By now all of you know that I’m the father of two children. (If you didn’t know this, please leave this website and delete your browser history.) They are lovely kids, as children go. The older one likes to jump while shouting in a low, hoarse register and the younger one regularly spills milk all over her face. In these ways, they are identical to me.
Life with two kids has definitely been an adjustment. Most moments around the house are spent comforting a crying child or having my crotch pulverized with a plastic baseball bat (by my wife, for doing this to us). There’s noticably less peace and quiet and considerably more time spent vacantly staring in the distance amidst the chaos. My wife Bridgette represents the eye of the Welle household hurricane, while the rest of us relentlessly whip around her – Alice crying, Oliver getting into mischief, and me offering unhelpful, unsolicited jokes. She is a beautiful, smart woman and an assured mother. She does a great job of putting up with my behaviors and redirecting me to clean the toilet again.
One of my favorite things about Alice joining our family has been watching Oliver enjoy being a big brother. Whether he’s poking his finger deep into her mouth or dropping to dead weight and laying on top of her, he is truly infatuated. Often as he is positioning my daughter’s feet behind her head, he turns to me and explains, “Helpful!” In those moments, I thank him for his servant’s heart and gently return her to a customary human position.
Things have changed quite a bit for me the past couple years. I eat alone at Wendy’s a lot less often these days, and I only rarely get to watch Minnesota’s fine sports teams on TV. The fact that those activities were about as good as it used to get for me demonstrates how far I’ve come. I’ll gladly trade those for my new family, even if it means that I get less sleep at night and must carefully apply various creams to my children’s anuses.