The SamuraiMarine

Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Tag: Babies

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.

Countdown to Fatherhood – T-Minus 8 Weeks

Decisions…

The process of preparing for the arrival of a child is something new to us.  We walk through the stores, look at the goods that are being offered and just get lost.  There are so many things out there that we need or want, but are not sure which way to go.

Luckily there seems to be no end to books, magazines and friends that seem more than willing to suggest these things to you.  Everything from diapers to doctors are suggested by those around us and in the magazines that we have picked up.  At time, however, this seems to only make life a little more confusing for us, though.

We both know that everyone has the very best intentions when they suggest this diaper or that doctor, or some other device or service that is designed to make having or caring for your new baby.  So we really do not mind, we are flattered that so many people out there are willing to take the time to offer advice.  But even with the advice, we start to get a little overwhelmed at times.  Sometimes too much information can be just as bad as too little… and as the old sales saying goes, “If you give a person too many choices, they will choose not to choose.”

I am amazed, though, at the sheer volume of merchandise there is out there for babies and their new families.  Everything from ultrasound units for the home, if you are wealthy enough to afford one, to music to play for the child while they are still in the womb.  You name it, it seems to be out there, waiting for someone to buy it.

We have decided to keep spending at a minimum.  There are a lot of tricks out there to save money if you just look around a little.  The biggest savings that my wife and I have found has been buying much of our stuff at either yard sales or at second hand stores.  There really are some fantastic deals and prices, if you just look around.

Everything that we have picked up so far has been in near perfect or new shape, and with almost no signs of use.  Which makes sense when you think of how long a child actually uses this stuff.  It is about the only time in a kid’s life when they are liable to outgrow something before they wear it out.   A fact that is very friendly on our pocket books and one that I am very aware will change as time goes on and our child grows older.

As I am sure I have said before, though, I am excited about the upcoming addition to the household and am sure that these worries will all take second place to the enjoyment to be had with the child… at least until they reach their teens.  Then I might need to look for a tranquilizer gun.

Countdown to Fatherhood – T-Minus 9 Weeks

“Dad”

I have thought about this a lot over the years. Most of the time, though, it has been from the point of view of a child that never really KNEW his father that well, except as the guy that would occasionally show up for the errant birthday or take me off for the obligatory weekend visitation.

That is not to say that my father did not love me, I am sure he did. But when it came to communications, there really was not that much there between us. We would talk, but it was, most of the time, because I do not think either one of us liked the sound of silence.

That being said, there really was no template for me to use when I thought about myself as a father. No image I could hold up and say, “This is what a dad is!” Unless, of course, you counted the Andy Griffith, Dick Van Dyke and Ward Cleaver images that some of us grew up with. Images that would not stand the test of time even in their own generation.

Instead, as I grew, I learned about being a father through reading, through what my mother told me a father should be, through watching my father’s interaction with my sister.I had sort of built up this “Frankenstein” image and understanding of what a father really could and should be.

It would not be until years later, as an adult, that I would start to really understand what being a father was, when I would adopt people into my life as my mentors and father-figures. People that represented, to me, what a father should be to their children and those around them. People like James Baier (Major, USMC), Jack Bell, Paul Eidmann, Clifford Ayers (My Dad-in-Law) and Russell Petrone. None of them are perfect, far from it, but their hearts are all in the right places, and their kids have all grown up to be good people. Many of their kids are my friends to this day as are they… though two of them have some issues that they need to work out before I kick both their asses (you know who you are.)

The other person that I have to give kudos to for being like a dad to me, oddly enough, is my mother. Barbara E. Wright. She force-fed me the education to be who and what I am today. When I was not in school, she was teaching me manners, principles, ethics, right and wrong, and would occasionally instill the required discipline when I would step out of line. Trust me… there were several times I deserved a good paddling.

It is my hope that the experiences that I have had and the things I have learned from these people, people that have meant so much to me and are a part of my life, even though some of them are no longer with us, can help me by becoming an amalgamation of experience that I can incorporate into my life and help me be a good father.

Someone that I hope, when this child is and adult and I have long since passed, can look at his or her memories of me and say. “I had a great dad!”

Our next adventure…

Well… My wife and I are about to embark on our next big adventure in our lives.

About two weeks ago we discovered the completely unexpected, but not unwelcome, news that we are going to have a baby.  At the time of my writing this, she is about 6 1/2 weeks along, so we are expecting to have a little package arrive sometime around the first part of February 2011.

We actually had given up trying to have a child.  We were told that we would not be able to have a child.  This was not for lack of TRYING, I mean, like they say… that is the fun part.  Trying to have a child.  But it never happened, so we just figured we would not worry about it and have fun.

I have had a couple people tell me that it is not a good idea to have a child at our age.  I am 41 and my wife is 40, she will be 41 when the child is born.  There are stories of people that have problems with pregnancies after the age of 35.   I understand this, but I also think that in this day and age, where people are having children well into their 50s, that my wife and I will have no problems at all, as long as we stick to the doctor’s advice and make sure we take care of ourselves.

I will not lie to you all… I am nervous.  But that emotion is joined with several others… Fear, Excitement, anticipation and anxiety are a few of these other emotions that I am feeling.  I am sure that these are the same feelings that all fathers have felt when they first got that news that they were expecting.

In all… this is going to be great.  Between my wife and I and our friends and family that will be part of this child’s life, there is going to be no lack of love in the child’s life.  That is the most important thing.

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