So I am finally 35 years old. There was no total eclipse of the sun to mark the occasion. No plague of locust materialized. The earth failed to tremble. The dead did not rise from their place of rest. So much dread leading up to that day, just for it to be just like any other Saturday. I did run a bunch of errands that day. Had a small cookout in my yard with the wifey and some of her family. And I got to witness the sister-in-laws dog repeatedly sexually harass one of my friend’s dog. So all in all pretty uneventful day.
That got me thinking. So what am I supposed to spend my times worrying about now? I know that 25 year old’s get the quarter-life crisis. And 45 year old’s get the midlife crisis. So what do us 35 year old’s get to fret about? How come we don’t get a crisis geared toward us? How am I supposed to know what I am supposed to be afraid off, and anxious about, if it isn’t yet “a thing!”
I guess it is up to me to find the next great fear that will take up my valuable time, and I think I found just the thing. Cute, chubby, drooly, projectile vomiting, always pooping, babies. Babies, and what they represent scare the living bejeezus out of me. They also seem to be everywhere. All my friend seem to have one, if not two or three. A day does not go by in which the wifey comes home talking about some co worker getting pregnant, or having a baby. The never-ending, baby factory that is the wifey’s extended family, seems to be always be welcoming a new addition into the world. Even Jubilee, best known for being Wolverine’s quasi kid sidekick back in the 1990’s, just returned to the X-men family with a newborn baby in tow. The world has caught baby fever, and it scares me that maybe I am immune.
There hasn’t been too many positive male role models in my life. As I mentioned in some of my previous post, my father and I didn’t exactly win father and son duo of the year. My grandfather was a kind man when sober, but when he was drunk, he enjoyed slapping my grandmother around a bit too much. My great-grandfather was some kind of orchestra leader back on the island. He was pretty well know for what I had been told. He had a wife and a family. He also had “a thing” for the help. Guess you can say he had Arnold Schwarzenegger problems. That is how my grandfather came about. I come from 3 generations of men with some serious father son issues. Men who at one point or another gave an oath and believed wholeheartedly that they were going to be nothing like their fathers. Each man failed in spectacular fashion.
I can’t help but wonder what kind of father I will turn out to be. I would like to think that I could be the open minded, nurturing father that sparks his kids imagination. Perhaps instill a love for sports, movies, comic books, and all the other geeky stuff that I gravitate too. Yet I also understand that each child is his or her own person. There is a chance that no matter how much I try, the kid would never love or care about any of the things I like. There is a chance that the kid could be born an asshole. Hey, hey, don’t judge me too harshly for saying that now. C’mon let’s be realistic here. We have all come across some bad ass Bebe’s kids before. Kid’s that have kind, nurturing parents, that provide them with all the food and shelter that a kid needs, and yet they still turn into tiny terrors. Kids that torture furry creatures, and hit everything and everyone without impunity. Kids whose sole purpose is to gestate enough criminal knowledge until they are old enough to partake in the american penal system.
I’ve seen the bewildered, desperate faces of parents, who have had the life sucked out of them by their kids. I’ve had good friends with children, who have looked me in the eye, and have told me in no uncertain terms how miserable being a parent has made them. Sometimes I get the sense that folks romanticize the notion of having kids. Probably like poets, writers, filmmakers, and others romanticize war. The ideal falls way short of the brutal and soul crushing reality.
There is so much about being a parent that seems to be out of your hands. I don’t understand how parents don’t just spend their nights just looking up at the ceiling fretting about all the potential catastrophes that could potentially befall on their kids. I guess all you can do is go to your local witch doctor, sacrifice a chicken, light a candle to Ochún, the Santeria goddess of love, pop those kids out, and hope that the universe chooses not to screw you over.
Despite all that. I will confess that there is a part of me that would like to have a kid or two. For 35 years now I lived only to make me happy. I have had a very selfish life. A life that has been devoid of a lot of responsibility. I’ve done stupid things, and not really worried about the consequences because in the end, it would only affect me. Maybe it would affect the wifey too, but she is an adult. She has a strong and loving family to fall back on. She has a good safety net. But with a kid or two, I would be more mindful of the consequences. They are defenseless, and have no safety net to speak off. I would have to be more cautious on how I spend my money, I would be more motivated to strive in the workplace, I would have more incentive to be a better, and more grounded human being. Above all else, I just want to be a good father to my future kids. A loving father. A kind father. The kind of father that does not provide his kids with shit-loads of material to talk about with their future psychiatrist.
My time of relative freedom is at the end. The baby making process has begun, and I expect to have the wifey knocked up in the next few months. It is making me super nervous and giving me plenty to be anxious about. But I also know that it is time to leave my childish ways behind, and be an adult for once. If anything having a kid in the house could at least mean that I might have someone there to play NBA 2K with me more often. That is if he or she isn’t born an asshole. Well I can hope right?