Hey, fellow old dad with a young kid here.

Actually, two young kids. I would have typed that in the first sentence, but I'm tired and this is the best I can do right now.

Sound familiar?

Man wearing sunglasses sitting next to a stroller
Rob Carroll photo

Anyway, I am writing this because I know that as an old dad with a young kid, you likely have few people in your friends circle who can relate with what you're going through right now. Their kids are navigating high school while you're trying to figure out how you're going to make it through another day of hearing the kids from Cocomelon sing "Wheels on the Bus."

I want you to know that I see you and totally get your old dad life.

I understand you probably regret getting on the floor to crawl after your infant.

I did it with my oldest daughter who is now three. You'd think I'd remember the pain when I started doing the same thing stomping knee-first across the floor with my 10-month-old.

It just makes her so happy. I seem to forget the hazards of old-man knees colliding with the hard floor.

I understand at least one person has called you "grandpa" when you've been out with your kid in public.

I've actually had it happen to me twice in the past three years while getting my oldest from daycare. It's a humbling experience when a daycare worker in her early 20s yells to your daughter "your grandpa's here" and your kid doesn't bother to correct her.

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And don't get me started on the young parents dressed in the nicest workout attire, prepared to hit the gym after morning daycare drop-off. I'm just lucky to cobble together a passable outfit from the previous days' clothes I find while half-awake and trying to get out the door.

I understand it's not easy to change habits developed during your no-kid days.

Remember those days? You went to concerts and sporting events without having to methodically plan who would watch your child and if they would just be a good person you could trust in your home.

Sure, all parents go through that. But you can't convince me it's not more difficult for those who spent most of their 20s and 30s without kids. Now, it is your turn to watch the others go out while you're back at home managing a toddler's big emotions and playing How Did That Snot Get On My Shirt? once again.

I understand you've probably thought about how old you'll be when your kids reach certain milestones. 

I just turned 46 a couple weeks ago. I hate when I catch myself thinking how old I'll be when my girls graduate high school or what a father/daughter dance would like look if they choose to get married. (These knees are already damaged from all that crawling during the infant years).

Let's make a pact right here, right now. We're not going to think about what the future holds and what we'll be like when our kids reach adulthood.

Instead, we'll enjoy the ride we're on at this very moment.

It may be lonely sometimes when you can't hang with your old friends, and you might get confused for a grandparent. But we're all becoming a new person who is everything to a little someone.

Let's just understand that.

Good luck on your adventure,



Let's grab a beer sometime. I'll have to be home by 10 p.m., but I should be good to go if you give me at least a three-month notice that you'll be in town.

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