I’m trying something new with these letters. I’m going to start writing them as, well, letters. Let’s see how it goes.
I don’t know if you all heard, but I’m having a baby. True story.
I mean, my girlfriend is doing some of the work, as she reminds me fairly frequently, and under all circumstances.
“Uhm, Amy… did you notice that the couch is on fire?”
“I’M GROWING A HUMAN!”
The thing that seems to most baffle some of my friends is that I am “okay” with it. (In reality, I’m quite excited.)
Full disclosure: I wasn’t always this calm, focused, and understatedly handsome specimen you now see before you.
I wasn’t even aware that Amy was taking a pregnancy test that fateful morning. It was 7:00 am and I was on my computer, working on one of these letters to you lovelies, when I heard screaming.
“OH MY GOD!” x 1000
And they didn’t sound remotely like happy screams.
My mind immediately went to something terrible having happen to a loved one. I ran to find Amy, and she came bolting out of the bathroom, flapping her arms like a hummingbird on speed.
“I’m pregnant!!!!” came out through tears.
Now this can be pretty shocking news at the best of times. Couple it with having fully expected to hear horrible, devastating news, and I would best describe my reaction as “freezing in place.” But, thankfully, I didn’t freeze for too long.
In one of Amy’s flapping wings she held a pregnancy test.
I tried to move my head to match the flapping, and got a decent look, and my heart sank (mostly but not totally for her at that point.)
“Babe, I only see one line.”
“No *sob* there are *sob* two, I just can’t stop shaking. *sob* It’s *bawl* faint.”
I put my hand on her arm to at least slow it down.
“Holy shit. I see it. Holy shit. You’re pregnant. Holy shit.”
And then we hugged.
She kept vibrating around the place, while I went back to my laptop, jumped on job search sites, as I mumbled, “I need to make more money.”
She came into the room minutes later. Possibly having vibrated through the wall. She sat on the couch and stared at me with an expression which could only ever be described as “cute but crazed.”
“I need to tell someone!” she said while staring at me without blinking for minutes.
“Too early,” I replied, suddenly an expert on pregnancies.
She just kept looking at me.
“Okay. ONE person.”
Now I should mention that I immediately felt bad about the initial reaction I gave her. Hers was pure joy. Mine was shock, confusion, terror, acceptance, excitement, back to terror. A few days after we found out, I slipped out to the mall, knowing I had to make up for it. An hour later, I arrived back home with a big new Kate Spade purse, with a “60,000 Baby Names” book in it.
I tell this story only because I suspect that most of my stories from here on out will be about how much of a hero she is and I wanted a little taste of glory to hold me over. Don’t act surprised.
I “joke” about being excited to have a mini-me to brainwash. And, trust me, there’ll be some of that. “I love you. Good night. Vote Liberal.”
But I remain low-grade terrified that I’ll fuck this up. I’m still only, like, 90% sure of exactly what the hell intersectional feminism is myself. How the hell am I going to teach it to a child!?
Two things greatly help with this fear:
1) My parents. They remain amazing reminders of how to put your kids first, how to be good people and parents, and how to allow smart-ass kids to figure stuff out on their own while having an unwavering support system.
2) Amy. I couldn’t imagine a smarter or kinder human to have as a partner for this grand endeavour. We have different strengths that work well together. And as much as I’ll pick on her, I’ll be even more in awe of how she handles all of this.
I’m also going to google, just like, an absolute ton of shit.
Let’s remember that I’m not without experience. I helped with the raising of my little cousin and my adorably cute niece. I’ve changed a million diapers. I don’t mind being awakened in the middle of the night, and can function on little sleep.
I’m also smart enough to know that this is going to be completely different than anything I’m used to.
My mind often wanders to a running list of things I want to pass on to my child.
– the knowledge that education = possibilities
– the importance of being kind
– the goal of leaving the world a better place than you found it
– the necessity for community service (the NON court-mandated kind, ideally)
– the beauty of The West Wing
– the knowledge that family (in all its forms) comes first
– the importance of managing finances
– the importance of never focusing too much on managing finances
– the ability to dribble a basketball with either hand
– the Tragically Hip
– the absolute duty to always help take care of those who can’t take care of themselves
– the importance of teamwork
– the willingness to lead
– the knowledge that we only have one go-round on this giant marble, so you should be the you-est you possible
– the comfort of having me always, always supporting them
And I can teach her or him how to drive a manual transmission.
I mean, I think that’s a pretty good start.