So when did you realize that you were in way over your head? As a dad.

So when did you realize that you were in way over your head?

As a dad.

Can you remember the moment, the thing that made you think, “Holy cow, I am not sure I can do this?

Was it the day your daughter or son was born? First time you got thrown up on?  First day of school? First note from the principal?  First date? First speeding ticket? First time you were asked the “where do babies come from?” Something else…

I’ll bet you have that “in way over your head” moment etched forever in your memory. Not that you would ever tell anyone, of course…

For me it was the minute right before we walked out the front door of the hospital with our first child. Because up until that moment we actually had to leave the hospital room, everything was great. We were in a safe, secureNeverLandof life.

We got to coddle and coo and snuggle and sleep and laugh and ogle and say, “Why yes…thanks…yes she is amazing…I think she is ready to read.” We would push a button and food would arrive. It rained popsicles and juice. People would stop by regularly and ask, “Do you need anything?”  Friends would come by with balloons and toys and say, “we have cut your grass and stocked your fridge and cleaned your home and washed your clothes and changed your oil and walked the dog and painted the den and paid the mortgage.”

Life was perfect.

But when the time came, when the bell tolled, when it was the witching hour (see even now I am listing a thousand euphemisms to avoid re-living the exodus from the land of all that was good and pure and (relatively) easy.) Because deep down inside I knew that the minute we crossed the threshold of that hospital, out to the “real world,” we were done “playing” parents and that we had to become real parents.

And then in that split second before we walked out the door a chill ran down my spine and I realized, I have no idea what I am doing here.

Normally “having no idea what I was doing” was not a real problem. I’m a pretty smart, resourceful, decently hard-working kind of guy. I was pretty good at doing life on the fly. At work, with friends, even with The Beautiful Bride, I did pretty well at just reacting to the situation at hand. And truth be told, I was comfortable with life on the fly, dealing with things as they happened, doing pretty well most of the time and then just cleaning up any inadvertent messes along the way. Cause even if I messed up, no big deal, right. Lemonade from lemons. Blah, blah, blah. After all, it was just my life I was messing up.

But the truth that settled in my heart, the thing that gave me the dread, the thing that caused the chill down my spine  was the fact that now, if I messed up as a dad, I was not just creating a problem for me, I was messing up someone else’s life.

And I did not like that one bit.

So when was your “in over your head as a dad” moment?


Posted on October 28, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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