It started with my 40th birthday party which was well-documented and I’d prefer to forget (although now that I am officially “over the hill,” the forgetting part shouldn’t be too far off). I thought for certain someone would give me the traditional rocking chair as a gift, but I guess most of my friends and family believed I have a few more years of energy left in me.
However, as a gift for my birthday my wife agreed to appear on a local morning television show (look out, Regis and Kelly). We had a wonderful panel of amazing guests, but mostly just had a lot of fun and now I have an incredible video as a memory aid of my 40th birthday on television. What a gift! It beats a rocking chair any day of the week and since the evidence is on video, I won’t ever completely forget it.
Only a few days later, our son went to his first day of kindergarten. Quite honestly, I’ve been dreading this day for a long time. It serves as evidence that our little boy is growing up. We are very excited about this next step in his growth and development, but it forces us to turn the page on a chapter of our family that we have absolutely loved.
In fairness, he was ready. In fact, he was very excited and was looking forward to his first day of school; Daddy, on the other hand ... not so much. I had a hard time holding back the tears, but in an effort to avoid embarrassing my “big boy” son, no tears were shed (at least not in the classroom).
The day after the first day of school, we held my daughter’s third birthday party ... another major milestone. Now hosting a child’s birthday party is no minor job. You have to get the decorations (in this case, it was a princess theme), make the cake (as you probably guessed, that was my wife’s job; nobody would want a cake made by me), wrap the presents and clean the house to prepare for the party. Once the guests arrived, the newly crowned 3-year-old princess was shy and only wanted to sit in her Papa’s lap (which is all right, she loves and misses her Papa when he is at home in Mississippi). She did enjoy tearing into the presents, however, and it took every ounce of control for our son not to dive in and help her. Overall, the party was a great success with children playing, our daughter smiling and every one celebrating — the perfect ending to a whirlwind and amazing week.
To recap, the Ryerson family survived a milestone birthday, a television show, the first day of school and another birthday all in one week. So what does a father do when time seems to be passing so fast and so many major events are happening simultaneously?
Well, you should do what I did. You sit back, start rocking and smile.
(Editor’s Note: To learn more about Matt’s family adventures, or misadventures, visit www.mattryerson.blogspot.com. Matt’s column appears every Wednesday in the Cleveland Daily Banner.)