The Good Boy Says…

A blog about life, sports, music, politics, and the world in general

Thoughts on Becoming a Dad – Week 35 Edition

At the week 22 mark, I posted a note on Facebook with some of my thoughts at the time on the issue of becoming a dad.  I pledged in that note that I would try to write a blog post at regular intervals about the experience as something of a historical record.  Not surprisingly, I’ve been lax in my blogging.  With some additional thoughts pouding at the inside surface of my bean, it’s time to write another.  I have no idea if the following will make any sense to anyone else.  But the thought purge is useful.

The BIG DAY is getting closer.  At Erin’s last OB appointment, the doctor informed us that if “labor started now, we won’t stop it.”  Obviously, that means our baby is fully formed and ready to live in the big, bad outside world.  The rest of his/her time in the womb is fine-tuning systems and gaining weight.

On the outside, I am calm in the face of this extraordinary change that Erin and I are about to experience.  On the inside, it’s a different story.  My head is filled with thoughts on the changes ahead.  For the first time in my life, I have the occasional heart palpitation – little flutters and skipped beats, usually in bed at night – that belie my external calm.  I know it’s nothing serious, but I guess I’m more stressed than even I think I am.

Those who know me personally know how much – and for how long – I look forward to becoming a father.   I’ve long dreamed of watching Phillies/Eagles games with my little boy/little girl in my arms or on my knee.  I’ve recently daydreamed of playing whiffle ball in the yard or pushing a swing in Elysian Park.  The mere thought of watching my son or daughter reel in his or her first sunfish is bringing tears to my eyes as I type this.  Not to be crass, but this is a big fucking deal.

Some things have surprised me with this process.  I never realized before we were expecting how much one has to contemplate his own death when a new child is coming into the world.  Life insurance and the writing of wills become extremely important.  Even though I’m happily married, I’ve never had another human being completely dependent upon me.  Come September – or sooner – I will.  The issue of religion is a challenging one, also.  I grew up going to church – attending Sunday School and Vacation Bible School at the Mennonite Chapel early in life – and later attending services at the Methodist church.  It was a part of my upbringing and certainly contributed to my moral development.  As an adult, however, I am ambivalent about religion.  I was a professional church-goer for much of my adult life.  Church was a job.  I was paid to sing and read a magazine during the sermon.  What’s more, so much of the stuff that I disagree with politically – the bigotry of the religious right against gays, particularly – is propagated by churches.   I guess at this point in my life, I would classify myself as an agnostic.  I do sincerely hope there this a God and a Heaven, but I admittedly have doubts.  How can I teach my child something I don’t necessarily believe in?  Then again, how can my child form their own opinions about religion – as both Erin and I did – without going in the first place?  Clearly, I’m still grappling with this.

I’m sure we’ll find our way.

In the mean time, I have some social events to plan before the new baby arrives.  There will be a Phillies game against the Mets.  There will be post-rehearsal drinks with Rod and the boys.  As a very wise Alan stated previously, there will be beer.  And soon I’ll be a dad.

That still blows my mind.

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August 10, 2010 - Posted by | Erin, Family, Friends, Life in general

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