I admit it. I’m outnumbered by a wife and two girls. And they’re not really daddy’s girls. They’re momma’s girls.. at least for now. I’m smart enough to recognize it and I know there are a bunch of reasons why. First, my wife and my love is a great mom. There’s no denying it. She gives them incredible love and attention and guidance. And second, my wife is around the girls way more than I am since I work nights. Like many families, we’re left with the 48 hours that make up the weekends to catch up on our weeks, what’s happened, what’s coming up. And yes, because of all that, sometimes I feel like a guest in my very own home.
That was the discussion my wife and I were having today. After 23 years together, 15 of them married, even a loving couple is bound to argue every once in a while. Maybe we know each other TOO well. So today in the middle of one of those discussions, with me feeling a little neglected and dejected and trying to explain my position, I told her, “sometimes I feel like the fourth wheel”. I’m the add-on.
My daughter overheard the discussion. Without a second thought, without a pause, she blurts out, “but dad, it’s the fourth wheel that keeps everything balanced”. And it stopped me cold.
The fourth wheel keeps everything balanced. It was so simple but so perfect from a 4th grader who seems too young to have such wisdom. But it’s so true.
I am outnumbered. There’s no changing that. And maybe I do feel like a visitor in my own home sometimes because of the schedule I have. But it doesn’t mean I’m any less important. I’m keeping the family in balance. And I know that momma’s girls could very well be daddy’s girls one day… better yet.. just OURgirls. I know that I’ll be there to love them and nurture them, and to walk them down the aisle one day if they want me to. I know that they can go to mom for help and they can also go to dad. My shoulder is just as soft to nuzzle on. My arm is just as secure to embrace. My heart is just as warm. Maybe it’s a sign I need to make more of an effort now to be there despite all the roadblocks. I might feel like the fourth wheel sometimes… but I’m a hell of a lot more important than any spare… the fourth wheel keeps everything steady. It took a 10 year old to help me realize it. And I’ll continue to keep the balance for my girls and my wife.