Written in 2013. September 19th.
Passing thoughts on Fatherhood.
Being an expecting parent has made me dwell on my own mortality like never before. A little morbid sounding that is, but, I suspect, not uncommon. Looking at the sonogram pictures, so clearly seeing life anew, I dwelled on my own end, but the dominant feeling while looking at the sonogram image was the inescapable sense of adventure, an adventure I expect to enjoy for many more decades.
I have also had a heightened protective instinct, also quite common among expecting fathers. That instinct takes many forms, among them worrying a little more about Kate’s well-being and health or looking not twice, but three times before we cross the street. I find myself being more careful when I am out for a run, driving, hiking, etc. I have always wanted to live for Kate, for us, but now I am living for another human being. This gives simple phrases, like drive safely, uttered in habit to someone walking out the door, a whole new weight as if they’ve never been spoken with meaning before.
Life becomes more exciting, serious, and scary when one is expecting a baby. Not all of those emotions I feel to the same degree, but all are felt with more intensity.
Until today I didn’t know I could love something so small. Kate and I saw our baby for the first time. It’s .75 cm long and about 7.5 weeks along. We saw its heart beating. How miraculous.
One last thing…
I am not a person who typically uses the phrases, “I saw God in…” or “God made himself known to me,” to list just two examples, but as Kate and I turned to the sonogram screen for the first time and saw our unborn child, I felt God’s presence in our lives, in all three of our lives. There, on that monitor, a blob of white, not even a centimeter long, was our child, something we are responsible for. It’s not the clearest image and the doctor has to tell us where to look and what we are looking at exactly, but I saw God smiling back and a new dimension of love, one that rocked me to my core, began to surface.