Fearful Joys of Expectant Fatherhood

I’ve been scared several times in my life. I was scared when friends left to fight in war. I was scared when my harness started to unravel while I was repelling down a bluff. I was scared when I left my home in the Midwest and drove two days straight to get to Hollywood.

I would take the buses in Hollywood at 4 a.m. to get to work. That was scary.

I carried my bus pass, my box cutter, and a note that read “I love my mother”. I was scared that one day somebody would attack me. It wasn’t the fear that someone would jump me. What terrified me was that my mother would never know how much I loved her.

Then you are scared as you are terrified. The worst flight I’ve ever been on was a one-way from Los Angeles to Kansas City. My baby sister was on life support after being hit by a drunk driver. It seemed that once my plane was airborne, the turbulence didn’t stop. I was scared of the turbulence, and I was terrified I would never speak to my sister again. It’s a feeling that I would wish upon no one.

I find myself scared again. I’m terrified. These feelings come to me as I’m building a baby crib, as I’m reading reviews to see which diaper pail works best, and as I’m measuring the space between the bed and the desk to make sure a bassinet will fit there.

In the two hours it took me to build the changing station, I was never frustrated at the horrible assembly instructions. I was terrified that I wasn’t building it correctly and it would collapse the first time we use it.
The doctors predict that on April 17, 2012, my wife of five years will give birth. I will become a father. I will have a son. Desmond, his name is Desmond.

I’ve started to prepare myself on becoming a father. I have been reading books, watching videos, and talking to other first-time parents. My wife and I took birthing classes and have toured the delivery and recovery room at the hospital. Our pediatrician was found after only two interviews. We have a “baby bag” next to our “earthquake bag” ready to be grabbed any second.

I have framed my favorite picture of Desmond from our first ultrasound in October of last year. His arm is reaching out from what looks like nothing, with his hand open.

I’ve compared it to the villain in horror movies: after we think he’s dead, the calm sets in… then the arm comes up and grabs someone and for a brief moment, we get scared. Now, as I feel him move, I know that I should be scared. I should be terrified. Just as I’m sure my little guy will be…

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