Saturday morning Sharaun had a hair appointment and I was on my own with the brood.
The job is many-fold, and yet ultimately defined by one prime directive: take care of the children. Sharaun should not come back to find them A) missing, B) broken, or C) disfigured in any way. As an adult, my brain tells me there are multiple paths to success when it comes to the directive. In fact, the engineer in me reckons that, statistically, it would be very hard for me to not accomplish my charge. So I take a nonchalant attitude towards the whole thing. I’m a two-time dad, father of a four and a half year old girl who I think is pretty OK, I got this.
Anyway, on this day I was successful yet again – maintaining my streak. And one of the ways I “personalized” my road to success on that particular Saturday was to choose “cute” yet undeniably manly outfit in which to dress baby Cohen. In the end I went with a solid blue one-piece thing on top and these teeny-tiny little frat-boy khaki pants on bottom. Oh man did that kid look sharp for a three-week old.
And as I was pulling on Mr. Cohen’s miniature Sigma Chi specials I couldn’t help but notice the level of “real pants” details, right down to the diminutive little pockets. I had a moment then, thinking for a minute while looking at those small pants how absurd those pointless little pockets were. “What’s a baby going to keep in his pockets?,” I wondered. A spare pacifier? Mylicon for those bender days on the boob? Change for the tollbooth? Kid’s got pockets and no way to use ’em, let alone know they can be useful. I felt like putting something in his little pockets, just to give them some purpose. Maybe a baby girl’s phone number or a stick of gum for his perpetual case of morning breath (you try staying fresh sleeping twenty hours a day).
In the end I left it as a lark. But I really do love those pants on him. One day he’s going to be my big boy and in his pockets he’ll have stuff like guitar picks and firecrackers and ball markers for the links. For now I’ll let them be empty, symbolic of all the concern he has in God’s wide world.