Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

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Can it be possible that our oldest son – our baby – is already 7 years old, and that our younger son will soon turn 5? Can it be possible, dear reader, that your child is now 7 weeks old, or 7 months, or 7, 17 or 37?

It seems like they were born just yesterday, doesn’t it?

It’s true, time flies when you’re having fun. And that’s why time really flies once you become a parent. I’ve found that there is no greater fun in life – no greater joy – than being a parent. I hope you agree.

I became a parent seven years ago and, oh, how my life has changed. Our first son came into this world and immediately demanded my time and attention. He demanded that I not just be his father, he demanded that I be his dad. And that title comes with a lot of responsibility. It means being wise even when I don’t have a clue what I’m doing; being encouraging even when I have doubts; being adventurous even though I’m not necessarily built that way; and being loving at all times.

Speaking of being adventurous, our first son was the reason for the greatest adventure of my work life. After logging regular 9-to-5 office hours for almost a decade, I quit my day job back in 2004 to become a stay-at-home dad. For nearly six years, I cared for the daily needs of one, then two, little boys. By “daily needs,” I’m talking about feeding, dressing, burping, entertaining, transporting, teaching and wiping – in short, everything that a guy who had baby-sat only once before in his life probably should not have been trusted to do. Luckily, my lovely wife did trust me, and I thank her for that vote of confidence. Learning on the fly, I actually became pretty good at my new job.

As a dad making his way around town with a couple of kids in tow, hardly a day went by without an older woman or man stopping me on the street to say something to this effect: “Enjoy every minute. It goes so fast. Those were some of the best years of my life.”

I completely understand that sentiment. The years when your children are still young and full of wonder should be some of the best years of a parent’s life. To be sure, there are challenges that go along with raising small children, but most of the problems are insignificant and quickly forgotten. Mostly, having little kids is all about the joy and the giggling and the horsing around.

I certainly consider my stay-at-home dad years to be the best years of my life so far. That’s probably because I woke up every single morning knowing that I was doing something meaningful and worthwhile. To me, that old saying, “Time spent with children is never wasted,” rings true. I never wasted one moment of my life when I was at home with the boys.

But time marches on, and last year, an opportunity came up for me to re-enter the office workforce. I have to admit that I found it a bit difficult to go back, not because I didn’t want to work (heck, working normal business hours now is less tiring than staying home and freelance-writing until 3 a.m.), but because I realized how much I loved my “work” of staying home with the boys. There’s no better job. I highly recommend it to new moms and dads.

Both of our kids are in school now, though, and so the transition back to a two-working-parent home has happened. At the same time, I’ve decided that this is a good time for me to shift gears a bit with my writing. For the past few years, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my “dad perspective” with you in this wonderful magazine. Thank you so much for reading my columns and for writing back. I really appreciate it. I know that all of you feel the same way about your kids as I do about mine. They’re the lights of our lives. Of course, it’s impossible to fully explain the love that you have for your children, but I suppose this column has been my attempt to explain my love for my two boys through stories that other parents can relate to. No matter what age our kids are, we love them, support them, and constantly let them know that they’re loved; that’s what counts the most.

Brian Kantz hopes you’ll follow his next writing adventure. This spring, he’ll be releasing the first book from his Opening Day Press (www.openingdaypress.com), a new, independent publisher of baseball books for kids.