Where do I even begin? I guess we’ll start with the moment Christina told me she was pregnant. If you’ve read this post, you might’ve read how she told me and how I obliviously looked over the pregnancy test she beautifully set right in front of my face. Oh boy! Anyway, when I finally realized what was in my hand, the goofiest smile stayed on my face for the entire day. I don’t think I really thought about what it would mean to be a father until days or even weeks later. I was just on a high from knowing Christina was pregnant and it was just so fun to have that secret between the two of us for a little while. I remember repeating “I can’t believe we’re having a baby!” over and over again. It was probably around the time of our first doctor’s appointment after the pregnancy test that it really hit me. That’s when it got real. When I saw the baby on the sonogram, I was a father. I knew what that responsibility meant.
Just like Christina’s feelings on motherhood, I also didn’t know if I would ever be a parent. It just wasn’t something we spoke about. We were together for so long (hey, 2004!), just the two of us, it was almost hard to imagine it any other way. It’s still crazy to think of us as a trio, but in less than 150 days, that’s exactly what we’ll be. We’ve been talking about it every morning at breakfast. We wonder what the baby will look like. How much hair they’ll have, the things we’ll do, how we’ll discipline, sleep train, teach, play etc. So many things! But first, the pregnancy.
Watching Christina become a mother before our eyes has to be the craziest thing we’ve ever done as a couple. I thought buying a house and renovating was at the top of my list, but oh no, that was nothing! Christina’s body is changing by the day to create a home for this baby and it’s truly magical. The love and appreciation I have for her has been multiplied by a million as I see what she has been capable of throughout this time. How she managed to go through the first trimester and the holiday season at the same time still blows my mind and honestly, she did it gracefully. My anxieties about becoming a father are always calmed when I see how Christina handles those tough situations. I’ve always known she was good with children. It’s an instinct I’m not sure I have. I’m the youngest of three and the youngest of all my cousins, so growing up with little ones around wasn’t a thing for me. Christina is the oldest of three and the oldest of (almost) all of her cousins. When we first started dating, her sisters were 8 and 10. I watched her with them and even then was impressed by how she watched and looked out for them. Some of our earliest dates were accompanied by her littlest sister. It was the first time I felt responsible for another human.
We recently watched the movie Beautiful Boy. It was incredibly sad, heart wrenching, and moving. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it, but I watched and wondered how could a child who was so dearly loved turn out to be so hurt and troubled. It seemed as though the father did everything right. Where did it go wrong? For the next few days, I thought about the movie and picked every moment apart. I thought, “Was the dad too easy on him?” “Should he have said or done something differently?” “Am I missing something?” “Can kids just find trouble even if you do everything right?” I couldn’t help but wonder what it meant to raise a good child. Would I be able to hide my insecurities enough to not pass them down? Will I have all the answers? Will I teach them how to get through a difficult situation? I’m still battling with these questions, but as the weeks go by, I try to stay calm, listen to others who have been there, and read articles about parenting styles and hopefully when the time comes, I’ll be the most prepared version of myself.
When I was a kid, I loved playing baseball. My friend James and I used to beg my dad to hit tennis balls in the air with a tennis racquet for hours so we could “practice catching fly balls”. My dad, who was probably in his early 40s at the time with a bad shoulder, used to hit ball after ball until he couldn’t lift his arm anymore. There are so many examples of moments like these. I think as a kid, I just expected it. If I asked him, he would do it. It was that simple. He was dedicated to us and his family and if I can be anything to my little family over here, that’s what I hope I can be too.