At 5-o-clock on a Friday, my wife returned home from a triumphant workday.
“Hey, it’s Happy Hour,” I said. “Wanna have a drink?”
My four-year-old was sitting on the floor playing Legos at the time. And he must have understood the term “Happy Hour,” because without looking up, he started singing a HARDY song from Hixtape Volume 2.
“All I wanna do is drink a beer with my buddies
Drink a beer with my buddies
In the country all night.”
And there I go failing at parenting again.
It’s my fault, of course. That song hit my favorites shortly after it dropped back in November, 2021. Featuring Josh Thompson and Travis Denning, it has a catchy, chant-able, rock sound.
And the simple message caught me at just the right time, seconds from parenting burnout. One verse in the song sums up our world pretty well.
“Yeah, I got a TV
Every time I turn it on
The world’s in the john,
Just bad news again
There’s storms with sand in it (is he talking about sandstorms? Seriously, is that a thing?)
Wars and pandemics
The Lord’s at the door,
But before it all ends…”
A few beers with my buddies sounded like the ultimate antidote to school pick-ups, and screaming kids, and sagging poopy diapers and the end of the world as we knew it. I couldn’t remember the last time I actually went to happy hour somewhere other than my Garage Beers Haven.
The song just spoke to me during that tiny slice of my life, so I played it a lot…
Maybe my kid gets it.
I stared at the back of his head as he picked and placed Lego after Lego, singing “Beer With My Buddies.” Maybe he had a rough week at preschool too? Learning new stuff for eight hours a day must be exhausting. I also know that girl he likes still doesn’t want to play Superheroes with him.
And every time he tries to have a little fun by climbing some furniture or gouging out his little brother’s eyeballs, his old man is always staring over his shoulder with the threat of time-outs and dessert moratoriums.
Maybe that Friday my kid was as close to burnout as I was.
With every parenting fail comes an opportunity for redemption; a chance to snatch a parenting win from the jaws of incompetence.
I sat down on the floor with my son and hugged him. In so many ways he’s just like me, including his longing for a little drinkin’ time with his boys. I looked him in the eye and said, “All I want to do is drink a beer with my buddies too, son. But I’d rather spend Happy Hour with you.”
Then he farted on me, so I think we’re good now.