When my wife first told me she was pregnant, I thought, "I'm going to be a father!" I was excited. A new adventure in life. Then it hit me. "I'm going to be a father. Oh crap!"
Don't get me wrong. I'm still excited about being a dad. I can't wait to hold my child in my arms. I can't wait to teach it all kinds of interesting things. I can't wait to see it grow up and witness it live up to it's greatest potential. At this point, the possibilities seem endless.
I'm excited, but I'm equally terrified at the thought of being a father. After the initial excited faded, the doubt began to take over. I began playing the "What if" game with myself. What if I don't do this right? What if don't love it enough? What if I inhibit it from utilizing its gifts and talents? What if I don't discipline it the right way? What if I drop our newborn? What if I do something to make it resent me? What if it grows up to become a killer? What if it grows up to be a killer and kills me because it resents me for something I did?
I know, a little over the top, but it's a legitimate, irrational fear that I'm sure a lot of new dads have gone through at one point or another. All I can do now it think. And worry.
My entire life is about to change, and it terrifies me. There is a tiny human being that is going to be 100% percent dependant upon me for everything. Food, clothes, safety, love, everything. It's one of those "grown up" moments that I've heard about. I have to be aware of so many things now that I haven't before.
I have to make sure that all the electric plugs are covered. I have to make sure that dangerous utensils are properly put away. I have to make sure it eats vegetables. I have to vacuum all of the centipedes off the floor every day (Where do so many of them come from?) so that my kid won't pick one up and eat it. And at some point, I'm sure, I'm going to get peed or pooped on. Or both. Maybe even at the same time. I just threw up a little.
There are so many things to think about now that I'm going to be a parent. Things I've never had to consider before. And we still have three more months before it will be here, so that's all there is to do. Think. Wonder. Postulate. Agonize. Worry. It puts a new perspective into everything I do. And it's terrifying.
But it's also exciting. With those fears come an electricity that I can only describe as anxious anticipation. I'm absolutely certain that I'm going to mess up at this whole dad thing. I'm not going to get everything right. I'm not going to be a perfect dad, and for those who know me know that that is a hard realization for me to accept. After all, I have zero experience in this field. Fortunately, I don't have to apply for this position because I certainly wouldn't get hired.
My only hope is that I learn from mistakes I make and not make them a second time.
It is a completely new adventure, and it's one that I look forward to undertaking with my wife, both with eagerness and trepidation.