One of the most exciting times of my life was finding out I was going to be a father. A close second? That would be telling our parents they are going to be grandparents. There were tears, excited shouting, and even a few expletives. We wouldn't have it any other way.
My wife and I are huge holiday people. We love to host dinners at our house and invite our families, whether that be barbecue or beers and board games. With the fall season approaching quickly, we wanted to incorporate the changing of the season with the changing of our lives.
Obviously, after finding out we were going to be parents, the Pinterest perusing began. Like most couples, we searched for a way to tell our parents without doing something everyone else had done. Knowing that Labor Day was only a few days away was a luxury and a curse. We would easily be able to get everyone together in the same room without looking too suspect, but being unique and having little time don't necessarily compliment each other.
Like a sign from God, we noticed an announcement from one of our local nurseries. The fall season had begun, which meant pumpkins, gourds, and mums would be plentiful. We've never been one to wait to decorate for seasons or holidays and it's likely my fault. The nostalgia that the holidays bring me of my own childhood only make me more excited now that I know I will be a father.
We planned our trip to the nursery for the Saturday before Labor Day, knowing our whole family would be at our home the following Monday. The plan was to carve a heart into a pumpkin with a baby pumpkin sitting on the inside. Like many great ideas, the challenge was going to be translating what we saw in our heads and what would be seen by our families.
My wife is exceptionally gifted at crafting. She can turn a blank sheet of paper into an artistic canvas with little to no effort. I, on the other hand, can't cut a straight line from one side of a sheet of paper to the other. Somehow I was tasked with carving this pumpkin with how my wife saw it in her head. I can't even draw a heart without making it look like something Sigourney Weaver saw in "Alien”. I was a little scared.
We got home and, luckily, my wife was able to draw exactly what she wanted, making it much easier for me to cut out. It didn't look too shabby either once it was done. Check out my gallery for some photos.
Now that we knew how we were going to tell our parents, the only thing to do was wait, which I find to already be the hardest part of this process...other than the whole pumpkin carving dilemma. I'm not a very patient person when it comes to wanting something badly. Being a father is something I've always wanted to be. A woman growing a baby, however, isn't a quick process. I've now been a father for almost six weeks and my baby is supposedly no larger than an apple seed.
Being able to fall into fatherhood is the best blessing I've ever been given and also might be the only thing in my life I've ever wanted to dive in right away. I've listened to many podcasts in only two weeks from the guys over at the Modern Dads Podcast, read several chapters of the book What to Expect When You're Expecting, and been more attentive to the changes in my wife's body than I ever have been before (there are A LOT).
I've learned fathers have been traditionally perceived as an absent figure in the home who is seldom around because they're always working, a necessary component. I want to do my best, as a modern dad, to ensure I'm able to provide but also make time to be with my family. I don't want to miss anything. I think the way society sees the modern dad is changing, as many fathers are staying home and taking care of their children, so their wives are able to move forward in their careers. I'm ready to be the provider my family needs me to be, but also be an active participant in the things dads have traditionally not been able to.
Labor Day came and went in a whirlwind. We told our families and the emotions were all over the place, but all full of pure joy as we began to fall head over heels for someone we don't yet know. The best part was at the end of the day, before everyone said their goodbyes and headed home, my wife and I gave each of our family members a book that we picked out for them to be able to read to the newest member of their family.
It's weird, yet so cool, when you find out you're going to be a parent and your mind instantly begins parenting without having someone to parent. For me, it happened almost subconsciously, but my mind is already telling my body that I need to be proactive in learning how to prepare for this vital new role in my life. I continue to be overwhelmed, yet excited for this long-awaited journey. I can't wait to see what the following weeks bring my way, as I continue to fall into fatherhood.