Sometimes, I’m still a little surprised that I am a parent.
Hell, during my college years I would defiantly think how could I commit to marriage when I can’t even make it to class on time? But you know, a funny thing occurs when you find the right person. For example, at the age of twenty-two, I met an amazing woman who felt the same as I did regarding matrimony. Slowly, our hearts started to work against our brains, our previous feelings against marriage became clouded, and before we knew it, we were walking down the aisle three years later.
So, what was next? At the time, it most assuredly was not kids. I mean, getting married was one thing, but creating pint-sized crying machines? We unquestionably had to conquer our biggest fears before taking on that future responsibility. My wife was horrified by the idea of having a living thing growing and taking up residency inside her. For me, fear stemmed from being the oldest of four boys and seeing firsthand how scary those energetic little pinballs could be.
But then, that situation arose again. Where our hearts trumped all the negative thoughts once more. A few years passed and then guess who was expecting? It was going to be okay though, because we felt as though we could do ANYTHING together, such as handling kids with little effort. What damn fools we were.
Of course, I am joking. Somewhat. No, the decision to start a family was one of the greatest journeys my wife and I decided to undertake.
Every decision does come with its challenges. Our next big hurdle was what we would do with this helpless little human once it was here. Put our child in daycare? Have relatives handle diaper changes and feedings? Find a pack of wolves and let them raise our baby, since that works well in the movies? Ultimately, we decided one of us should stay home with our precious bundle of joy. Our thought was that constantly providing our child with a parent’s guidance was for the best. Besides, it’s hard to find qualified wolf packs to serve as nannies.
We then concluded that it would be me putting my career aside for childcare. In all honesty, it was not a difficult decision. I was a former teacher and corrections officer so I figured how much harder could an infant be in comparison to dealing with unruly teenagers or inmates? Remember my whole concept of the heart clouding the mind, destroying all negative notions? My heart was full of delusional anticipation for the unborn child who would quietly sleep away most of the day. The baby who would only awaken because of a dirty diaper or the need to calmly feed. My brain just kept saying, “You’re a naïve idiot” over and over again.
If I had learned anything of importance at this point of the journey, it was the path to being a decent parent started with listening to both your heart and brain concurrently in order to make the best decisions. This, however, was just the beginning of my odyssey. There would soon be many more moments along the way, full of love, laughter, sleeplessness, and tears. Oh, and there would be absolutely not enough coffee, which made my mind wonder more about how useful a wolf pack would be.