Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How is a father-to-be supposed to act and other thoughts

I’m baaaackkkk…. Like you care right? Well, you are reading this, so thank you caring enough to spend a few moments of time here. I’ve sucked as a blogger (and as a writer) and I’ve given you nothing of quality except my annual Top 10 albums of the Year posts. 

I have to do better but I’ve said that like 100 times but maybe this time I mean it? 

I’ve also said this before … that writing is something that has never been a strong suit of mine but I really like doing it, so I’m going to try to flush out some ideas over the next few weeks in this space because it’s mine. I like that. The ownership that I get from this blog. If I want to write “fuck” … I can write fuck. If you don't like it ... well, fuck off :) ... just kidding. Don't leave. I'll get to the point. 

All my life, I have tended to like anything that allows one to have complete control. Driving, hosting a radio show, playing a video game, sports … I like things that allow me to be the captain. I'm not the greatest leader but I do attempt to lead by example. I don't need to be the center of attention but I do need to feel like I'm being heard. For the past few years, I haven't had that with radio and it has been a problem. I hope to fix that soon.    

So, I can’t say I’m the most creative person but I like the fact that a blog allows one to make something real that wasn’t real just a few moments before a finger tip strikes a key. I guess that’s why I’m so excited to be a father. Something out of nothing times 1,000 right? (This is the point of this entry) 

My wife and I will welcome our first child, Madeline, into the world in July. We created something from nothing and she is growing inside my wife. That is such a freaky thought but make sure you say my daughter's name right or my wife will correct you quickly. It’s LINE … like Mad-I-line … like the character from the book.

Here she is:

Madeline at 24 weeks 

I spent from 2000 to 2012 chasing my radio career. I went from 22 years old to 34 as a single man. Sure, I had a bunch of long relationships, lived with a few girls and talked about getting married a few times but I was never really close. I was pretty sure that being a father was out for me. I wasn't even positive I wanted kids to be honest. 

Then one night this fall, that all changed with a pee test. 

Theresa, my wife, has told me that since we got the news, that I’m not showing enough excitement about our pending life-altering arrival for her tastes. She wants more from me. Her parents are buying baby outfits like Target is going to run out of them and I've been reserved.

It's not like I'm upset. I've been to every important doctor's appointment and have purchased baby books and baby things but I have a question. How are you supposed to act? If I'm not showing enough excitement, how I am supposed to do that when I think I am?

I don't do fake. 

I will admit that I'm scared out of mind at the idea of being solely responsible for the life of another human being. I love the idea of being a father and can’t wait for Madeline to arrive but my wife tells me that I need to talk to other first-time fathers to ask them how they behaved during their wife’s first pregnancy. I guess that's her way of giving a hint that I'm not doing what I'm supposed to. Yet, that would do nothing for me. She knows this too because I’m very unique. Talking to other people won’t change me or help (… so I blog about it right? Lol. 2014 baby)

Maybe my delayed reaction is because Theresa and I tried once to get pregnant. Once. That was all it took. I have admitted to Theresa that I was shocked at the speed of it all. I was just coming around to the idea of trying to get pregnant when that + sign showed its face.

We know couples that it took years for it to take and some that are still trying to get knocked up. Not us. I’m a perfect shot. Ethan Wragge has nothing on me (look it up here if you don’t get the reference) but I do wonder how I didn’t knock up a girl in my 20’s if my swimmers are that aggressive.

Anyways, I’m 36 (37 on Friday) and Theresa is 32 and you would think that our ages would have been an issue but it was a layup. I guess that’s why she and I are the perfect match. We went on 1 date and I knew I was going to marry her. You can call me crazy but after 2 hours, she got up to go the bathroom at the Green Street Grill and I told myself that I had just met my future wife. So, it shouldn’t have been a shock that we didn’t have to work hard to get preggo right? She and I were supposed to be together and do this.

The rub is that when my wife told me that we were going to have a baby, I freaked out. I didn’t know what to do. She screamed. She cried. She ran to tell her mom and dad. I didn't.

I kinda went silent and started to worry about all the things that could go wrong. That's what I do. I look for the bottom to drop out when I think it could. My mind raced during those first few days. Would the baby be healthy? Were we ready? Was I ready? At one point in time, I said I would never be a dad because I loved my life exactly the way I set it up. I’m extremely selfish and I’m about to do the one thing that requires you to do the complete opposite.

There were a lot of health factors with Theresa as well and I wanted to get to a doctor ASAP. Once those hurdles we cleared after a few weeks, I relaxed a lot but at the time, all I could think of was what could go wrong. I told Theresa that I had “gone into crisis mode” to deal with all the possible negative outcomes of the pregnancy.

Bad move as you probably could guess because I haven’t lived that statement down yet. It's now a go-to card to play when she isn't happy with me. I don’t think I will get away from that for the rest of my life lol. But, I am really excited and now I get to freak out about the fact that I’m having a girl. 

I lost my virginity at the age of 16. I dated for 20 years and dated plenty of girls. I guess it’s pay back time right?

This is how I show my excitement I guess. Bragging about my soon-to-be new addition news to the world. This is how I show I’m thinking about my daughter, right now, in the middle of a pretty trying time in my life. I’ll explain more later on that front and you will understand my point to this but I know that I can’t wait to meet Madeline.

That fact, I’m sure of.

**This week, I watched the series finale of two shows that I watched during a very transformational time in my life - my late 20's. Remember that I hate endings. Hate them and the changes that they bring. So shows that I spend a lot time with normally impact me in some profound way. I wouldn't be watching them unless I was invested in them after all.   

First, I watched the end of the Showtime series “Weeds” on Sunday via Netflix.

The lead character of Nancy Botwin was so unique to television. A flawed, sexualized, confused, brilliant, manipulative female protagonist who got what she wanted more than not. The series ended in 2012 but I didn’t see the end until just now, 2 years later.

I guess I was predisposed to liking the show because I could relate to it. Marijuana has played an interesting role in my life as my father grew pot in his apartment while I was in high school. I learned a lot about the process of growing the plants from my dad as a teenager and my friends loved that my dad was ‘growing weed'.

Yes, I smoked my fair share of it until I was about 30. I only smoke a few times a year now. 

My dad also brewed beer at the same time as he grew. Seeing the two substances and their impact on a person who takes it allowed me to form the opinion that pot and alcohol are very similar and should be legislated as such. I see them as equal and prohibition of one and not the other as stupid.

Legalize it and tax it like alcohol. 

So, a show based around a family that grew pot was very appealing to me. Kevin Nealon’s character of Doug was his best role to date, in my opinion. He killed it. I’m mad at myself for waiting so long to see the last season but it was time to end the story where they did and even though the ending was soft, it was done properly.

You have to know when to walk away.

Where Weeds succeed, How I Met Your Mother failed brutally on Monday. I was living in Omaha when I started watching the show around 2005 and really, really liked it for many, many years. I related a lot to Ted and many of my friends could be considered “Barneys”. It was the same thing that brought me to the HBO show Entourage starting back in 2004. 

I won’t spoil anything but if all you need to see to understand the storyline of a series is watch the pilot and series finale, I think you failed the audience. Yes, the journey of life is what is really important but if the name of the series does not match the main purpose of the show …. What the fuck are you doing? (ah, swearing feels good).

They should have done 2 seasons and ended it but it was too popular for that. So, they extended and extended, sucking all the joy out of it. The series finale was awful and left me feeling like I wasted my time with the show.  

**If you don’t think that the NCAA Tournament is the greatest sports event we do as a country, then you aren’t paying attention. This year has been tremendous. The teams in the Final Four this weekend have battled and proven themselves worthy.

I still like Florida to win it all. They were my pick entering the dance but UConn is going to be really, really tough. The winner of UConn vs. Florida could be your champ very easily. I’m not a huge fan of Wisconsin nor do I think Kentucky is going to keep this up for 2 more games.

Regardless … enjoy the last 3 college hoops games of the year.

**If you think anyone but Doug McDermott deserves the National Player of the Year – you aren’t paying attention to college hoops … at all!

**Red Sox lost on opening day ….. 1 of 162 folks. 1 of 162. Long way to go…

Just like me.  

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