Well, here go again. Older, wiser, armed with a vast arsenal of parenting knowledge.
Okay, maybe just older.
Back in January, when my wife first mentioned she might be pregnant, I was working on edits and I’ll admit, my mind wasn’t completely in the conversation. Hey, it wasn’t my fault. Things were finally taking off. 2020 was looking to be the year. I’d signed a book contract. I was finally getting published. Something I've been dreaming about for nearly a decade.
So… baby? My mind was miles away. A book baby. Yeah, I've been writing and rewriting then editing... after all that rejection, then rewriting and editing all over again, well,it is almost like carrying a baby. Pretty much the same thing...
A few weeks later she said it again. Only, by then she'd scheduled an appointment and was chucking out cash for the early learning center to hold a spot for the fall. Now she had my attention. "Wait, do you mean to tell me...? You're pregnant? Like a… with a human?" I made a rocking motion with my arms. “You mean like a baby baby?”
Really, it's amazing my wife is still with me.
Anyway, so the day before my novel came out, you know, the big dream and all, we took a trip to the women’s center, where I sat back, sort of looking at my wife like, this is cute.
"Remember doing this?" I said, thinking back to my wide-eyed self. So terrified about the prospect of fathering human life. What I didn’t say was, Remember doing this when you were really pregnant? Because I’m not going to lie, she’d refused to by a store-bought pregnancy test so I really didn’t believe this was actually happening. But dumb as I am, and I’m dumb, like, brew-decaffeinated-coffee-in-the-morning-by-mistake kind of dumb, I’m still smart enough to know when to keep my mouth shut.
So anyway, there we were, heading down the halls we walked nearly eight years ago, back when I started this blog. I took my seat, set my hands behind my head and got comfortable, hoping the nice lady would let her down easy.
Lights out. Show time. The lady wiped the gunk on my wife’s tummy and I turned to the screen and what’s that? That little peanut is moving.
So fast forward. The book came out, there’s a major pandemic going on. I got a little spot on my face and turns out, I had to go to the doctor’s to have it removed (2020 is still my year, dammit, but it’s kind of kicking my tail). And it just so happened this was on the same day my wife went to find out if this little surprise baby is a boy or a girl. So my son went with her, which was kind of cool.
And t’s a girl. A girl. And considering my son filled up the bathtub with sticks the other day, I’m really okay with that.
Sure, I’m hitting my mid-forties, and I’m okay with that too.If anything, being a parent has taught me patience above all else. And what else to I have to do besides raise kids who make me feel like a kid again? To laugh at silly jokes, tell silly stories and watch silly movies? Of course, parenthood comes with battles and issues and all sorts of problems I could never dream up all by myself, but you know what, 2020 is proof that nothing is guaranteed, the world has a way of throwing you for a loop, so when things happen, like Covid-19, skin cancer, global instability, and mass confusion, you take the surprise news of a surprise little girl coming into your life for exactly what it is: a gift.