Ninjas, sometime around the first week of May I’m going to become a father to a baby girl: Elizabeth Rose Gibbs. A father! And this is crazy because I do not feel prepared. I have never changed a diaper on a newborn. Meconium is just an urban legend, right? Somebody snopes it. I do not own a Baby Bjorn or even know what it is, is it an Ikea thing? And where does one even get shotguns??? Wal-Mart, probably. I have gleaned a little wisdom on parenting over the years, but mostly from bumper stickers? (Is it NEVER shake a baby or ALWAYS? It’s one of the two.) Am I ready? What if I am a complete failure as a father???
I mean, being a dad is going to change me, isn’t it. I once heard an interview on NPR with a guy who was describing what it was like to become a father. No one explains it very well, he said. No one tells you about The Moment. For every new father, he said, there is The Moment in the first few weeks of fatherhood that is inevitable: It’s a feeling of panic.
You see, you realize “you” is going to die, and not just in the eventual, literal sense. “You” who could play videogames at any time of night, you who had no responsibility greater than watering a plant? That guy is gone. “You” becomes replaced with a new person: a father. But once that moment of panic passes, you’re happy with it. Fatherhood, the guy said, is great. But it comes at a price, and The Moment is about having that epiphany and accepting it.
I think I’ll be fine when The Moment comes. I just hope I have Dead Space 2 beaten by that time.
But I think being a dad is going to also be fun because babies are CUTE and FUNNY.
(thanks for the Las Palmas tip, sharktamer and batteredgnome)