I’ve been a father for 7 weeks now and it still blows my mind. I thought the initial fears I had before he was born would have melted away at his birth but instead they multiplied. Every time I lock eyes with his I fall deeper into a love that I never knew existed – and it’s this love that creates such fertile ground for fears to grow. They grow because I care and I care more about him then I ever thought humanly possible. At times I just want to wrap him in bubble wrap and duct tape so that nothing can harm him but then I remember that babies need air! (Which I learned by reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting. Truly informative book.)
I find myself waking up every day with new questions (Like at what age does he start changing his own diapers?) I also find myself waking up periodically throughout the night just to check on him and make sure he is okay or still breathing. SIDS is one of my greatest fears. Now that he has altered my life in such a tremendous way, I don’t know how I could ever live without him. Since his birth I’ve had recurring nightmares in which he is kidnapped right out of my arms. I run after him but I can never run fast enough to catch him. I’m left feeling with an anguish that could only be compared to being hit in the stomach by a wrecking ball. I wake up terrified. When I’m awake however I do my best not to dwell on the irrational. I understand now when parents compare themselves to a savage animal such as a bear or lion, to protect their cubs. I would rip out someones jugular and eat the organs out of their rib-cage to protect my son from harm ( I watch too many Animal Planet nature shows.)
My life has not consisted of only fear though since his birth. One of my favorite things to do is buy him Hot-wheels cars and Legos. I realize he is too young for them now but I get excited anticipating the day that him and I will be able to play with them together. (I’ve already begun assembling Lego sets…you know, to test them out…make sure they’re safe…)
I also enjoy trying to guess what his personality will be like when he gets older. Currently he is very tame, doesn’t cry much. He smiles often and sticks his tongue out frequently. I don’t know at what age babies begin to laugh but I can’t wait to hear his.
I’ve already begun laying down the foundation in my head for the virtues and values I intend to instill in him as he grows. I ask myself alot of questions as well:
- Will I let him watch tv? If so, what shows and how often?
- Will I make him exercise?
- What methods of punishment or reward will I use to correct behavior?
- Will I require him to learn a musical instrument?
- How much freedom and how much structure should I allow?
- Will I teach him to say “Yes M’am, Yes Sir”?
I have this image in my head of him growing into a charming, well educated, athletic intellectual who is able to play a musical instrument. If I can accomplish that, then he should certainly grow into a well rounded adult capable of achieving anything he sets his mind to – but we shall see! If I have learned anything in life, it’s that time has a way of changing even the best of intentions.