Before you go popping off half cocked, bear with me.
Yesterday my wife asked me a brilliant question – “Are you happy about your kids coming?” I mean, of course the answer is yes, because fathers have to be or they are considered cold or distant or some such bullshit. The weird thing is, I am not nearly as happy as I have seen fathers act on television or on the silver screen. I would actually be more comfortable with a slightly different confession – I am not happy about the imminent delivery of my children.
As we walked out of our ultrasound and hopped into an elevator a woman punched the Lobby button and looked over at us. Instantly, as her eyes fell upon my wife’s belly, her face lit up – “You look like you are having twins!” Of course, my dearest smiled her beautiful face off and shrugged off the extra weight to meet her level of interest in the process. By and large every woman that has chanced upon us in our galavanting in the south bay has a gigantic grin carved into their faces, ear to ear – and that bothers me.
My wife has endured quite a lot of frustration over the last 8 or so months, from not being able to wear the shoes she wants, to not being able to sleep at night and its been pretty ridiculous from my point of view. I too have had to make sacrifices, primarily in the form of spending much more of my much needed and appreciated sleep staring at the unchanging shadows on my ceiling, waiting for my dearest to stop flip flopping and start the evening migration process. We have a schedule for each evening: Bed until ~ 1am; recliner until about 4 -> Couch until the sun comes up – repeat.
We are now in the final couple weeks of the pregnancy, so I expect to be swooped off of my feet into fatherhood rather soon, and I am under the impression that this is going to hit like a ton of bricks. I came into work a few months ago complaining about the nesting bullshit phase my wifey was going through and how much I hated the idea, and as with all things human – advice was handed down from on high:
- Get ready man, life’s about to change.
- You sir are going to be a giant softy. Soon as their eyes bat a couple times you are going to fold.
- There goes your freedom.
- You had better get yourself a shotgun. Boys are horrible.
- Drain your bank account now and run.
Within all of the advice, I am sure a measure of sarcasm or hyperbolism is included, but even so – how negative all of this is. How better to prepare a man for fatherhood than to reinforce stereotypical bullshit opinions about his goals being completely inaccessible and impossible to achieve strictly because he has children on the way. How disgusting it is that girls are expected to impede my progress more than boys?
How better to foster early regret for the birth of your children than to paint the picture that they are nothing but a burden?
A good friend of mine recently gained a son and has been struggling with the same things I am rolling around in my head. He misses the way his life used to be, and how it used to flow, but I would like to point out that all of us have had to make life changes. In some ways I miss the way my life was prior to being married, not that I dated or fucked around too heavily but there was something to that freedom that was very different to what I have now. Making the step into married life cost me those chits, but I gained so much more that it is hard to put all of it to words. My wife and I are not by any means completely compatible or sisters in thought, but for the most part what I lack she provides – and vice versa. I am sure that the next major step in my life is going to come at a similar cost to benefit ratio, if not magnitudes more.
Although I am convinced at this point that the experiment is ongoing, I doubt I will ever be regretful of this. I fought to push out the date further a number of times, a few nights were spent up extremely late complaining and bargaining to adjust the dates. Buying and renovating a house at the same time as bringing two new humans into the world is still ridiculous in my eyes, but those days are behind me. We both have come to terms, one way or another, with the way the rest of our lives must play out. If not in gross detail at least generally.
My parents sacrificed a lot of their hard earned money, time and endured hardships that I will (hopefully) never have to, but I doubt either of them regret having me, even with my great looks and hysterically dark sense of humor, not to mention my knack for exaggeration!
The process has not been fun (and will not likely be so in any immediate sense), and admittedly even less so for my dearest. All I can say at this point is that this is certainly not the end of the story. One day I will post a story about how one of my daughters, or future sons if we choose to do this again, has convinced me to change my mind about something significant. Until that day – I will be content and slightly worried about what the future holds for them.