Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fall, season of new life?

Fall is really here. It'll be gone before I know it and then the dead of winter will set in. This year is different though. Much different. While most of the vegetation is dying for the year, a new life is right around the corner. Or, right inside my wife's belly. It's dawning on me, more and more each day; I'm going to be a daddy.

Oh my holy shiz! I'm going to be a daddy! I'm going to have a kid. I'm going to be raising someone; another life. What do I think about it? How am I feeling? Honestly? I'm terrified. I'm absolutely afraid to bring a kid into this confusing world. I'm fearful of not being adequate for this job. What if I'm not mature enough? What if I'm too inexperienced? What if I'm too confused myself, to ever be able to put someone else on "the right path?" Somebody help me!

And just when I want to shrink from this whole situation, and forgo the coming experience, I look at Brynn and I start to gain some confidence. I see the way she is fully aware of what's coming. While I've been sort of an outside spectator, she's been very much a part of this unborn kid's life. She actually feels him growing inside of her. She feels him moving around. She senses parts of his personality. She seems to have a relationship with him already. She knows his moods. At this point, she already knows what to do to make him more calm, more comfortable. She is a mom. She's a nurturer. This child is 100% dependent upon her and her actions. She sees to it that he's being nourished. She makes certain that he's not exposed to any harmful medications or foods or air. This must be why I grew up feeling much closer to my mom than my dad.

Majoring in bio-chemistry in college, I've studied the inner-workings of the human body and the immense complexities of life and its origins. I'm am overwhelmingly amazed that this child, our son, began his journey as a single cell. I'm fascinated that this cell knew the exact moment in which it should begin dividing into two cells, and then into four, and so on. Not only that, but those cells knew what type of tissues to become and then into which organs they should divide and form. The cells had a blue-print, formed by chance, and now know what color of eyes, skin, and hair to make. Will this baby have straight hair or curly? Will he grow to be tall, or will he be my size? (I'm only 5'8" or so.) Will he be able to roll his tongue? Will his earlobes be attached or detached? Will he be naturally athletic, or will sports and things come more difficult for him? Will he be smart--the top of his class? Or will he have some learning difficulties? God knows.

I am terrified, and I would continue to be terrified if I didn't have my wife and if I didn't believe that God/Jesus/Mother nature was in charge here. My wife is going to be such an amazing mom. She's a nurse so fixing things, putting band-aids on "owies," and making everything all better just comes naturally for her. There will be a learning curve for me. But I will figure it out. The excitement of having this little bundle of joy---with Brynn---is slowly overcoming my fear. I've heard my friends talking about how there's just something, for which there are no words, about that tiny new life depending on you for EVERYTHING. And they dig it like crazy. I think I will as well.

After reading this, if you are a parent, or not, and you feel like I could use your advice, please feel free to give it. I'll happily accept.


Kari said...

For me I always knew I wanted to be a mom of lots of kids. Then I got pregnant and was scared to death. Some of the same things you are feeling, like if I don't know how I feel about things in the world how am I supposed to direct someone else? There was that fear that my parents seriously screwed up on some things, and am I going to do that to my child? My husband and I spent a lot of time going over all the characteristics and which ones we hoped our son would get from me, and which from my husband. It's still really fun to see traits that are so obviously from one parent or the other. My son right now is obsessed with twirling his hair, which is something I still do.

I'll be brutally honest with you that when my son was first born it was not the picture perfect, immediate bond, undying love that you hear about. They started me early because of some sudden health problems, and I just wasn't mentally ready. He had problems eating and all I remember about those first two weeks is so much stress that I didn't think I was going to make it. It's hard to admit that, but I will say it got a lot better.

I definitely can say now that I have that incredibly special bond with my son, but it wasn't an instant thing. Not to say that the moment they laid him on my stomach wasn't the best moment of my life, but it was just the few days after that were really hard.

So I guess my advice is try not to have too many expectations :) It's really hard to figure out how to exist on 2 hrs of sleep and that alone makes everything else in life hard. I don't say that to scare you, but I feel like for some reason our society is not honest enough about what it's like to be a new parent. And I feel like that leads to a lot of new parents feeling like they are completely alone and something is wrong with them, when later most of the parents I have talked to went through something similar.

Everyone is different and going to have their own unique experience, but I think what is most important is that you care. You care what you are going to be like as a parent. I think that is the first step, to realize you aren't going to know everything, and as long as you can admit that, you'll do great!

Wade The Rascal said...

Thanks Kari. I love your honesty. I'd much rather have that than "fluff." I'll think about this when the baby decides to stay up all night crying. I'll remember that you went through it--it wasn't ALWAYS awesome--and it sounds like it's been more than worth it.

Kari said...

Oh, and most important, if your wife starts crying for no reason, it really isn't you and there probably is nothing you can do to fix it, just give her a hug :)

Brynn said...

I am so lucky to have you. As I've said before, Jericho is going to be a lucky boy to have you as his dad.