I suspect like many readers, or wives of readers have done, just before she became Mrs. LIAYF, my lovely soon-to-be bride pulled me aside to have a talk with me. Yes, it was that talk.
“One last time honey” She began. “You are certain that you want to have kids? Because if you don’t, now is the time to let me know.” “Yes, of course I do.” I replied in a resolute manner, understanding that this was what she needed at the time. The stress from the impending wedding was weighing on her. She needed my solid support. That was nearly 12 years ago. But now, after all this time has passed, I have to finally come clean about something.
I didn’t really know! Sorry Sweets. I feel much better now that I have that off my chest.
But wait. It’s not nearly as bad as I may have just made it sound. That’s because what I did know, without a shadow of a doubt was that 1. I loved her completely. And 2. That when the time came, I would be a good father. I knew my character.
There was always a difference between Mrs. LIAYF and myself from the moment we became a serious couple (which was nearly from day 1 of our relationship). She knew, with utmost certainty, that she wanted to have children. It was a biological calling. One that, as it turned out, took several heart wrenching years to fulfill. For me, however, it was different. Before becoming a father I had never had an internal desire to have kids.
As I said before, I knew that I would be a good father, and that once my kids came along I would love them. But there was no compelling drive behind it. There were even times during our struggle to conceive where I, as ludicrous as it sounded, wondered if my lack of a biological drive was partly to blame for our troubles.
As it turns out, I was right to trust myself. After 3 1/2 years I can look back on my experiences and say, with certainty, that I am a good father. Maybe even a great one. And to say that I love my son would be a historic understatement. If you have read my personal blog, you know the depth of my love him. He is the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me, and I would move mountains with my hands to make sure he is safe and happy.
I know that I am not unique. That the mindset I had before becoming a father is where a lot of men have found themselves on the issue of bringing a new life into this world. They may wonder if a child doesn’t deserve a parent who has always dreamed of the day they would be born. Perhaps some guy reading this post even finds himself there right now.
The only advice I can offer those guys, is to trust themselves. Trust the logic that they may draw upon when thinking things through. The logic that says even if I am not overly eager to have kids now, once a child arrives I will surely love him, or her.
That’s because, at least in my experience, what THEY say (and I guess I am included as a THEY now) is true. Things do change when you have a child. It may not be clear until the first time your newborn gazes into your eyes, or squeezes your index finger in his tiny fist. Or perhaps the first time he wraps his arms around your neck and hugs you tight, or laughs uncontrollably at one of your horrible jokes.
But make no mistake, things most certainly did change. And so did I.