A few months back, my wife and I found out that we are going to have a baby. I was, and continue to be, ecstatic to have our first child on the way. I could say that “we” are pregnant, but that is simply not true. I’m not the one that is growing a human inside. I’m not the one that has to alter my diet. I’m not the one that has to stop drinking alcohol. I’m not the one that has to feel exhausted in the middle of the day when there is so much left to undertake. I do what I can to help, but that doesn’t make “we” pregnant. The fact is that SHE is pregnant and I love her more every day for carrying our child and doing everything to ensure the safe passage of that child into this world.
What “we” are, is parents. I’ve never thought of myself as being too proficient at much of anything. Just of one of those dudes that wears mediocrity like a warm linen tracksuit, but I have seen greatness.
I didn’t always appreciate it at the time, but looking back my parents have been about as good as parents could be. I have these awesome examples of what it means to be a great parent, so why do I fear that I won’t be any good at being a dad? It’s the unknown I suppose. I’ve never been a dad before.
As these months have gone on I find myself continuing to ask the same question: “What will I be?” I suppose in this instance really “what kind of dad will I be? “ I don’t even really know at 36 what I am supposed to be. Now we are going to have this beautiful little human that’s going to look to us for guidance?
That is some heavy shit, my friend.
Am I just being a selfish prick? Why am I asking myself a question that either seeks reassurance from others or doesn’t have any semblance of an answer? I think I finally have an answer after all these months. There isn’t an answer to “what will I be,” because it’s the wrong question. The question is what will we be? The moment I got married I knew that it was we now and forever. I constantly preach to my wife that “we” are a team. That “we” are in this together, but I do think I needed this last little push to understand it.
None of this means my wife, my child, or I lose our individuality. We’ll still be ourselves and we’ll still have those things that make each of us awesome and flawed at the same time. What I believe it does is make us stronger. Think of a rope. Think of each person as a strand of that rope. As you intertwine them the rope becomes stronger. I think that “rope” is family and friends. The strands of our rope that help make each of us stronger. For each of us that means different things. Some people may have lots of family and others lots of friends. Some may be blessed with a surplus of both. Some may have a few people in their life, that just means each of those people represent a bigger strand. That rope, those connections we form can either be the thing that ends us or the thing that helps us climb.
I’m sure you aren’t reading this to understand some dumbass analogy about what makes ropes stronger. I’m also sure that any one of the 13 of you that have read anything I have written are kind of pissed this isn’t funny. Sorry about that. I’ll get back to writing nonsense soon enough.
I understand now that the question has always been “What will we be?” Truth is…I don’t know. I know we will be a family and I think my wife and I will be pretty good parents. As for learning the rest, I can’t fucking wait to find out.