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“I’m going to be a father.” That’s the thought that keeps running through my head over and over again,  ever since I stumbled upon the news during Labor Day weekend. There isn’t a spot on my arm that I haven’t pinched just to reassure myself that I’m not experiencing some elaborate dream. Me, a super sized dork that loves comic books, and playing video games, among a multitude of other things that probably are best left to pimply faced weed smoking teenagers, is going to now be responsible for a little life. It all feels a little freaky, a little surreal, and at the same time, oddly reassuring.

I was almost convinced that I was going to have the luxury of several months to mentally prepare myself to the idea of me being someone’s father, before Jess and I actually managed to conceive. I figured that since we were both over 30, I wore tighty whities, and tended to stand way too close to the microwave, that it would have taken us several month of charting solar cycles, taking countless body temperature measurements, and a series of unromantic, clinical, love making sessions, before we managed to  archive maximum baby making conditions. Funny thing is that life, or destiny, or probability, or whatever you want to call it, doesn’t care one bit about our plans. Life does what it feels it must, regardless whether we are ready for it. I guess that is why after about a handful of tries my little soldiers manage to hit the bulls-eye. Which, I would like to take this moment to add, is an accomplishment that I am rather proud of. It made me feel like quite the alpha male.

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Since I’m a sucker for symbolism I will take the speed in which we managed to conceive as a good omen. I like to think that the little soul that is shacking up inside the wifey’s belly was probably in a big hurry to get here. Maybe our kid is in a rush to do some good in this world. Then again the child could be the Antichrist. Although I kinda doubt that. I don’t think we have too many anti-Christ running around in our family history.

As I mentioned before, I feel oddly calm about this pregnancy. Which is totally unlike me. I don’t really do calm. I’m a stressful, anxious, worry about a billion things that are beyond my control kinda guy. Calm was never a part of my skills sets. What makes my Zen like tranquility more puzzling is the fact that I am well aware that there are a whole slew of things that can go horribly wrong over the course of the next few months and years. I understand all too well that our kid could develop any of what I am sure are any hundreds of defects or disorders. And that the birth, as safe as they are today, with all the advances in medical science,  still reserve an unspecified amount of danger for both my wife and our little baby. But I’m not worried. There is no sense of fear. I’m feeling pretty chill about the whole situation. Everything that is happening right now just seems right to me. I can’t explain it.

I keep getting flashes. Little images. Snippets of moments frozen in time. I’m holding my kid in my arms. Holding this small, defenseless baby, close to my chest. The kid’s almost lost upon the canvas of my oversized frame. I see another image of me walking along side the wifey, with the little one between us; we’re holding hands as we walk on the tree lined side walk. I’m saying something, looking down at this little one, but I can’t hear what I’m saying to her. Yeah that’s the other thing. I keep thinking it’s a her. I don’t know why I think that. It’s not like I have a preference. Boy, girl it is all the same. But for whatever reason, in my head, I keep seeing a girl. I see her, and the wifey and myself laying on the bed, watching as our two, none human girls, Pixie and Dory, peek over the bed with great curiosity. I know that all this is nothing more that figments of my imagination. Images of a desired tomorrow. But that doesn’t matter to me right now. After spending what feels like my entire youth just picturing the worse case scenario, after years of hearing my inner monologue speak so many dark and depressing thoughts, I find it refreshing and rewarding to finally be thinking about something that is hopeful and reassuring for once. This baby is granting me the opportunity to recalibrate my thought processes. I feel like I’m granting myself permission to come out of the shadows. Maybe now I’ll just linger under a shade.

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I do feel real bad for the Jess. I see how her morning sickness last all day. How sleepy and lethargic she is all the time. I remember how in the beginning she couldn’t help but worry about the pregnancy. She didn’t even want to say she was pregnant until the doctor verified it. And she was adamant that I didn’t say anything about the pregnancy except to our immediate family, until we passed the first trimester. Which was really hard for me to do, because I wanted to announce the news to the world from on top of the Willis (Formerly known as the Sears) tower. And all though I was risking suffering grave bodily harm at the hands of Jess, I did leak the news to a few close friends. But it wasn’t until we both heard the babies heart beat that I saw a sense of relief come over the Jessie’s face. Which only served to give me even more encouragement.

I’m doing everything in my power to make things as comfortable and stress free for my wife as possible. I don’t want her feeling any crappier than what I’m sure she already feels. It’s important to me that she has a nice smooth pregnancy. I’ve heard the horror stories about what my mom had to endure while she was pregnant with me. I want to make sure that Jess doesn’t experience anything remotely close to that. That’s why I’m trying to be mindful of her feelings at all times, and doing my damnedest to let things slides, when she’s feeling a bit moody. I want her to feel as much at ease as is humanly possible under her present circumstances.

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I find myself praying. Something that I don’t do with much regularity. I pray to whomever is up there, whether it be Jesus, or Allah, or a conscious universe, that they keep Jess and the baby safe. That they keep both of them strong. That they keep me in mind while they are at it.

All of this is all so new to me. To us. I’m sure that in the coming weeks, and months, we will be confronted with things that we never quite imagined. I know for better or worse my life has changed in a way that I cannot predict. I got a feeling I will have plenty of material to keep me writing consistently for the foreseeable future. But I can say with great confidence that whatever is coming our way, it couldn’t have come at any other time except now. This was the time. I find comfort in that, as hokey as that may sound. I’m as ready as I was ever going to be for this. The next few months and years will be the most exciting and probably frightening period of our lives. I don’t ever use this word, but for this instance I feel it is rather appropriate, it all feels like quite the blessing.

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