I clearly remember the moment my wife announced that we were pregnant. We were laying in a bed that had been passed down through her family. I was drained from working a double shift that day, and I was ready to shut the world out of my head for the day with a nice, cold, cheap beer.
The last thing I wanted to hear was that she was pregnant.
The last thing I wanted to hear was that she was pregnant. How the hell can we afford this baby? We can barely afford to pay rent, I thought. We’re living in a refurbished barn that gets ice-cold during the winter months – I was reminded as I looked from our bedroom across the room and out the living room window. We’re barely moving forward financially no matter how many hours we work, I said to myself. I was pissed. I felt like we were in a rut and with dreams out in front of us that seemed unreachable, this news was like the incredible hulk grabbed my nutsack and lightly squished it with 1 percent of his strength.
Needless to say, my anger wasn’t the way she expected me to react to the news that she was going to carry my baby for nine months and permanently alter her body in the process. She became pissed.
As I sit here holding my one-year-old son Blake,( and admittedly, most days) I now proudly boast that “I” created him on the “first shot.” I may have danced around our tiny apartment singing that for like, nine months straight. I feel like a total jerk. I also am grateful beyond words that he is healthy, happy and that God blessed us with our chunky bundle of joy.
“Being a father” means so much more to me now than it did last year.
More because I truly understand what it means: It means that even if you’ve just worked 16 hours and you only get four hours of sleep at night only to pull that shift again, you do it. It means that even if your leg just got bitten off by a pack of squirrels and your wife (or husband) asks you to get some milk; you make the best damn tourniquet you can with the materials you have, and you get that damn milk. It means to me that when you have a problem that threatens the peace of your home, whether financial or emotional, you find a way to make it better.
It means that I finally get to live my dream of being a superhero by pushing mind and body their limits and beyond, finding new ways to increase the quality of life for my family. It means that I have a reason to burn the midnight oil, because when I look at my son, no matter how red my eyes may be, no matter how heavy my limbs may feel, I’m refreshed. The same way Superman gets fully recharged when he flies closer to earth’s yellow sun. It means that I have two powerful reasons to face my fear and destroy them.
It means that you find every conceivable way to make yourself harder, better, stronger, faster for the sake of your family. It means that you stand taller, just because you’re a father. It means that you have no qualms about “pulling the trigger” because you know what is at stake. It means that you realize that you have been BLESSED with PRIVELAGE to mold the next leader of the world and potentially alter the course of society and humanity for the better. It means that if you have a significant other, you tell them that you appreciate for seemingly no reason.
It means that you dread the day that you have to have those “talks” with your soon-to-be teenager.
And oddly enough, it means that you talk to your wife about having “another one.”
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