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Feb 08

Thoughts on Fatherhood

So, the cat is out of the bag, and I can finally officially write about it: my first offspring is due (if all goes well) in mid-May. Sadly, my own father didn’t live long enough to meet his third grandchild.

Hammy_FixedThe photo on the right is the first (and last) ultrasound photo of Hammy I’m going to post. Frankly, I think posting a whole bunch of blurry ultrasound photos is a very uninteresting thing to clutter people’s SN feeds with. I will try to remember the golden rule that other people find your children to be about 0.01% as interesting as you do, and post accordingly.

As you can see, my stagerabbit-junior-to-be is already sporting the devil’s horns that my family have had ground off at birth for the last 1000 years or so in order to avoid being burnt at the stake.

Hammy is the womb-name that we’re using, as I think it’s bad form to bestow a proper name before the wee thing is properly detached from its mother. I’ve expressed this as “not wanting to jinx it”, but it’s more of a hedge against last minute mind-changing. You never know what’s going to happen when you look at that baby; maybe you’ll decide that “Akuma” isn’t the best name after all.

 

I have so many conflicting thoughts about the whole fatherhood thing, particularly thoughts like “oh my dog, I’m going to totally ruin this kid!”. On the other hand, I’ve got the entirely delusional “I’m going to make unconventional choices for my child that are going to uniquely prepare Hammy to make his or her mark upon the world.” And then a bunch of other stuff swirling around, including the dark thoughts that we’re just a little over halfway through the pregnancy now and there is still so much that could go wrong.

I’m already doing a lot of planning: early toilet-training, hauling Hammy back and forth from rehearsals, discipline methods, etc.  Of course, I understand that no battle plan survives contact with the… er… progeny, but is it not better to have a plan? I wonder if I have some kind of advantage because I’m coming into this later than a lot of people do. On the other hand, maybe being in my late thirties rather than my twenties will mean I will have less energy.

Also, I wonder about providing for a child. Many people I know have lectured me about the expense of having a child, but come on, really? Poor people have children all the time. Surely I don’t need to be a fucking account executive (baaaarrrrfffff)  with a rising-star IT firm in order to give my family a good life? Maybe I’ll change my mind on this and eventually have to go back to having a “real” job, but I’m going to hang onto my ideals as long as I can. I think “follow your dreams; money isn’t everything” is a much better message to give your children than: “do well in school, get into a good university, get a good job, and then crank out kids of your own to do the same”. Am I totally fucking wrong?

My parents, particularly my father, worked hard so that I would be able to make choices like that. By following my dreams, no matter the financial cost, am I maybe going to achieve the opposite result and raise a little account executive (baaaaarrrrffff)? Is that how this works? Shit. I don’t know.

In absence of gnosis on the subject, I think my only choice it to do what I’ve been doing and be true to myself.

 

Right?

 

Fuck, this father thing is hard, and I haven’t even had to change a shitty diaper yet.

 

 

P.S. For friends and family reading this; those inclined to give gifts, allow me to sound ungrateful in advance and say that we have plenty of toys and clothes already (Hammy will be the 7th child born in our combined families). What we really need are English-language books for and about wee children. When I eventually have time to think about this, I will post an Amazon wish list for this here: http://www.amazon.co.jp/registry/wishlist/1U1J9Y7UOB2YP (For now it’s just a stub.)

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