Saturday, February 19, 2005

What do you want to be when you grow up?

When I was a kid, I had a lot of ideas about what I was going to do with my life. You know, what I was going to be when I grew up. I had the usual little boy fantasies about being a firefighter, a police officer or an astronaut. But, of course, as I grew older my interests changed.

When I was in 4th or 5th grade, I considered being a writer or journalist. I started "publishing" a small (very small) "newspaper" for my family. My little rag was called the Daily Yak, which is why this blog bears that name. My family lived on a Franciscan monastery for a short time when I was about 11 (some of the original Daily Yaks were written there), and for a while after I thought I might become a priest.

By the 8th and 9th grades, the sciences had caught my attention and I thought I had finally found my calling. I was going to be a physicist! I won 1st Prize in my school's science fair, with a project on nuclear energy and thought I was on my way. My sophomore year I discovered the military. Well, I knew about the military before then (my dad is a US Navy veteran), but we had just moved and my new high school had an Army JROTC unit. I thought the Army would be my career from that point on. It wasn't.

Since then I've been a kitchen helper in a German restaurant (great beer!), a retail clerk, a commissioned salesman, worked on America's Most Wanted (really, I was on TV almost every week for a couple years), managed a new age gift shop, sold incense and tie-die shirts to tourists on the beach (great place to work!), sold algae (I was into health food), managed a mailroom, was a data analyst, a production supervisor, and a data processing manager.

I never, never thought I would become a stay-at-home dad. Being the primary caregiver to some kids wasn't even on my radar screen. First off, you have to deal with kids all day long! The hours are long, you don't get a salary, and you can't call in sick. But you know what, it turns out that it has the best fringe benefits you'll ever see! The relationship I have with my kids, and my wife, as a stay-at-home dad is better than I ever thought possible. Sure it has its ups and downs but it is, without a doubt, the best job I have ever had.

And, as of today, I have been a stay-at-home dad for 4 years! That's 4 down, 15 more to go.

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