I’m ready to be a father. I don’t mean that I feel physically prepared (I mostly do) or that I think I’ll know what I’m doing (I really don’t), but I’m emotionally ready. I would say excited, but that doesn’t really cover it. Let me see if I can explain.
I was texting my mom, who is helping us get our house ready. She’s done an amazing job of painting and cleaning and helping us choose colors and everything. She’s positively tireless. Anyway, she was saying that tonight they’re going to try to clear out the family room so we can start using it again. it had gotten a bit full of tools and materials we’re using for the main floor, so we’ve been unable to use it for anything for a couple of weeks now. Anyway, so she said they’d do their part to have it ready, and I told her that I got the electronics hooked up so that it would be ready for us to hang out and watch movies or whatever once we bring the baby home. Then I got this mental image of me, my wife and my son all snuggled up together on the couch, sleeping. It was so peaceful and full of love, I felt a lump forming in my throat.
That’s not normal for me. I developed a bit of a “Klingons don’t have tear ducts” mentality as I grew up, and have never been big on crying, regardless of how sad I was. And I have literally never felt like crying because I was so happy. That whole thing didn’t even make sense to me. Crying is for sad times, smiling is for happy times. If crying is for happy and sad, then smiling is superfluous and we’ve just completely ruined everything. Know what I mean? So anyway, imagining this scene and feeling the rush of emotion that I did was just incredibly powerful.
I may not know how to change a diaper, I may not know what I’ll do when he inevitably burns off his eyebrows, I may not know how I’ll do ‘the talk’ when the time comes, but I know for sure that I am ready to love my son. Even just the idea of him fills me with joy. So, that’s what I wanted to say. Every book on fatherhood I tried to read seemed to assume that men aren’t happy about becoming dads. Something about losing your beer-drinking buddies and not being able to watch your sportsgame teams win touchdowns or whatever. Poppycock. I’m absolutely ecstatic about being a father. I’ll figure out the diapers and the eyebrows, but I think I’ve already got a handle on how to love my son with my whole heart. And that’s pretty much what it’s all about, isn’t it?