They say that your life changes the moment you have a child. Now, I don’t know what that feels like yet, but I don’t doubt it for a second! It won’t just be Deb and me anymore. Those days will be gone. And life will change in ways I can’t fully understand now.
With that said life has changed DRAMATICALLY already! Deb and I have known we are pregnant for less than a week! But damned if my life isn’t completely different! Yet I’ve never heard anyone talk about the dramatic changes that occur in your life and how you think about it when you first find out. As weird as it might sound, I already feel kind of like a dad now. My mind has started changing (and I assume my brain chemistry along with it). I have started changing … what I like to call “uping my game”. Overnight I have just become a better version of myself, e.g. more patient, more focused, more driven.
I’ve got 8 months to be ready to be a dad. Now is the time to “up my game.”
I might even go so far as to say I’ve already started being a dad. No, I’m not changing diapers yet, or carrying a precious little person around, or waking up in the middle of the night to feed, but I feel a different and new love already. However I put it, it’s fundamentally about treating my partner with a transcendent patience and care. Though a part of this is definitely just about her, about treating Deb with care because she needs my support, my decisions are also about helping our baby. In other words I have begun taking care of that being.
My Sprout app shows me that our baby is still just a little elegant seed within her womb. But I swear there is a part of me that swells up with love just thinking about that life becoming, that little precious being that we’ve created.
Now for the Part about Dog Poop
A simple, perhaps even mundane example of this change in love happened yesterday. It’s funny to even think about it now, but that’s perhaps what makes it the best example :D. As I took out the compost I noticed that some of my homemade compost, which has taken months of stewing in its own juices to “finish” was plopped down to cover up a pile of our dog’s poop. I admit I was more than a little annoyed that my precious garden compost had been abused in this way! My fellow gardeners out there will feel some of my pain. That’s MONTHS of stewing and preparation for next year’s garden! For those who don’t know, dog poop contains parasites that make it inappropriate for gardening (or so they say). So that compost isn’t going to be used in my vegetable garden any time soon.
This is actually past the point where I should stop the story, because it makes me look foolish. Sometimes it’s good to share stories that will make us humble later on (when we reflect on how we never should have shared them in the first place).
The point is that I worked myself up into a bit of a tizzy (whatever that means) in the backyard. As you may well imagine, I prepared my Oscar worthy performance before I burst through the doors to share my angst. But then I stopped, dead in my mind’s tracks, before reaching the door. I understood then that my Oscar worthy performance would never be. How could I go inside and share even a moment’s frustration about this? ‘We have a baby that’s going to be born’, I thought. I shook my head, knowing full well that ‘I can’t be this man.’
Now, you may be sitting there, thinking ‘this guy is kind of petty. I mean, who complains about wasted compost?’ You know what, sometimes, you’d be correct my friend. But overall I’m not petty. When you think about it, do we ever get mad for good reasons? Rarely. And even in those rare instances anger probably isn’t the best way of expressing how we feel.
Before you get upset about my silliness, know that I went inside and hugged my darling.
I just held her for a minute and let my love pour into her.
Though the dog poop is kind of a silly example I am becoming a better man. I am creating less conflict and participating less in it. My world is changing. I am changing. Technically I may not be a dad yet, but perhaps being a dad doesn’t just start at the moment our baby sees the world with her own eyes for the first time. Sure we don’t know the gender of our baby. We don’t have a final name picked out. We haven’t held him in our arms … But there is this new love, this new way of looking at the world, and it’s entirely different from 5 days ago.