Sunday, June 20, 2010
I am a Dad.
How the hell did that happen?
It's my fifth year as an actual living, breathing, card-carrying member of the Father Club. It boggles my mind even now. Becoming a father is expected of most men, I suppose. The whole 'passing along the legacy' thing. I get it. Honestly. It's about leaving a part of yourself behind when you depart this world. You help create an entirely new person. A blank slate. It's an opportunity to pass along whatever meager knowledge and wisdom you've gleaned in your life to the next generation. I understand that.
However, (and if you ever read this Katie, don't take it the wrong way) it's not a job I ever really thought I'd have...or wanted. For most of my adult life, I could barely take care of myself, much less even consider taking care of a child. I'd see those horror stories about people who left their kids in the back seat of a car in the middle of summer to roast and think, 'Yup, that'd be me!"
Making sure that another little human being is fed, clothed, safe, healthy, housed, educated and most importantly, loved seemed like way too much responsibility for me. No thanks! As much as I loathe sports metaphors, life does have a way of throwing you curveballs when you least expect it.
Even after I married my wonderful wife, I didn't really see fatherhood in my future. We didn't talk about it much in the beginning. There seemed to be several obstacles in the way, mostly health-related. I honestly didn't mind the thought of not having a child if that was to be the case. After a couple of years though, my wife's biological clock was ticking like Poe's Telltale Heart.
Enter the Wonderful World of Fertility Science! Did you know that they can make a human baby with only some Scotch® Tape and pine wood shavings? Okay, so it's a bit more complex than that. All right, a LOT more complex. I will spare you the science-y details. Suffice it to say, after a few months of trying, the little + on the pee stick showed up and all of a sudden...
It. Became. Real.
My wife will recall that I promptly went outside, sat on the deck, and had an Orange-Level panic attack. Visions of sleepless nights, poopie diapers, non-stop crying danced like rotted sugarplums through my fevered brain. Fun's over! Th-th-th-th-that's all folks! There were so many things to worry about. Will it be healthy? Will it be ugly? Will it be FUNNY? Will it want to borrow the car keys? AAAAAAHHHHH!
Eventually, I calmed down. I think it may have been last week, actually. Anyway, after all the doctor's visits, the trips to Babies R Us, the vicious fights over names (arriving at 'Katherine' was easy. I wanted Katherine May, my wife wanted Katherine Aileen. Guess who won?), our beautiful baby was born. THEN came the sleepless nights, the poopie diapers and non-stop crying. I'm still waiting for her to ask for the keys.
Bottom line here is, for most of my life I could not imagine being a father to a child. Now, I can't imagine a life without her.
I am a Dad.
Happy Father's Day!