The SamuraiMarine

Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Month: December 2010

Countdown to Fatherhood – T-Minus 4 weeks

It’s strange how things work out.  How you plan something, working out what you think are important details, then when you are actually at the point where the thing you had hoped and planned for, actually comes to pass… nothing you planned actually survives first contact with reality.

This is like the old saying, “No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.”  Only in this case there is no enemy, just the realization of our dreams.

Names.

One of the things that Naty and I spoke about for years was names for any children we might have.  We wanted to have names that were not JUST names for the sake of a name.  We wanted strong, powerful or meaningful names that the child would grow into and might, through understanding the origin of their name, strive to live a live that would pay honor or respect to their namesake.

My name, Samuel, was given to me for two reasons.  First, it was the name of my father and second, for Samuel the Prophet.  I am sure that my mother considered other names, but to her, she saw the name Samuel or, in Hebrew, Shmu’el, for me.  Likewise, my brother was given the name Benjamin, The Patriarch.  While neither of us became anything special or worthy of the history of the names we were given, they were strong names none the less.

When we spoke of naming our child, we thought, ever so briefly, of naming a boy Samuel.  But then we considered the lineage.  My Name is Samuel; my father’s name was Samuel, and the same with my Grandfather and great-grandfather.  Needless to say, there was some repetition in the choice of names.  So we decided that subjecting our child to the doomed title of the 4th was not an option.

One of the names that we thought of early for a boy was Ellery.  I have always liked that name, and I used to read the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine on a regular basis as well as watch the TV series of the same name, back a few years ago.  In spite of the popular and literary history of the name, it too has a good past and meaning.  So we were happy with that.

For girl’s names, there really was never a question about that.  It was always going to be one of two names.  It was going to be either Lydia Elizabeth or Daisy Faye, both names that paid homage to our families.  Lydia was for Naty’s mother and Elizabeth for my mother’s middle name.  Daisy was also to celebrate Naty’s mom by using the name she had as a child and Faye was for my Grandmother, on my mom’s side, who passed away when my mother was very young.

I am not sure why choosing a boy’s name was so much more difficult that picking a girl’s name, it just seemed like nothing worked until we found Ellery.

Reality sets in…

Everything you see written prior to this changed the moment we discovered that we were pregnant.  Prior to that point, it was all purely speculation, just thinking about what we would do if it actually happened.

We had been trying for some time, but since nothing was happening, we were getting to that point that most people get to at some point where we were just accepting that it would not happen to us. It was one of those things where we were not ready for our wish to actually be granted.  Suddenly the names that we had spent so much time thinking about and considering for their meaning and strength, we called into question.  “Did we really want to name a child this?” We asked ourselves, and then set about to rethink all our plans.

Looking through our past and through the various names we liked, we came up with our choices.  I will not post these here, the people who need to know what they are, know.  When they child is born and we know what sex it is, then we will name the child.  At that time, I will add a post welcoming the child into the world and sharing this new life with you. Let it be said for now, that the naming process… the selection of the names was not as easy as we thought it was.  There was a lot to consider, but I think we have some winners that will be strong names and will celebrate the family.

Countdown to Fatherhood – T-Minus 5 weeks

I smile when I hear people tell me about how much my life is going to change with a baby on the way.

Not because I do not believe them,  I have no doubt at all that things are going to be turned asunder for us. but because our life has already changed in more ways that I can even count.  Naty’s life changes go without saying, those are and will remain obvious to anyone that comes around right now and to anyone that visits after the baby comes along.  But there are so many things that have changed in both our lives that are not readily visible to the outside, but any parent will recognize once we start talking about them.

As I had mentioned in a prior article, there are things that just are not that important any more.  Things that at one time needed me to give them my main focus, have fallen to the wayside.  If I were to go into details, this article would become long and very boring, but suffice it to say that I am laughing at the changes I have gone through just since I found out.

I am sure that anyone that experiences fatherhood for the first or fifth time goes through these same things… these feelings or changes of feelings.  Their minds start going into that “Nurturing” mode, where they start thinking about the welfare of the family over their personal needs.  They start thinking about how they can make life good for the child at the expense of the little things that they used to like to do.

That is where I am now.  Where both of us are now, and this is where we should be.  This child is going to be the center of our universe for a long time.  Suddenly there is nothing else in our lives quite as important as this little mass that is growing in my wife right now.

As always… I would love to hear any stories or comments that you might have and would like to share with me.

Merry Christmas and Happy Channukah!

Thank you for reading.

Countdown to Fatherhood – T-Minus 6 weeks

Throughout this journey, we have been plagued by fear.  It has been, as a poet might say, our constant companion.

Not fear of having the new addition in our lives, but the fears that come with a baby in the making in general.  Things that go beyond the control of mankind, things that, you might say, are left in the hands of G-d.

There are not many that would tell you that having a child over the age of forty, especially for the woman, is not fraught with potentials for risk.  Add to that the fact that my wife has had a few other health issues in her life, and you are doubling the potential risk.  So it is safe to say that we are taking every day with baby-steps.

We have had numerous ultrasounds and various other tests to make sure that there is nothing wrong with this little bugger, but still… there is always that fear that something might be wrong.  Something the doctors missed.

It is important for me to say that should any of the tests found anything wrong, we would not have terminated the pregnancy.  The only exception to that would have been two known genetic abnormalities that are almost always fatal to the newborn… in which case we would have seriously considered that, not for our sake, but so that the baby would not suffer.  Anything else is something we could work through.

As each test came back with no problems, we would breathe a sigh of relief, but then would start worrying about the next step, or the next tests, or some other little problem that would come to might.

Then there is the input from others that causes worry.  No… I do not think they do it intentionally, but when people start telling you to look out for certain signs or watch out for this or that, then you cannot help but start to feel that pressure return.  That worry or fear that maybe something you are doing is wrong.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that having a child would be such a roller-coaster ride.  I mean this from both the emotional as well as the spiritual aspects.  There is so much that I am having to reevaluate in my life.  Suddenly there are things that used to be important that now deserve little more than a cursory glance.  Decisions that I make now, I am not only making for myself or Naty, but for the baby as well.

But a have to admit something to you all.

I am loving every minute of it and I would not trade these feelings for anything in the world.  The fears, worry, excitement… all of it.  It is all a build up for something great.

This is going to be a great ride. Or as my favorite author, Hunter S Thompson, might say: “Buy the ticket, take the ride!”

Countdown to Fatherhood – T-Minus 7 weeks

Something that I am looking forward to, with the coming of our child, are the conversations.   Granted, at first those conversations are going to be mostly grunts, squeals and crying, with occasional laughing and “Baby Talk”.  But before you know it, and I am sure most parents reading this will agree, they will start talking.

I remember some of the conversations I had, as a very young child, with my Mother and Father.  Most of that was silly, when I look at it from my adult state of mind, but at the time it was earth-shatteringly important.  I really HAD to know why there were stitches in a baseball and football.  I really HAD to know why my Dad’s hair was gray.  Things like that.

When I watch the interactions between kids, especially the very young ones, and their parents, there is just something fascinating about watching them ask questions and learn about their world.  They are born with a innate NEED to understand the world around them.  As Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson says in one of his interviews, “Children are born scientists.”

He goes on in that interview to say that we need to encourage that and help them explore their world the way a scientist would.  This is something that I am hoping that my wife and I can accomplish in our upbringing of this kid.  We have both committed to one another that we will give this child every ounce of our effort to make sure that they learn as much as they can and to make it fun in the process.

I know… Kids are all different and there is no guarantee that anything we plan will survive the arrival of the baby.  It seems that everyone is quick to point this out to us, as if they assume that we are not already aware of this ourselves.  But the truth be known, we are.  But we are also aware that if we do not plan ahead for some things, then we will not be ready for those times when the child does start asking questions.

I think that I was blessed that I grew up in a house where I had a parent that offered me every opportunity to learn.  There was never a time I can recall asking my mother a question and her telling me that I did not need to know the answer or that I should not worry about it.  I do recall a couple times when she said something like, “I will explain it when you are a little older.” but that was about as restricted as she got with me.

There are some things kids do not need to know about at too early an age.  I will not go into that here, because it might turn this into a political argument, but I am sure that you all understand what some of these things are.  Suffice it to say that children should be allowed to remain children and not have to worry about some things until later in life.

There IS a magic to being a child, but we lose touch with that as we grow older and become more jaded with life and the problems around us.  I hope to try and teach our child that they can grow, but still hold onto that magic as they age.

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