I had finally fallen asleep when my wife came into the room and nudged me to wake up. I wasn’t happy about it. I mean, who loves being woken up right after falling asleep? The night before was spent changing displays at a retail store in NYC, a job I hated. So I had come home in a bad mood because I was working at a job that I hated all night long and the only reason I was even there was because I had been laid off by my previous employer. There, I have set my mood. Also, I wanted to try and get a nap in before we were to head over to the Ed Sullivan Theater to pick up tickets to see David Letterman.
I tried my best to suggest to my wife that she get out of the room and let me sleep. She was persistent, but I wasn’t about to roll over and give her the satisfaction of waking me up from a sound sleep. I was freakin’ exhausted. Then she said words that changed my world forever, “I’m pregnant.” I still didn’t roll over. I laid there and the let words sink in. Then, I sat up and hugged my skinny soon to be fat wife. To say that I was in shock is an understatement. Then I asked if she was sure and she showed me the stick and told me to take it. Grossed out by the fact that she was holding a pee pee stick, I chose to look at it over her shoulder. I looked at the stick and I wasn’t exactly sure if a positive or negative sign means you’re pregnant, so I just assumed she was right in telling me whatever it was she was telling me.
As the day went along, I did everything in a daze. I stared aimlessly off in the distance and coasted along. When my wife and I arrived at the Ed Sullivan Theater to pick up our tickets, we sort of stuck out our hands to receive them. When they asked if we were excited to be there, we both sort of mumbled a dazed response. Here’s a secret about going to see a talk show. When you pick up the tickets, you must look and act excited or they stick you up on the shelf. The more excited you are, the better seats you get. Our tickets were for the last row behind the lighting equipment. I don’t remember much about the show, but Alec Baldwin and Freddie Adu were the guests and Cindy Lauper sang. Also I remember David Letterman swore before the show and everyone laughed. That’s all I remember from the show; my mind was elsewhere.
The next 9 months were challenging, but gave me time to get ready for the new job that I was about to undertake. It’s a good thing that people don’t find out they are pregnant and have the baby the same day. Well, let’s not count those rare occurrences where some woman thinks she is having stomach issues and gives birth in a toilet bowl.
By the time my son was born I felt ready, even though I wasn’t. But I felt like I was and I also knew that I was going to try really hard at being a dad. Failure was an option, as long as failing didn’t send him to a psychiatrist couch or a hospital bed. Hospital beds have been visited over the years, but we’re still hoping to steer clear of the couch.
I’ve heard those words a few more times since that very tired morning. (As a result, I’ve pretty much been tired every day for the last 9 years.) To me though, those are some of the most beautiful and scary words that can be said.
I love being a dad. It’s why I was sent to this earth. There isn’t a day or a minute for that matter that I am not in love with being a dad. It is extremely challenging and at times I think I’m a horrible father. But I’m so glad that I’m one.
Here’s to every man that has heard those words. Cheers and Happy Father’s Day!