Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Parenthood is an all-encompassing, but rewarding and at times surreal, experience.  §

Sunday night slice of life: I am a parent.

© Aron Hsiao / 2018

There are a million things in my life that I’m not sure about, that seem up in the air. Always have been. But parenthood is one solid thing amidst all the bizarro wreckage of 42 years.

It’s also my most consistent provider of work right now in life. Everything else waxes and wanes, but the parenthood labor remains more or less constant. Looking around the house, it’s not entirely clear who lives here or what they do, but it’s very clear that there are kids involved.

I wasn’t sure it was the right time to have kids when we decided to have kids. My ex-wife (wife at the time) found this infuriating and weak. But I knew from experience—from having grown up as the oldest of multiple kids—that kids take life over. When I finally agreed, I knew that I was sacrificing a career and a particular financial future.

No regrets whatsoever. The kids are everything. This is also true in a very literal sense in terms of the material circumstances of life. Tonight:

  • Cleaned boogers off the wall

  • Returned dozens of toys from all over the kitchen to bedroom

  • Went through a stack of random, wildly folded up “papers” left around the house

  • Found re-hidden plastic easter eggs and put away into Easter decor storage

  • Triaged kid art and decided which pieces to save and which pieces to gently “retire”

  • Re-stacked skateboards again, hope it lasts for a few days this time

  • Put a random stack of bead bracelets and necklaces into a random jar

  • Threw out a week and a half’s worth of “saved” food in the fridge

  • Retrieved laundry from under couch cushions

  • Sorted game pieces from general soup back into their proper game boxes

  • Vacuumed up scattered pine needles and leaf fragments from unfinished “project”

  • Found all electronic devices but one and plugged them in to charge

  • Installed roll dice skill on Echo due to missing game dice in the sort-out

  • Put away some winter items, though not all because it’s been still cold and rainy

  • Gathered up recent daughter mementos and put them into a “scrapbook pile”

  • Made mental note to get ahold of a scrapbook

  • Gathered collected rocks from around house and put them in rock collection box

  • Neatly stacked all fidget spinners

  • Neatly stacked all guiness record and comic books

  • Put all crayons, markers, pens, and pencils into “writing things” flower pot

It all took hours. I don’t really use any of these things, but they are the considerable clutter of my life. Sometimes a reflect bemusedly on the fact that I have a Ph.D. in sociology, but I’m working from home as a copywriter, comms manager, and general geek while stacking up fidget spinners in my spare time.

But I don’t do that very often.

I do wonder, however, about the people who seem frustrated at parenthood, or bothered by the fact that they had kids or are a parent. I think these people are sad, and sadly divorced from their humanity. Yes, I’m judging. Part of my job as a parent is to make judgments, at least for a few more years.

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