Fear, Black Holes, and a Forgotten Anniversary Card

Archive, Pregnancy

The third trimester. The 4th quarter. The home stretch. The pregnancy struggle is real.

Sike.

It’s been great, really. A very remarkable and unique time in our life. Granted, I’m not the one with swollen ankles and a bowling ball belly. But I’ve never felt closer to B and, as the doctor said, our pregnancy has been “boringly normal.” I honestly have no complaints.

But I believe as 2014 fades fondly into the distance and we inch closer to the big day, some reflection is in order. It’s been a big year. Aside from the whole expecting-our-first-child thing, I’ve settled into a new career and a new home. Really, I’m settling into the next 15-20 years of my life.

That word, though. Settle. With all its undertones of resignation. What would the 18-year-old me think of me now? The one who dreamed of touring the world with his band. Who was so dedicated to success in music that he put college on hold, practiced and composed eight hours a day, and for years performed in clubs nearly every weekend?

Frankly, he’s long gone.

He got married. He got a college degree. A 9-to-5. He bought a house. And now he’s expecting his first child.

These were precisely the things that scared me ten years ago. Even now, like right now, it’s a little scary. Seeing it written out. It looks much more sterile than it feels. Because I love my wife. I love my job. I’m ecstatic about having a child. And while my college degree is admittedly the world’s most expensive coaster, my college experience was revealing and humbling and forever changed my worldview.

So, have I settled? I don’t know. I’ve changed, maybe. I’ve come to want different things. These days I enjoy the quietude of anonymity over bright lights and long nights.

The Quiet Life

The Quiet Life

That eighteen-year-old me is alive somewhere, though. Because I still fear becoming sterile. This blog was born from that fear; a public proclamation of “remaining relevant through fatherhood.” Which is to say I don’t want to get old. Not old like aged, but old like boring. Out of touch. Resigned.

Perhaps a certain amount of fear is normal. Healthy, even. Having a child is a big deal. While you may not be able to entirely overcome your fears, addressing them has to be worth something. It’s the only reason I haven’t completely scrapped this post for fear its too personal and inconclusive.

Because really, I don’t know what’ll happen. There’s so much mystery in expecting. It’s like waiting in line nine months to jump off a cliff.

Ok, maybe that’s a bad analogy.

But the due date sits on your calendar so definitively. So self-assured. Both the start of something new and the end of an era. Except you have no idea what that new thing looks like. It’s a black hole you’re slow-motion moving toward. You can see it so clearly, yet it’s formless and elusive and wholly unknowable.

massive-black-hole

So again, I don’t know. Maybe personal resignation is required of parenting. Maybe I’m naive in thinking I can avoid antiquity. Or maybe being mindful of your fears helps to make conscious efforts against them. And the eighteen-year-old me can finally rest easy.

###

You know how I said having a child is a big deal? Well, so is being pregnant. And I’d like to take this time of reflection to say how remarkable my wife has been. No crazy mood swings. Minimal complaining. She’s been cool and courageous and selfless. It’s been incredible to witness.

Her ease has become my ease. Emotions are contagious like that. I’ve been spared an incalculable amount of stress because of her poise. For that, I’m truly grateful.

Finally, I have a confession to make. We just shared our fifth wedding anniversary and, in classic guy form, I forgot to get her a card. Nice, I know.

So, B, please accept this public address as substitute. You are inspiring and completely amazing. You are appreciated and you are beautiful. You will be a wonderful mother. And you will always be loved.

Forever yours,

HypeDad

(Get a room, right?)

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Fear, Black Holes, and a Forgotten Anniversary Card

  1. What a remarkable year and full of so many changes! I too relate to the fear of ‘settling down’. I think the markers of ‘settling down’, such as getting married, buying a house, expecting a baby etc. don’t necessarily mean we have to settle down in our minds. Of course their are adjustments, but our minds and spirits can remain free and adventurous. Some might call it being ‘young at heart’. More responsible? Absolutely. But still always wanting to explore life and the world. It’s something we look forward to sharing with our child. Happy anniversary to you both! Chrissy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How beautifully you write and with such ease. Life is full of expectations and they do make us afraid. You will do just well. Your baby will teach you how to parent. Parenting does not come naturally, we grow into it because of the love we have for our children. The greater the love and commitment, the better the results. I wish you the best and I know you will be a great dad! As for the question about antiquity, it does not come with being a parent, it comes with losing your sense of youth…I have never felt old, that is why each new day I feel like a teenager and wake up expecting wonderful things to happen. May your child’s energy and enthusiasm renew your feelings of youthfulness!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wouldn’t say you write, I would say – “You emote like a child” and hence such a great product. Agreed what it is like to leave your old self behind and step into a totally different identity and experience. But is there a part of the music, college go-getter still needs to stay alive or revived? Is something being missed? and unfortunately, a lot of the pregnancy becomes about the ‘to be mother’ and the attention or rather care that the ‘to be dad’ needs or his emotions in the whole journey is often ignored.

    Enjoy your baby. There is a wise saying – The baby was better when it was in the tummy 😀

    Like

  4. I wouldn’t say you write, I would say – “You emote like a child” and hence such a great product of writing. Your descriptions are apt and absorbing. Agreed what it is like to leave your old self behind and step into a totally different identity and experience. But is there a part of the music, college go-getter that still needs to be alive or revived? Is something being missed? Unfortunately, a lot of the pregnancy becomes about the ‘to be mother’ and the attention or rather the emotions of the to-be-dad could be ignored in the whole journey

    Enjoy your baby. There is a wise saying – The baby was better when it was in the tummy 😀
    wouldn’t say you write, I would say – “You emote like a child” and hence such a great product. Agreed what it is like to leave your old self behind and step into a totally different identity and experience. But is there a part of the music, college go-getter still needs to stay alive or revived? Is something being missed? and unfortunately, a lot of the pregnancy becomes about the ‘to be mother’ and the attention or rather care that the ‘to be dad’ needs or his emotions in the whole journey is often ignored.

    Enjoy your baby. There is a wise saying – The baby was better when it was in the tummy 😀
    http://mystyrimz.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/experiment/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. While I don’t have a fear of “settling down”, I do have a fear of life becoming stagnant. Granted, with my first child here I don’t know if that’s the right term. But my blog was born out of some of the same fears. If my 18 year old self could see me now. Congrats to your wife for handling pregnancy like a champ. And I’m sure she’ll forgive you if you ask nicely. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If my fiance wrote a blog on how he was feeling…this is pretty spot on. The permanency of being a dad, has thrown him off. Even at 30, he’s like “It was all about music fests and skateboarding before…are we getting old?” This is not my first child, so I’ve come to terms with the fact that you can still enjoy some aspects of your “care-free” life….now it just includes: baby sitters, check ins, parent curfews, and mommy guilt. The perks of ducking out of events because you “have to check on the kid” make up for it…when you’re in bed enjoying a little Netflix and relaxation. Anyway, it’s nice to read that someone else is having a “moment” about fatherhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You sound to me like you’ll be a great dad! Being a parent is a great privilege, something we can never be fully prepared for. It’s a job for life and the hardest job going, but it is the most fulfilling and the most wonderful one. I am a granny now and I wish I knew then what I know now. We do our best and we make mistakes, but the most important thing is to let our children know that they are safe and we love them and no matter what we will always be there for them. I have two grown up sons, probably similar ages to you. One of my greatest joys has been watching one of them become a dad four years ago and then again nine months ago. All the very best to you and your wife and do keep blogging!

    Like

  8. Enjoyed the post and your perspective, possibly because it brings back good memories. My baby is now 15 years old. From my experience there really is nothing “settled” about having kids. As they bounce around you, creating chaos and remind you to play. Life becomes a lot more interesting when you pack them up and take them along with you. The perspective I got from my kids was sometimes wild and always honest.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sweet. Get ready for the craziest time of your life! You will be channeling 18 year old you for the energy to do the up all night thing. It’s the hardest, most exhausting, confusing job you will ever have. It is also the most wonderful, amazing, and worthwhile thing you will ever do. At times it will seem as if the days are never ending but then you blink and it’s their first birthday. Congratulations, enjoy this time!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s