OK, so as we speak, this may be my last post for a little while, and i know what you're thinking, "You only post like once every week and a half or so, and sometimes it's some silly video on YouTube..." Right, well, sorry about that, but I can't be intellectual and write something relevant and worth while every day...what do you think this is? Stuff Christians Like? No no, that guy has like four people that write for him and has an endless subject matter...I only have me, myself and I, and random spurts of inspiration...so back off!
Alright. Moving on.
Today is Corrine's birthday, and the reason that I may not be posting for a while is because we are one and a half weeks away from her due date...soooooo...instead of writing short essays strewn with dry-backhanded humor that are funny yet carry a life-lesson at the end, I'll be changing diapers, helping my recovering wife, and honing my daughter's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skillz.
As I enter into this new endeavor of fatherhood, I feel a sense of excitement, fear, and anticipation. First the excitement...I love kids, I love playing with kids, I love talking with kids, I love kids...period. I love watching my good friend be a good father to his kids; wrestling with them, putting them to bed, spoiling them rotten with desserts when they're supposed to be in bed...you know, the things that all good fathers do. A lot of times (when he doesn't know it) I'm observing him...not really what he's doing or what he's not doing...but rather the facial and emotional reactions that I see. Now keep in mind...these cannot be faked, cannot be learned, and are the foremost indicator of someone's heart. I see it also in talking with my brother about my niece. My brother was a popular, cocky jock in high school and college; and to see his true colors come out helps me understand him even more. It's the same reason that fathers cry at their children's weddings, graduations, and individual achievements...pure, unadulterated love...THIS is what I'm excited about. I'm a sort of softy...I don't show it on the outside that much, but my heart-strings will be a chiming and my eyes will be leaking (cause men don't cry...right?) when Melody Mae gets here. But you know what, I'm okay with that. I'll be a blubbering idiot as she grows up, and as I help raise her. Which brings me to emotion #2: Fear.
Now I'm not afraid of my soon-to-be newborn. I'm not afraid that I won't be able to take care of her, provide for her, or help her as she grows up. But what I'm afraid of is her being taken from me. I'm afraid of being taken out of the protective role. I'm afraid of the day I have to give her away at her wedding (I know, that's like 25 years away...looks like a quarter-century of torture to me). I'm afraid that I will not be able to fulfill my fatherly duties. Don't get me wrong, if it's up to me I will raise the snot out of that child...but if something were to happen that would take me (or her) out of the picture and she had to raise herself it'd be close to unbearable. Okay...that may seem a little extreme...but think about having all of your power and responsibility stripped from you...it's scary isn't it?
Now to emotion #3: anticipation. I expect each and every call from Corrine to be that of, "KYLE, COME GET ME!!! THE BABY'S COMING!!!" They haven't yet, but it's an anticipation that is crippling as each day passes. It seems like only last week that we found out she was pregnant. And I don't think it's actually hit me that I will have to help coach Corrine through labor. It's like preparing for the return of Christ...it's something that's going to be awesome and amazing...but you have no idea as to when it's going to happen. At least with pregnancy you have a timeline. The only thing you can hope for is that the labor is as humorous as Bill Cosby explains it but not as terrifying.
All of this to say, I totally agree with my friends that say, "It will change your life FOREVER!" I know it will...but I'm excited for that. I can't wait for it to happen, yeah it's scary, but each and every moment up until this has prepared me for it. I know I know, how does Little League Baseball prepare you for fatherhood? I don't know...but I do know this. Each and every day we're confronted with lessons. Lessons that shape the very fiber of our humanity. Some shape us for the better, others worse. Some bless us, some taint us. But what if we approached life thinking that each and every situation has the capacity to change the course of time? What if we lived our lives as though the outcome would affect millions of lives? Think about it, you're walking down the sidewalk and come across a piece of litter, you bend down to pick it up and throw it away. At that exact moment, Little Jimmy who's playing outside across the street sees you and emulates you. Later that day Jimmy picks up litter in his back yard, his parents see him and all of a sudden a family is changed. Jimmy's family then starts branching out, getting an Adopt-a-Highway section. Jimmy's family's reaction to litter then inspires their neighbors to do more to clean up their community. All of a sudden you have an entire city changing city-policy around litter which then inspires the county to do more. You can see how quickly things can escalate! Do they always happen this way? No...but it's not outside the realm of possibility...or even probability. This is why I say we need to live like we're going to change the world...because there's always someone watching us (not in the Big Brother way, but the being in public way). And how we act and react to certain situations will either bless or taint the observer. I DO have faith in humanity, sure some of us are nutcases, but that just means the rest of us need to pick up their slack! So go out, be a blessing to others! Greatest Commandment #2: Love your Neighbor!