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By Rick

Getting my first big professional break in television – surprise!

Hearing my future wife was willing to move in with me after only 2 months of dating – surprise!

Discovering the sex of our two little girls the very second they were born – surprise! surprise again!

But lately it seems there aren’t a whole lot of surprises. Life as a daddy can be hectic and stressful, exhilarating and magical. It is not, however, surprising. Sure, kids will say and do things that can catch you off guard. But most of the time, you know what’s coming: meals, naps, tantrums, book time, bath time, Elmo time, cocktail time (for daddy). There’s a comfortable rhythm to it.

Until last weekend.

I’m very lucky to have a small group of friends whom I’ve known forever. Four of us live in the New York City area. But our friend, Steve, lives with his wife and two kids out in Los Angeles. We New Yorkers hook up for semi-regular Guy’s Night dinners and whenever Steve hears about them, he kvetches about missing yet another one. Well, last week we showed up at our dinner, and there he was. LA Steve, in the flesh, at Daisy May’s BBQ on 11th Avenue. He flew across the freakin’ country to meet his best buddies for dinner. Crazy! Stunning, really.

With the encouragement of his wife, Steve cashed in some airline miles, got himself a ticket, kissed his family goodbye and jetted off to the east coast for a quick 72 hour visit that surprised us and touched us. Even writing about it, days later, I can’t believe he did it. Just like that, another comfortable, predictable weekend was transformed into a joyous reunion complete with two celebratory dinners and even a pot luck brunch at our place with bagels, smoked fish and 6 little girls running around. I only wish Steve’s wife, Mikki, and their children Stella and Ollie had flown in too.

Steve’s boldness reminded me that occasionally breaking that rhythm is important and healthy.

Now this doesn’t mean we have to jet off to far away places on a whim (although that’s never a bad idea). But it does mean that even though we have kids, routines and responsibilities, we can still do something astonishing. We can still, and we should, try to surprise ourselves.

Thank you, Steve – for your visit and your example.

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kelcey kintner