More often than not, whenever I go to print something at my house, the next sound I hear is beep-beep-beep.
It’s the sound of the print job being unable to go through because the paper drawer on the printer was left open.
No matter how many times I’ve told our kids that if you’re going to take paper out of the printer to use for coloring, you need to close the drawer when you’re done, they still fail to follow through on these easy instructions.
This fact used to frustrate the tar out of me.
Then one day, for reasons unknown, I suddenly saw the open printer drawer not as an impertinent annoyance, but as the inescapable evidence of a simple fact: I have kids.
I have kids, and kids inevitably come with some vexations. Yet they’re exactly what I want in my life, and a source of inexpressible joy. Because I have this privilege . . . I also have to accept its aggravations.
Oftentimes, we think we can get the upsides of life without any downsides; joy, without difficulties, fun without friction. And yet every privilege is inextricably connected to some responsibility, and comes with inconvenience.
Finding your wife’s dirty dishes on the counter for the hundredth time is a drag . . . but man, how wonderful that you have a wife. The commute to work kind of sucks . . . but how awesome that you have a job. Getting ready for a big trip is a hassle . . . but how exciting that you have somewhere interesting to go.
Next time you hear a series of literal or metaphorical beeps, a reminder of some aggravating inconvenience, just remember the privilege it’s tied to. “Oh, hey, I have kids. Cool.”