I knew this word was going to be trouble.
If you keep at something long enough, you run the risk of developing getting into a rut, falling into a routine, or somehow becoming complacent with how you operate. While it can - and is - justifiably arguable that being a stay-at-home dad for three years brings with it a new set of challenges and experiences every so often, the opposite is also true in that some days (weeks, even) seem to be stuck on an endless repeat cycle of doing the same things over and over again.
And I'm not just taking about how, given his preferences, Kai would probably be okay with eating chicken nuggets, fries, gummy bears, and apple juice for every meal for the rest of his life.
I didn't choose my word "Now" for this year. It chose me. It chose me because God knows there is a dangerously thin line between granting him alone play time so he can learn to play by himself, and my telling him to go play in his room so I can spend more time on the Internet. There is a dangerously thin line between me genuinely stepping away for a minute to get a refill of coffee before coming back to his room and my going into the kitchen to wash dishes or prep dinner while I plop him in front of a TV. There is a dangerously thin line between the amount of time Ashley and I need to just sit in front of the TV for a minute at night just to let our minds unwind and suddenly glancing at the clock only to realize we've been watching The History Channel for three hours and another night has passed by without us talking. Again.
And once our second kid is born in a few months? This word - "Now" - is going to take on an entirely new set of challenges. And it will develop an entirely new sacred meaning.
And it will become that much more important.
That's why I've been trying to get Kai to cook with me in the kitchen.
That's why I've been telling myself it's okay to sit and play with his action figures - again - instead of prepping dinner hours ahead of time.
That's why I've been trying to look up from my world and into the worlds I interact with.
Because "Now" has a shadow. A shadow called "Never." And that shadow threatens to fall on my life if I choose to not act.
So minus the two weeks of rest (HA!) I got from the flu, I've been trying to let the light of being in the now so shine before me so as to not let the shadow of never fall.
It also means we got to make rockets out of toilet paper rolls.