Hopefully you read the title correctly. This is not an homage to Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. This is a post about how I am grateful for the COVID19 pandemic. Let’s be clear, I am not grateful for the 100s of thousands who have lost loved ones, lost their jobs, are struggling financially, and a million other horrible things that have come from this. I am however grateful that my son is healthy and that a fortunate result of having a business that was shut down and a world on lockdown was I got to spend just about every waking minute with my son.
I just wanted to share a few things that I am grateful for that I may not have had a chance to experience if not for being quarantined for several months.
- First Crawl
My son was very mobile but took forever to crawl. He did this sort of slither on his belly like an army crawl. He was very fast at it. Everyone said that he would eventually just pop up and start crawling. It didn’t happen that way. He would crawl a little bit then go back to his usually method of getting around. Eventually he did become a full-time crawler and he was even faster than before. We nicknamed him “the critter” because he was so fast and we have hardwood floors, it sounded like a little critter running across the floor.
- First Walk
His first walk followed a similar story to his first crawl. Everyone said he would just pop up and take off. Nope. He would stand for a while then crawl. He would walk along the walls or furniture, holding himself up, then crawl. He would take 2 steps, then crawl. Five days later he would take 6 steps, then crawl. Eventually he became a full-time walker, but he seemed to be cautious, taking baby steps (no pun intended). The critter became a little human.
The experts say you should sing to your child. I’m not much of a lullaby fan so Anders and I would rock out with some karaoke. Granted, he could only make sounds, but his smiles and laughs indicated he was digging it. In case you’re wondering, yes, there are videos of this but those shall remain in the vault.
- Dad Talks
It’s never too early to start giving fatherly advice on topics like girls and shaving. Anders and I had many a good chat over the last few months.
- Bye Bye Boogers
Over the summer, Anders came down with a little cold. Luckily he did not have COVID, we had him tested to be sure. After sucking out his boogers I would always say “Bye Bye Boogers!” After a while, he started to wave goodbye to the boogers. Very polite kid.
- Working Out
Being quarantined, your workout options are limited. Walks and runs outside are good but they can get boring. Home workouts are great. I never knew how funny pushups were. I also never knew I was a jungle gym.
- First Bites of Real Food
Everyone always asks, “is he a good eater?” Well, we found out quickly that the answer was yes. It was around this time he got his second nickname, “the garbage disposal”. He would eat everything put in front of him and not let you eat unless you give him a taste.
- Dressing Alike on His 1st Birthday
Yes, I am that dad. Sorry.
- First Karate Lessons
I started karate when I was 8 years old. When someone asks Anders when he started, he can say he was 1. There are videos to prove it. If you haven’t seen Anders’ karate lessons, check out The Karate Dad YouTube channel.
It would have been better to have experienced these things without the constant worry of losing my business and providing for my family, but I feel grateful that I was able to experience these things as many working moms and dads miss out on them.
So, when you get depressed and discouraged about the happenings in the world these days, just take a step back and think about what makes you grateful about having children and you can’t help but smile.