My beautiful wife, Dora, whispered to me that she’s pregnant. It felt amazing and very, very strange. I’m going to be a dad. It took me hours to really grasp what this means. Her words echoed in my head as if I were in a dream. I am the same person I was before I heard the big news, but somehow I already feel different.
As I told my wife, I feel like I am hanging over a gap between teenagehood and adulthood. Throughout my life, I have been quite adept at avoiding responsibility. While I have never acted irresponsibly, I simply preferred a more relaxed and low-key approach to things. I have lived in five countries; I have worked for 15 years; I have been married. Yet, I never felt as responsible as I do now on Saturday, Dec 4th.
Dora showed me the ultrasound print. There was our little fetus, no bigger than a strawberry. It feels so unreal that this tiny creature will eventually be a crying baby, a teenager with attitude, an adult with needs and wishes, and pet peeves; our baby, our teenager, our adult.
“I have another appointment on the 20th.”
“I will come.”
“You don’t need to.”
No way I will miss any of this stuff.
“Yes,” she said. “But I can only drink pasteurized milk now.”
I had no idea whether the milk we bought was pasteurized or not. I checked, and it said sterilized. Is that the same? I never cared before. It turns out sterilized is safer than pasteurized, and most milks at the store are pasteurized anyway.
Fruit juice also needs to be pasteurized. No more fresh or cold-pressed fruit juice, except at home. And only after we wash the fruits very well. This is to prevent potential bacteria from jumping into the juice and transferring to the fetus.
I started reading everything I could about things we now have to be mindful of. Wash fruits and vegetables with plenty of water. Maybe I should also use soap? Humans have existed for millions of years; we don’t need to be that worried about bacteria, right?
Well, I don’t care. I’m going to be a dad. If my responsibility now is to wash fruits and vegetables very well and make sure everything is pasteurized, then this is what I will do. If my responsibility is to do a triple axel-triple toe combination every time my wife calls for something, then I will be jumping in the air. It is the least I can do.
There has been no single thought today that was not interrupted by the realization that, in a few months, it won’t be just the two of us. Vacation, summer plans, buying a house, meeting with my buddies, working towards a promotion, pursuing my coaching career, all of these now come second, third, nth.
My priorities have changed. And I love it.
UPDATE: Everything went well, and 2022 will always be the year I became a dad.