Becoming a Dad


Whoever thought that someone peeing on a stick could change your life?  I hadn’t really thought about how much that test could impact me before it did.  Now, it seems totally obvious.

Those moments were the kind you can slow down and relive in your memory because you remember every detail.  After Deb, my spouse, did her thing she joined me in the living room to wait.

It’s comical looking back, but we waited separately from the test, as if it needed some privacy to work its magic, sitting on the bathroom counter-top.   While the test worked, alone in the bathroom, we waited side by side, hoping for our lives to change.  After a minute or two, or three, or however long you are supposed to wait for those things, we went into the bathroom together.  I reached for the test, held it in my hand and connected with Deb with eyes that said no matter what we are in this together.

I turned it over, and we both delicately cried with joy.

Hemingway-Baby-Shoes

There’s a legend of Ernest Hemingway that says he was challenged by some friends to write a story in less than 10 words.  He accepted their challenge and wrote a heart wrenching tale.  Your mind just takes it away, as a part of your heart breaks for some fictional family that existed once in someone’s imagination.  How much we can say with so few words.  I could very nearly write this entire page as:

One pregnancy test result: positive.

Eat your heart out Ernest Hemingway. ;)

The moment Deb and I went to look at that pregnancy test, my life changed.  It was like some of the wiring in my brain was rewritten overnight, almost instantaneously even.  It probably was …

As you can likely tell, I wanted to write about it, about pregnancy and raising a child from the dad’s perspective.  I have the added benefit of recording my life as a father.

Early on, after I first discovered we were pregnant I knew that this would be the most important thing I do with my life.  I knew I was going to be one of those parents who would say that it was the best thing I did with my life.  And I wanted to give it the space it deserved.

There’s something special about the moment you discover you are going to be a dad.  A part of you knows nothing will ever be the same again.  The man in you knows that that’s perfect.

P.S.  I was going to include more literary playfulness above, but I didn’t want to overwhelm everyone with my geekiness.  I used to be a high school English teacher, so it’s always alive and well :P.  I’m really just playing around, so any hardcore William Carlos Williams fanatics out there, just take it easy!

William Carlos Williams may have put it like this:

so much depends
upon

a bathroom
countertop

wet with tap
water

beside the damp
towels

- Ben Sarma

Ben-Sarma-with-Arthur