Alli, his six-year-old-daughter, looked up at him with her big brown eyes and asked, “Daddy, is it fun being a grown-up?”
That was a difficult question for him to answer. He’d had a tough week. A tough month, in fact. The stresses of the world and of “adult life” had been weighing on him and his wife. In fact, his wife had recently made the statement, “Adult life annoys me.”
A car accident just a few days earlier had left him sore and hobbled. They’d been shuffling vehicle rides between the whole family with just one car. They’d found themselves in the middle of a very difficult situation that was weighing heavily on them, through no fault of their own. His wife had recently accepted a new job that was stretching her to the end of her capabilities. She’d had several emotional moments lately, as had he. Adult life had been anything but fun for the past month.
All this ran through his head as he looked down at those beautiful, innocent brown eyes. She believed with all her heart that adult life was the best. Adults could stay up late. Adults could drive. Adults could drink coffee and caffeinated soda. Adults could reach the top shelf. What part of adult life could possibly be bad?
“Baby, being a grown-up is great, but you need to enjoy every second of your kid life. Sometimes I wish I was still a kid.”
He reached down and swept his little girl up into his arms, trying not to let her see how much it hurt his hobbled leg to hold her. She smiled from ear-to-ear and kissed him on the cheek.
“Okay, Daddy. I love you. You’re the bestest Daddy in the whole wide world.”
Then he smiled from ear-to-ear right along with her, and for a moment, all those headaches, heartaches, and body aches disappeared as he set his little girl down and watched her run to grab her next stuffed animal so she could hold and cuddle it like he held and cuddled her.
And a tear filled his eye. And in that moment, he realized…
Being a grown-up is pretty dang awesome.