Top 10 unexpected perks of being a dad.

Fatherhood is a journey upon a winding road with many ups and downs. Here, in no particular order, is my list of the top 10 most unexpected ups.

10. Kids are your biggest fans. It’s almost worth having a crap day at work just to experience redemption in the form of your children dog piling you the moment you get home. Karen from HR doesnt appreciate your charming sense of humor but fart jokes crush with your kids. The rest of the world may scoff at your genius but your kids think your spaghetti tacos deserve five stars and an extra cookie, so long as they get one too.

9. They scare really easily. There are few joys like crouching behind a wall only to spring out, screaming like a howler monkey as your kids are walking down the hallway. They scream, you laugh, they cry. Usually they laugh eventually too. This is the foundation upon which a healthy parent\child relationship is built.

8. They deepen your appreciation for the arts. I still remember the first time I played NOFX for my oldest son. “This is punk rock.” I said. “Don’t be fooled by posers.” Die Hard is our Christmas time cinema tradition and I think my kids really get John Mclain, like in an artistic appreciation kind of way. Someday, when they are ready, I will unveil the entire catalogue of 80’s horror movies. The arts are alive and well in our house.

7. They are built in beer retrievers. There are few more time honored rites of passage for a child than obtaining the rank of beer grabber. When you have multiple children it becomes a sort of game, like American Gladiator, to see who can grab the beer first. Cell phones have stop watches now and suddenly poker night has an extra level of awesomeness.

6. They rekindle your sense of adventure. A parent can only tolerate the droning whine of bored children for so long before the impetus to get off the couch and seek adventure is overwhelming. Then, as it turns out, there is a whole amazing world outside of the living room. Go forth into the uncomfortable and find your quest.

5. Holidays kick ass again. Holidays as an adult are cool for maybe three years before the novelty wears off and it’s just something expensive and time consuming. Having kids means you have a reason to actually get excited again. It’s not that trick or treating ever got boring, we all just reach an age where people think you’re weird for doing it. Well, all it takes is a couple kids and you’re back in the game baby.

4. They boost your immune system. I look at my childless friends like a lesser evolved form of human. Every little bug seems to infect and incapacitate them. Meanwhile, I’ve been doused with a decade of mucus that has left me in a permanent state of just sort of sick. When I’m actually sick I don’t look any worse than when I’m not. It’s basically the world’s lamest super power.

3. You get to learn all the stuff you were too lazy to learn before. Kids ask a stupid amount of questions and inevitably they will ask you something that you should know the answer to but don’t. Do you honestly know why the sky is blue? Can you tell me what the biggest spider in the world is? Well thank google for modern parenting made easy.

2. You get a pass on watching cartoons. I get that it’s 2019 and people should be free to live how they want but let’s be honest; a grown man watching cartoons by himself is a total loser. It’s too bad too because Gumball and Gravity Falls are straight up amazing. I’m glad I get to watch them with a valid excuse.

  1. The mundane becomes magical. Perhaps a better way to phrase this would be that you are reawakened to the magic that you mistook for the mundane. Kids actually see the world because they aren’t yet trained to ignore everything. There are bugs and puddles and clouds and countless other amazing things in this world that I just wouldn’t see if not for the inquisitive eyes of my children. They remind me to slow down and pay attention. They inspire me to be inspired.

Bonus. They remind you that people are awesome. It’s easy to think that people suck if you spend too much time around adults. The sad truth is, most adults suck. But they didn’t always suck. Once upon a time they were kids who saw the world with hungry eyes and vibrant imaginations. This is maybe my favorite, unexpected perk of being a dad. My faith in humanity has been restored. Kids aren’t the future, they are the now, and we should all get on board with this.