“No you’re not…”
In a flash, my life changed. An entire new list of worries and responsibilities appeared as if out of thin air. The countdown has started. I finally will be forced to become an adult.
My wife is pregnant. Oh my god, my wife is pregnant.
While it was a surprise, it wasn’t completely a surprise. We had been “trying”. I knew quite well that this would happen sooner than later. But, I thought it would be later.
I just don’t know if I’m ready.
To be clear, it’s not that I didn’t know if I was ready to be a father. I am (well, as much as I can be).
As I stood in my kitchen holding my wife moments after she told me the big news, a flood of memories clouded my brain.
The realization hit me like a freight train.
I don’t want to say goodbye to this way of life.
That is what struck me the most. For the past 16 years (7 years married, 9 years dating), it has been me and my wife. Just the two of us.
We have covered over 25,000 miles (literally enough to drive around the world) road tripping all over the country (17 states) and Canada, my wife’s favorite.
We traveled to Europe and spent what may have been the best week of my life in London and Amsterdam.
We have drunk way too much, way too many times.
We have watched hundreds of movies together and our critiques are always the same… well, except for the Lincoln disagreement in 2012 and the 50 Shades of Grey debacle.
We have sat and read the same books while sitting next to each other.
I have spent half of my life with her and it has been better than anyone could wish for in a hundred lifetimes.
Now a third wheel is on the way.
I know that this sounds horrible but I pride myself in being honest with you, dear reader.
I will refer you to your Facebook page if the same old story about being an expectant parent or existing parent interests you. People professing their love of their child like it is some revelation. People posing their children in front of chalkboards displaying the latest milestone.
I realize by posting this, I am being a tad hypocritical here.
Honestly, wouldn’t it be just a little refreshing if someone posted a picture of their kid on the first day of kindergarten and said “so glad that this asshole is finally going back to school”?
I am kidding of course, but…
Maybe it is because I am the baby by nine years in my family and lived most of my formative years, basically, as an only child (okay, it’s probably that) but I don’t want to share my wife. I have gotten used to this amazing life we have built and shared.
I have spent the last few weeks chewing on these thoughts.
It’s not like I have been encouraging my wife to jump on a trampoline while double fisting sushi and vodka.
I am delighted and eager to become a father.
There has been an underlying sadness as well. The kind of sadness you get on the last day of vacation. All you want is to just enjoy the last day but can’t because you can hear reality knocking on the door. You remember all the responsibilities that you were able to forget for a short period of time.
Stop judging me.
I am allowed to process this anyway I want.
It’s my child, damn it.
The sadness is fading like stars at dawn, giving way to a much more powerful feeling breaching the horizon.
Slowly, the “intruder” has been turning into my family. Someone that I am eager to see.
It’s odd to feel so attached to someone that I have never seen. There is a tiny human that I have to remind myself is growing inside my wife. I can’t see this tiny human. I can’t hear, see or touch him.
I started to feel bad and selfish for the way I was feeling (not just because I have been taking advantage of my new designated driver).
Then this happened:
I was not prepared for the level of excitement that I felt seeing this tiny thing move around on the screen.
My life has prepared me for the chest crushing anxiety and worry that have come now that my wife will be an incubator until March.
The excitement, anxiety and love continue to grow and burn brighter.
There will always be a part of me that will be sad and miss what I shared with my wife over the last 16 years.
I am focusing on appreciating that we had the fun times at all. I picture her sitting on a ledge overlooking the Thames and my heart does it’s best to burst out of my chest.
I am very lucky.
My wife has been an amazing friend, drinking buddy, and wife. I have no doubt that she will be a natural mother.
The tiny human that is coming is made of both of us. He/she can’t be all that bad. I am guessing we will get along just fine.
Obviously, I will be a bit of a train wreck until then.