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The Newest Room In My House Is Adorable….And #%$&ing Terrifying.

February 1, 2015

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Welcome to the newest room in my house. It’s freshly painted, newly furnished, and smells fantastic. But it’s so much more than a room: it’s a rorschach test. Go ahead, gaze at it for a while and tell me what you see.

What’s that? You see a nursery? Congratulations, you’re probably a mature, well-adjusted individual, busy sipping on your glass half full of dreams….and I’ve got no time for any of that nonsense.

Everyone else who sees a landing spot on D-Day, climb in the Higgins boat with me. There’s plenty of room.

$#%&’s about to get real, y’all. I’m going to be in charge of another human being….yeah, because that sounds like a good idea. I AM NOT PREPARED FOR THIS!!! Oh, sure, I sat through parenting classes. I sat through ALL the parenting classes. But all that noise goes out the window when the beach finally comes into view and it’s go time. And I know me. There’s going to be no organized plan of attack, no calm efficiency; just me running around wildly, yelling at things and shooting fatherhood all over the place. I don’t even know what that sentence means. I just know it’s true.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my son and he’s the answer to a prayer, but I know I’m in over my head. By a lot. For starters, I’m not a kid person by nature. (Oddly enough, some people take this as a cue to plop a baby in your lap and insist you agree with them about how adorable their little crumb snatcher is, like you need to be cured or something. That’s not annoying at all…) I don’t do baby talk and they don’t do adult talk; it’s just not a good match.

No worries, though, the world is filled with people who think children are unicorn levels of magic; I’m just not one of them. So, FYI, if you happen to get a sizable part of your significance from having people fawn over your sex trophy, go find one of those people. I’m not your best bet. For the most part, I keep it parked at the adult table….although, there has been the occasional glaring exception. Nothing personal, kids, you’re just not that interesting. I’ll pause here to give all the parents I’ve just offended a moment to calm down…

To add to that, my childhood was not a pleasant experience and I hold no nostalgia for that period of life. As a result, I’ve never looked forward to revisiting it through kids of my own. The prospect of parenthood has mostly been a source of anxiety for me and, for the most part, I’ve kept all thoughts of it pushed to the back of my mind.  Way back….like, back where I keep memories of the Yankees blowing a three game lead in the ALCS, tight rolls, and other assorted catastrophes.

So I’m pretty much walking into this thing parenting muscles unstretched. I don’t even own a pet. And while I’m not worried about liking my kid — I’ve seen the sonograms; he’s got badass written all over him — I know he’s going to grow and make friends with other peoples’ kids. And that thought gives me a headache.

I’m also not a great multitasker, and I hear kids require a lot of that sort of thing. At least, I think that’s what my friends with kids were telling me. I was too busy getting eight hours of uninterrupted sleep to pay much attention to their parenting complaints. But one thing I do know: the diapers are real…and they are coming. May God have mercy on my soul.

All that being said, I’m looking forward to meeting my son. I’m just scared to death. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m ready. And the answer to that stupid question is “No.” But I can see the coastline on the horizon, regardless, and I know it’s almost time to get out the boat and hit the shore, ready or not.  I have no idea what it’s going to look like; I just know it’s going to change me. And change, however healthy and natural, is really $%&@ing terrifying.

The version of Aaron writing this post is about to be gone, soon to be nothing more than a face in some old photographs or a faded memory in the minds of people who knew him when. And, in a way, that’s bittersweet, as so many endings are. But, on the plus side, the new version comes with a wing man. And that’s pretty cool. In fact, somebody cue up that Kenny Loggins song and gas up the ride. My boy and I have some cruising to do. 

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I’m just a Maverick waiting for my Goose.

 See y’all on the flip side…

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Danielle permalink
    February 1, 2015 11:52 am

    No one is EVER actually ready, according to my parent friends. Anyone who says they are is lying. Or mistaken at best. You have a good heart. You will be a good dad.

  2. Jon permalink
    February 1, 2015 11:58 am

    Nice. Love you bro. I’m not going to say anything pithy like, “don’t worry about it. You’re going to be a great dad.” (Even though I believe that to be true.) But you will survive…and so will Ben. In all of the madness, remember to have some fun along the way. And if you ever get in a tight spot, you can always throw on the Dark Knight costume. Batman can get out of any situation.

  3. Jen Gooch permalink
    February 1, 2015 2:45 pm

    Brilliant! You have a very clear perspective of parenthood! Just know that all you can do is your best and pray that God guides you through the rest! The Gooch’s are here for you, smelly diapers and all!

  4. February 3, 2015 3:00 pm

    I love this. This is very ‘Aaron.’ I think it’s actually great that you’re admitting the terror now. I was in the same place pre-baby, but a wormhole opened up in the delivery room and transported me to some entirely new place that I never expected. I didn’t feel fear or confidence. I was in a cloud of happiness where everything around me blurred. Ben, Beez and I were in a bubble, and everything outside of that bubble just didn’t matter to me. It’s probably the closest I’ll ever come to heaven on earth. Some might even say, joy unspeakable. I know I would.

    I can say without question or hesitation that being a dad is absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me. I honestly don’t know what I did to deserve such a reward, but it is just so wonderful. The sleep, the diapers, and everything else don’t last very long. Every day is the end of something and the start of something else. After a while, and I know this sounds cliche’, but you start to realize that it’s all actually going too fast. In fact, in some weird way, you’ll want those sleepless nights and diapers back. You think I’m crazy, but just wait.

    Like a few others have said, I won’t try to impart any sage advice or anecdote about parenthood, but I will offer just one suggestion. Live in the present. Be right there with them, in every moment.

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