Ok … over the next few days, I’m gonna give you a peek into the mind and the life of a 44 year old that is about to be a father for the first time. Right now, these are a few of the things on my mind …
First, I want to be done with the baby’s room. Like really done. Not the, “You’ll get it when we need it” done. Or, “We’ll just put some things on the walls” kinda done. I mean the, “We don’t have to think about it anymore” done. In a few days there will be NOTHING relevant to me except the well-being, health, and happiness of my baby girl and my wife. I already don’t care too much about aesthetics, so forgive me if … no, im not asking for forgiveness … now you’ll know why I may be lacking tact next week. I’m focused. And it’s not on anyone or anything but my wife and My Baby! The issue is that my wife is so nice that, to keep her happy, I have to be nice at times when I only want to be honest. It’s hard sometimes and has been one of the most valuable things I have (re-) learned about myself while with Shelli. And I know that this skill will be valuable as a father.
Next thought … We picked a pediatrician. That was a reality check. My baby has a doctor. She isn’t even here yet! Reality check … BOOM!
And … we attended some classes last week on parenting and breastfeeding. More than the information that was shared, it was encouraging to see that other people felt like they could benefit from speaking to an expert about these processes. Science, technology, and access to information has changed so drastically and rapidly over the years that a new parent will always feel like there is something on which they need to be updated. I really appreciate parents of previous generations. I was born in 1970. Things were so different then. I knew that I was a preemie, but I just found out that I was only 4 lbs 3 ounces at birth. I stayed in the hospital about 3 weeks. I imagine that felt like an eternity for my parents … and that’s why they told me I was there for 6 weeks! Note: Grandparents’ exaggeration is entirely another blog! All that to say, I feel very blessed that My Baby Girl will be the beneficiary of all this informatiom and modern know how.
Then there’s the fact that … I really miss my community in DC and NC. I wish that people weren’t so far away. I really want to celebrate this with all those people that had a part in making me the person I am today. I’ve been been helped by many. And schooled by so many lessons from so many people. I think it would be incredible to raise a child with all those aunts and uncles around! Hopefully we will have plenty of playdates in DC and DC (Durham County, NC!). Parenthood has also made me re-evaluate my personal paradigms of community and my role in it (If anyone is interested, I’ll write about that as well).
And … the advice I most often get from parents is get some sleep now, because the first few months can be rough. But, it’s 6:30 am and I’m awake. I have been sleeping off and on for about a week now. Part of me feels like my body is being conditioned for the baby’s arrival and part of me is just excited to the point where I can’t sleep. This is WAY BETTER than the excitement of any holiday or any event in my life. I was tired the night before the wedding. I slept like a baby. I have a post about my perspective of the wedding experience. Shelli will post it eventually (Hint-Hint!).
Now … can I talk with you about “nesting?” It’s a dumb term! What it really should be called is what it is … getting your house ready for a baby. And I consider y’all my peoples, so why didn’t anyone warn me that this is when Shelli was going into “organizing/nesting” from an aesthetic to practical mentality, but I was focused on practicality and was gonna be happy that things were neat and safe with little regard to aesthetics! We are lucky that we love each other and that we both have the ability to articulate why we would prefer for something to be one way or dislike something when it is another way. I imagine that those conversations may have churned up some turmoil in some other couples lives!
And finally … I have decided to be called Pop or Pops by my daughter. It won out over Baba, which is a term that many African-centered fathers use to maintain African cultural significance. I feel that our Blackness and connection to Africa will be manifested in other ways throughout her daily interactions. Dad or Daddy seem too regular for me. Plus, they start off as sounds. She will be calling everyone Da-Da just because that will be one of the first sounds she is able to create. I will work with her to develop the oratory skills necessary to say Pops. Plus it makes it logical that her grandfathers be called Pop-Pop because they are the Pop of her mom and Pop!
Ok … that’s more than enough for now. Sorry about that. I have more on my mind than I thought!