Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day: No Test For Being Dad

To drive a car...

  • I needed to take a class. 
  • Then pass a test. 
  • Then prove I could drive. 
  • Then get a license. 
  • First, I take another test. 
  • Then prove again I can drive. 
  • Then I get a license. 
  • And don't forget about getting a licence plate for the car. 
  • And insurance.  


So there's a lot that the state requires of me before I can get behind the wheel of a car. 

Not so much for being a dad. 

"Well, your mom looked kind of hot in that halter top and cut offs and since there was nothing good on TV..." 

I never saw myself as parent material. I think I'm still too petty and self centered...in other words, too much a child myself...to be responsible for raising a child.  But one thing led to another as my wife and I agreed on the rather sensible course of allowing our screwed up DNA to co-mingle and produce an uber screwed up progeny.  

At first our efforts to get pregnant were unsuccessful. Eventually we decided to focus our efforts on just getting her pregnant and not us. We had even more luck when we discovered the fallopian tube does NOT go down the throat. (See, sex education is IMPORTANT!)  

But eventually she did become pregnant and eventually a baby popped out. Actually, the doctors and nurses had to go in and get her, the little stubborn thing. Efforts to induce labor over several days (yes, DAYS! And damn well you better believe my wife remembers THAT!) did not yield the desired result (unless it was to totally piss off my wife which in that case, great going, guys!). 

So a C-section was ordered. Guys, here is a wonderful opportunity to see the wonders of modern medical science at work on the human body. My recommendation: let that opportunity pass. 

So they scooped out of my wife this... thing, some weird pinkish-purplish alien creature all covered in goo. 

And I've never felt more in love with anybody in my life! Even now, 13 plus years gone by, I still feel the echoes of my heart pounding in chest from that miraculous moment.  

And here's the thing: I had no clue. I still don't! Oh there are books and websites and forums and classes and commiseration with other parents over (many) glasses of wine but still, more often than not, I'm making this up as I go along. I may not be the best dad in the world but I try, oh how I try, to be the best dad this petty and self centered person can be. Thankfully I've had help from a most unexpected source. 

Shortly after Miranda was born, I was asked (as so many people were asking) how the baby was and I advised that the baby was just fine. Then I was asked, "And how are Mom and Dad doing?", sympathetic to our exhaustion as new parents. I answered, "Mom and Dad are tired and still a little unsure of ourselves. But that's OK. Thankfully Miranda knows what she's doing." 

It's amazing to watch a child develop, watching pieces fall into place to form the person they will become. On this day, Father's Day, I want only the gift that I'm given every day: to be amazed.  Amazed by her wit and her intelligence and her charms. 

And long past the day I first met that weird pinkish-purplish alien creature covered in goo, I am amazed at how much I still love her. 


Father/daughter time
on Free Comic Book Day in 2008

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