Are You Ready?
There is an elephant in this room. As I type away about trivialities I have avoided writing about the big. The massive. The life altering. The life creating.
On or around June 1 if all goes well (knock on wood, all the world’s wood) I will be a father. A home pregnancy test confirmed it. A blood test reconfirmed. Sonograms made it concrete.
I held on to the news for a while. My Love Interest told a couple friends while I kept it a secret. Something to smile about that no one could take away.
The first person I told was a stranger on a plane. A woman seated next to me as we killed the time asked if I had any children. “Actually…” I began.
She told me she had a friend who when she was pregnant was also wary of counting her chickens before they hatched. It’s in the Jewish culture the woman educated me. Funny how ethnicity shapes us without our knowledge.
I have to give up one aspect that my heritage shaped in me. No further point in being a cheapskate. I’d gotten pretty good at stretching a dollar. But that saved money is now going toward diapers and field trips.
We’d been brainstorming and compromised on some solid names. My first choices were quickly crossed off. LeBron if we have a boy and Dracula if we have a girl (you can’t give a son a name that ends in an a). Would it be too confusing for the child if I occasionally lie and say her name is Dracula anyway? “Your daughter’s so cute. What’s her name?”
We’d slowly been spreading the news to our loved ones as everything has been progressing healthfully. Those over fifty’s first question is always “When are you getting married?”
Those under fifty ask, “Are you ready?”
My first reaction is arrogance. I point out all the knuckleheads who have been able to pull off being parents. But as we are warned about the sleepless nights, the sacrifice of free time, the bodily fluids that will seep all over us, I have to contemplate that question. Is one ever ready to be responsible for another’s life? Or does one acknowledge with gratitude that people raised and nurtured us and accept the blessing that it is our time to return the favor.