This week’s Feature Friday guest post is from regular contributor Joe Glasgow. Joe is retired from the Navy and is currently a police officer for the Conshohocken Police Department.

As submitted by author Joe Glasgow on July 19, 2019:

Remember those “good old days” with nothing to care about? I’m not implying being callous in life, but rather living a life as a young adult lacking days of critical importance. Those days when your most pressing decision would be deciding which friend to spend more time with. Who would be more of a great time? Would you go to the bars with friend A, the movies with friend B, or the shore for the day with friend C? It was the days of not living a life making those big decisions that could possibly affect others. The “good old days” of not being attached to anyone and having your decisions be carefree. Weren’t those days fantastic?

Remember finishing college, your first “real” job, a new apartment, driving that hot new car. The bars, the shore, the friends. Those were the days!! That was living!! Right?? Now, fast forward life 15 years. Late 30’s, trying to climbing ladder at work, marriage, mortgage, bills, stress, worrying, still driving that “new” car.   In other words, LIFE is happening. Then, the ultimate happens: Kids. Oh no, now what? Life was challenging enough, now “this.”  And after the excitement of holding your own child, shortly afterwards, the reality hits: the crying, the screaming, the clinging, the demands, the
constant attention, the “all nighters” and I-still-have-to-work-in-the-morning craziness. Diapers, ugh!! Where did this all come from?  What the hell happened to the “good old days?” And why am I still driving that old “new” car?

Then one day, holding you daughter, you look down and she’s already looking at you. Then you notice she has your eyes. She’s staring at you with ‘your eyes.’ And then, it happens. Without expecting it, she does it. Without warning, completely off-guard, your heart skips a beat — she smiles. Right at you. A big toothless smile. And then,
something else happens. You realize, for the first time, your HER dad. She’s depending on you, expecting of you, and, of course,  demanding of you.  But, who cares, she just gave me that big toothless smile – with a giggle.

Then the journey of fatherhood begins. You’re not the president of anything, You’re not the CEO. You’re not the big banana you thought you’d be in life by now. You’re a dad. You’re the big banana to the little banana you’re holding. Being a parent is one of THE most important jobs in the world. You’re responsible for guiding this young life to becoming a responsible, caring, educated person. Not realizing it, this journey will require you to give sound advice, promulgating wisdom, and critical advice — wanted or otherwise. You will lead the way, lead by example, and all eyes and ears will be on you.

As the weeks lead to months, then into years, this journey is becoming the fantastic ride of a lifetime. The sleepless nights, the big stinky diapers, and the tremendous baggage a 15-lb child needs just spending the night at grandma’s house. All of this will yield to first
steps, crawling, running, and comforting the associated bumps and bruises, Then the tea parties with Barbie dolls, the coloring books, and all things princess. Then, one day, it happens, AGAIN. You come home from a frustrating day when the world gladly lands multiple gut-punches. Without warning, totally unexpected, completely off-guard, she does it, AGAIN. Opening the front door, a “DADDY” is heard and she runs toward you, huge smile, and throws herself into your arms. “HI DAAAAADY!!!!”

Hey, remember those “good old days.” Nah, me neither.

Read another post from guest contributor Joe: Feature Friday: A Navy Officer Finds Luck and Blessings in Cesinali