Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Are You Trippin'?

I went to work for Intel, in Portland, seven and a half years ago. Every seven years, an Intel employee earns a six-week paid sabbatical. As an avid motorcyclist, I made big plans for my time off over six long years ago. Those weeks would be filled with a cross country journey visiting as many states as possible. Just me and my motorcycle against the world!

I never wanted kids. I decided in my early twenties that I wasn't cut out to be a dad. My wife, at the time, was in agreement. I told her how I was planning on riding across the U.S. on my FZ1, taking only the essentials and camping out along the way. After our divorce, which was amicable, I was inspired after reading "Jupiter's Travels". Filled with a thirst for adventure I hatched a new plan to ride down to the tip of Mexico, taking only my American Express card, a small tent, some beef jerky, and a few clothes. That six-week sabbatical was always the carrot dangling just in front of me.

I met my wife, Jenn, a few years ago. She had me hooked when, on the sly, she programmed her number into my cell phone, along with her birthdate. Within a little over a year, we traveled all over Europe, got married, had Elaina, and bought a house. Our second child, Ethan, entered the world only seven days ago.
My sabbatical begins next month on January 23rd. Instead of an epic two-wheeled ride of freedom and adventure carrying only the bare necessities onboard, I will be on four wheels with a payload of two car seats filled by my young, poopy-diapered co-pilots, Elaina and Ethan. Our cargo will be comprised of ziplocs full of smart puffs, sippy cups, and of course the life-saving, essential-filled diaper bag. The sights and smells of the open highway will be replaced by crying children, blaring kid's music, and as a last resort, my repeated desperate attempts to amuse my daughter such as shouting "Hey look! There's a bus!" or "Here comes a truck!"

Dreams change. Man, there's nothing like the feeling you get when you walk in the house and your little girl smiles and runs up for a hug. Seeing my reflection in my infant son's eyes is equally amazing. I'll take that ride someday, but it may pale in comparison to the epic adventure that is fatherhood.

1 comment:

Hahn at Home said...

Mike, What an excellent testimony to manhood. Your mama must be very proud, as she should be.