I'll say it right off the bat: being a father can be aggravating at times. My son Brendon, who is nearly 17 months old now and has started walking, has apparently been studying ways to push my buttons and send me from 0 to upset in under 6 seconds.
That mischievous smile he gives me right as he's about to tip my drink over on purpose.
The umpteenth time he tries to climb over the back of the couch and kill himself, giggling as we save him from himself.
His habit of getting into the DVD cabinet and throwing the cases all over the living room, or even opening a case so he can get a disc out and scratch it up.
The way he insists on cramming food into his mouth until he chokes, no matter how many times it's happened before.
Those little tantrums where he just throws the nearest available object in a huff.
The public crying/screaming fits where he is completely inconsolable and causes a scene, probably making people wonder if I'm hurting him or something.
But sometimes, he'll do something so simple and affectionate that it makes all the frustration worth it. This morning was like that.
My wife was in the shower and Brendon was still asleep, so for a few brief moments, I had a quiet house all to myself. I like to take advantage of these moments to do a little morning meditation and think about the upcoming day.
I was sitting on the living room floor cross-legged, focused on my breathing, when Brendon walked into the room, apparently having just woken up and climbed down from the bed without crying for Mommy or Daddy (which is unusual). He looked me in the eye, turned around, sat down in my lap, and leaned back against me.
He said nothing, made no noises, didn't bring any toys to play with, didn't bug me to give him a drink...he just sat there with me and we enjoyed the quiet together for a minute. Of course, he eventually got restless and shuffled away to go play with something noisy, but I cherished that single minute more deeply than any anger he's ever caused me.
Moments like that are why I became a father.