Written by Jonathan Massey
Fatherhood: the state of being a father. Thanks to Meriam-Webster for clearing up all the gray areas for me.
In case you didn’t know, dear reader, I am soon to become the proud father of, in all likelihood, a restless baby girl. If everything goes according to plan, in the early hours of August 31st, 2021 she will arrive in this world, and life as I know it will hit gears I didn’t know existed.
The kid thing isn’t totally foreign to me. I’ve had a bit of practice dealing with an angsty soon-to-be twelve-year-old who emits amounts of pride, frustration, and utter confusion not seen since early man accidentally discovered
fire. But a baby is a whole new deal.
Outside of changing my Netflix password (RickyBobby1#), raising a kid from age zero will be my toughest challenge to date. I’ve spent the majority of my life only worried about myself, then I married a wonderful woman with a young son and I worry about them constantly. For years I swore I never wanted to be a parent, if for no reason other than I thought I would be just God-awful at it. I HATE not being good at something and have left many a sports team and quilting circle in the lurch while searching for perfection.
As my dear friends Bryan Hanks and Jon Dawson will tell you my wife is lovely, sweet (jury is out on that), and much smarter than I am – although her taste in men has been called into question. Honestly, the world could use more people like her and if that means running the risk of having one more person like me… then so be it.
Over the years I’ve watched Jon and his saint-like wife raise their two Tax Deductions. Jon is a great father and I sincerely hope I can be half as good of a dad. Then there’s Bryan Hanks, a man who is not my biological father yet has on thirty-two occasions tried to claim me as a dependent on his tax returns.
Bryan is what many of us would call “too nice” to people, yet I’ve benefited from that kindness since I was a wee lad of 12. I’m now 32 and have seen Bryan go through hardships I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Seeing how he handled those difficult times while remaining a truly good human being has been inspiring.
I have learned a lot about being a father and a man from Bryan and Jon. It doesn’t bring me much shame to say I love both of those gentlemen. Well, “gentlemen” might be a stretch. Let’s go with “mammals”. I love these two mammals.
As the delivery date inches closer it’s getting more and more difficult to quell the anxiety avalanche that’s headed my way, Along with the nearly crippling fear and anxiety, I’ve found myself getting misty-eyed watching those feel-good videos of military reunions. I’m one YouTube cat video away from buying a sweater vest.
Reading to my wife’s stomach for the baby is the highlight of my day. For fun, I will go sit in the nursery and picture what it will be like rocking my little girl back to sleep when she’s fussy at 2 a.m. – something I’ve done for Bryan Hanks many times.
I have never been more excited, afraid, anxious, elated, and proud to be a part of someone’s life than I am at this very moment, I am lucky to have my wife Summer, by my side reassuring me that I will be a great dad. I love her dearly and she deserves every ounce of credit for how wonderful this little girl will be. If for some reason the baby ends up taking after me, Summer has assured me she’ll be able to totally revamp the kid’s personality before she’s old enough to be tried as an adult.
Expect part 2 when all my hair turns gray by November.
Follow Jonathan Massey on Twitter @JonMassey89