We scooted off to Wisconsin for a few days of relaxation before the new life begins. On the drive up, Sarah read to me a journal that Syd kept throughout Adrienne’s pregnancy, a record of his adjustment to his new role as an expectant father. So much of it was a pleasure to hear. Some of the highlights:
Most of all, for me, the document helped buttress a particular thought that’s been floating through my head in recent weeks. This will seems obvious, but I never, ever thought of it in these terms until just recently: My parents were once in our position. My parents were once married without children, then married and expecting, then expecting and a month from having a baby, just as we are now.
As long as I’ve known them, my parents were parents. That was their main identity. This whole time I’ve prepared to become a dad, my main conception of parenthood has come from them. Me as the trainee and they as the unwitting mentors. Suddenly it occurs to me that at one point, they knew about as much as I do now. They were newbies, having the same thoughts, worries and hopes that Sarah and I do now.
As surreal as this thought is, I’m pretty sure I find it comforting. I haven’t decided yet. It does help me get comfortable with another thought I’ve had: no one in the history of parenthood has started off as an expert. My parents, Sarah’s parents, your parents — they all figured it out as they went along.