There are hugs and birthdays, ice cream covered smiles and big eyes. All of these make having children worthwhile. Each of them reminds us daily of how our kids fulfill us.
Then there's the simple fact of being the supreme commander, the boss, le grand fromage. Even if it is over a bunch of people less than half your size, it is still good to be king and helps keep things in perspective. That perspective being: I am the king. They call me Big Daddy.
I was able to relish this the other night when I decided, because I am a benevolent dictator, to get The Quartet a treat on the way home from work. A customer had told me that day that his grandson enjoyed The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep picture, which I'd seen a preview for and thought my kids might like. So I stopped and got it, but told them when I got home only that I might have a treat for them if they could behave for the evening.
They spent the evening mostly being good and a lot of time asking what the treat was and when they could have it. I spent most of the night saying things like, "Well, I'm not sure you're being so good tonight" and "Are you being good? Really? You think so, huh?" They squirmed and they pleaded and they showed a modicum of restraint when it came to whining and hitting each other. And it was good. I was firmly in charge.
I bestowed The Water Horse on them when it was a good time for them to settle in and watch a movie. They were delighted; I thought JP's head was going to explode when he realized he was holding a brand new DVD in his filthy paws.
The irony is that The King hasn't had control of his television since. I have yet to watch the film, though there have been 343 viewings of it on the family TV. The thank yous have run out, but the movie plays on.
The kids are happy, Daddy's a hero, and that's all that's really important.