Having a kid changes you in a lot of profound ways. You begin to realize that you aren’t living your life for just you and your wife/husband/partner/etc. but that you now have a small human being who relies on you to make it through the day. A lot of sacrifices have to be made both of the financial variety and the time variety in order to make sure your child will grow up to be the best that he/she can be. Let’s face it, sometimes those sacrifices end up stinging a bit, but we all know it’s worth the payoff. Seeing their smiling face at the end of the day makes any mild discomfort worth it 10x over. But for those times when that discomfort feels like it won’t go away, I’ve made a list of the things I can’t wait to do with my son. These things are dependent upon a solid base being built in his infancy, so I need to put the time in now to live off the dividends later.
Play our first co-op video game together
|I call Mario!
Remember when you were younger and you had that best friend who would always come to your house and play Mortal Kombat with you? Well guess what? You’re raising one right now. Not exactly a best friend, but a co-op partner in gaming! I can’t wait to experience my favorite hobby with my son (when he’s old enough and with an age appropriate game of course.) I envision the first game is going to be something of the Nintendo variety and with me already owning Nintendo’s latest console, it’s just a matter of time. There’s something special about two people playing a game together with a common goal. As he gets older I’m sure we’ll move into more mature games, but Mario Bros. or Skylanders seems to be a starting point, and one that I anxiously await.
Playing catch for the first time
Ever since the idea of having a kid started to appear in my mind, I thought about what it would be like to play catch with him/her. I didn’t truly care whether I had a boy or a girl, just that I had a chance to play catch with them. There’s something special about a parent and a child in the yard throwing a ball back and forth. It’s what jump started my love of the game from an early age. I can still remember my father and me going out in the alley and throwing the baseball back and forth. When I got older I eventually moved on to practicing with my friends and joining sports teams, but all of that passion and love for the game came from my early interactions with my father. I hope to impart that same love onto my son through some good old fashion catch.
Coaching a little league team
This is sort of directly related to the previous item in this list. My wife and I have both stated that we hope our kids will play team sports early in their lives. Baseball was such a big part of my life growing up that I really hope it has the same allure for my son. If it doesn’t, I’ll be a little sad, but I’ll just push him to try out the next sport until we find one he likes. Hopefully, through process of elimination, we can find a sport that he will enjoy playing and sign him up to play on a team. While I can’t relive my glory days at third base, I can enjoy my time teaching the little ones to play and enjoy themselves. If a coaching spot isn’t available, I’m ok with that – I’ll be the guy on the hill yelling at the ump to get some glasses whenever my son strikes out.
Attend our first baseball game
Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, I was constantly surrounded by everything Baltimore Orioles. We lost our football team, the Baltimore Colts, 2 months before I was born so I was raised predominantly on baseball. My father would take me to games both at Memorial Stadium (the old Oriole’s stadium) and Camden Yards (the new) every now and then and it was a great experience. I can’t wait to do the same with my son. One day, we’ll get out mitts and go to the stadium a little early to experience batting practice from the left field bleachers and follow it up with some hot dogs from the concession stand. When the game starts, we’ll make our way down to our seats and watch the O’s play under a cool summer sky.
Experience the awesome world of action figures, comics, and other such nerdy toys
As a kid, is there anything better than getting a new action figure? Or opening up that month’s X-Men comic to see if Cyclops was going to make an appearance (he was my favorite X-Men growing up.) My wife often makes fun of me for this, but she just doesn’t understand the pure bliss you feel as you walk the action figure aisle looking for the newest member to your collection. I don’t plan on spoiling my son (much, anyways), but I can’t wait until he experiences the pure awesomeness that is action figures and comics. If he plays his cards right, he may even be allowed to read some of dad’s on his iPad.
Visit Disney World
This is a much bigger goal and one that probably won’t happen until he’s a little bit older, but it’s a goal nonetheless. I remember going to Disney as a child and it being this amazing and absolutely surreal place. Going as an adult is amazing too, but going as a child is magical. I can’t wait to see that in Jack’s eyes and experience the world of Disney through the emotions of a child. It’s still a ways off, but we’ll get there some day – until then, there’s always Hershey Park!
That First “I Love You”
Everything on this list so far has been pretty materialistic. Some are tongue in cheek and others are legitimately things I anxiously await. But above all others, there is one thing I look forward to the most – that first, “I Love You” he says to me along with a hug. My son is only 8 mos. old so he can’t speak yet (well, words anyways) but he’s learning every day. One day, he’ll understand love and affection and be able to show it. I hope I am a good enough father to him to earn his love and receive a show of affection worthy of the gods – because that’s what Jack will give, and I know it will be all that I had hoped for.
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