Friday, June 22, 2012

The Final Stretch

So Annie and I keep arguing over whether we are in the final trimester of our pregnancy or not. I say that simple math prevails, counting boldly on thumb and two fingers,

"June 20th to July 20th. July 20th to August 20th. August 20th to September 20th. That is three months. TRImester!" Annie rebuts with some technical explanation of weeks to term and an algorithm that calculates from last menstruation to due date. I sigh and concede that the professionals who devised these calculations are much more experienced at this than I.

I don't know much about having a baby.

There are times when this realization fills me with anxiety and strikes fear in my heart. What if I do something wrong? What if I permanently damage the child by feeding it something too early in life, or allow it to play with knives, or listen to Justin Bieber? With all the regulations, recalls, and restrictions around, I often think of children as frail collections of fat and bird-like bones. But then I stop and consider the history of mankind. Women have been giving birth with great success for thousands of years, and the majority of those children have survived. So why do I always assume that I'm going to screw up this kid?

I know that I will not be the perfect father. But when I look at some of the other male role models that populate the dysfunctional landscape of American pop culture and family values, I am reassured that I am going to do an adequate job at a dad. I know I wont be perfect, and at some point in my life, one or all of my children are going to hate me. But right now, there are few things that cause me to be giddy with excitement like the anticipation of this little life that is due for arrival in September. The joy, the adventure, and the education that Annie and I are about to delve into are beyond comprehension, and I seriously cannot wait.

Whether we are in the final trimester or not, we are on the final stretch of this pregnancy. It has flown by, and it makes me afraid that the next stage of our lives will also be past us before we have time to stop and enjoy it. I can only hope that, amid the zany experiences that will undoubtedly come in the next few years, that we can enjoy the moments we are in and appreciate what life has given us.

Follow my thoughts on fatherhood daily on Twitter - @CWalljasper


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