but I did manage to get the paint up. I’m sure this won’t be the last time I have to do an emergency run to the store to rent a shampooer…