Friday night I joined Jeremy at the Hopleaf for some beers and a conversation about fatherhood. I don’t get to see Jer that much, since he lives in Michigan, so when he invited me out to talk about his experiences as a first-time dad, I said of course. We talked for three hours.
The most comforting thing to hear was about how overprepared Jeremy felt once baby Floyd arrived. Going into it, he was nervous, so he read up on tips and techniques until he replaced that nervousness with preparedness. Then Floyd was born and it turned out to be pretty natural. This was reassuring, as I’ve taken a bit of a laissez-faire tack to my preparation. For me, it’s overwhelming. There’s too much information out there on How To Be A Father, so my strategy has been to not read any of it, and hope it comes naturally. I’m unjustifiably confident it will. Of course, it helps to have a woman by my side who has consumed all the books, and who will certainly be the brains behind this parenting outfit. This m.o. conforms with how we prepare for pretty much everything.
The bulk of the conversation, however, was spent talking about what to expect from the rest of my life — my free time, my hobbies, my attention to work, my dynamics with Sarah. This stuff is going to get remixed and reshuffled, and one rarely gets fair warning about it, even though it can be the most disrupting. I guess I’ve taken the same attitude towards it as I have about the kid — I’ll figure it out as it comes — but it’s certainly good to hear first-hand stories from a close friend. I expect to fall back on those stories when I’m stressed and pulling my hair out and wondering what the hell I’m doing wrong. Jeremy has charitably offered me his ear should I need to inquire, or to vent, and I’m fairly certain I’ll take him up on it.
There are a lot of unknowns going into this. We both expect to be pushed outside our comfort zones. That’ll be hard, but knowing it’s coming is a good start. With Sarah’s brains and my youthful charm, and a cadre of friends to lean on, I expect good things ahead.