Too Much Information


Volume # 5

Entering the third trimester is both a magical time and the scariest of realizations that this is all really going to happen. Up until that small bump showed up on JoAnn’s tummy we were just reading books and making plans for the arrival of some imaginary beast called a baby. But now it was really starting to look like she was pregnant and all our make belief was in fact reality. Mind you JoAnn has been eating a lot as of late with great regularity so the tummy bump may just be the early stages of Teamster gut but she claims it kicks.


I say she claims this because I’ve never actually felt the so-called kicks first hand myself. She tries to get my hand on her belly to feel the little punter but it always stops the second I touch her. Ziggy isn’t even born yet and already she hates me. How does he think that makes me feel when she won’t put on a demo for dad, we may have some serious father son, father daughter bonding issues already. I’m two months out from delivery and already he won’t listen to me, how’s a dad supposed to feel? I’m a failed father before she’s even out of the maternal compound.


So far everything has been pretty text book with the exception of a little growth spurt having Ziggy about three centimeters bigger than expected at this stage and the possibility of gestational diabetes. JoAnn was spilling sugar and though I just told her to just clean it up the doctor recommended a test that had her drink a glass of nasty syrupy orange liquid then an hour later they tap a pint of blood. At this moment we don’t have the results back yet but JoAnn’s not one to fail a test but she had nothing to study so we’ll just wait and see. The only outcome would be a modified diet plan at more regulated intervals, they tell us it’s really quite common.


If anyone ever tells you a pre natal class will be a lot of fun for you and your spouse, run. Get your fishing rod or your hiking boots go camping get tickets to a game or detail your car just be busy the day this goes down because the information that gets pumped into your head over the course of an entire day is not erasable. Up till this day my pre conceived notion of what the delivery of a baby was going to be like has been feed to me by what I’ve seen in movies or on TV, the reality of the matter is very different and far messier. The idea of this class is to alleviate any fears or concerns with regard to the delivery and the first waking days of your new baby and to better equip you for the actual birth but for me it scared the crap out of me. JoAnn too was a little overwhelmed and I think for the first time during her pregnancy a little worried. The nurse that taught the class Lois was very kind and informative but she let us in on things I don’t think either one of us had ever considered. It was a lot of information in a short time and though it was nice to talk to other couples suffering from the same thing ( pregnancy) it made it no easier to sit through. I think for me the low point was when Lois recommended that mom’s put a bunch of maxi pads in the freezer after spraying them with water and won’t it be nice for all you husbands to bring one of these little bundles of relief to your spouse. If I open the freezer months after the birth to get a Popsicle and am confronted by a freezer burnt maxi pad I think I’ll close the door and never go in there again. I’m sure this idea brings great relief to new moms but I don’t think I really want them mingling with our frozen treat supply.


When it comes to a woman’s cycle I like a lot of men have a “don’t ask don’t want to know policy” and clearly this was way more information than I was prepared to hear. I know she’ll have just given birth to my child and I will do anything to make the transition in our life easier for her, I’ll take out the garbage clean the cat’s litter box, prepare dinner, wash the dishes, do the shopping, even change diapers not necessarily in that order but I won’t be buying or fetching maxi pads from the freezer. Sorry Hun I love you and all but a man has got to draw the line somewhere.


The next main event we had to under go was to pre register at the hospital and tour the facilities where the birth will hopefully be taking place. I’m not a big fan of hospitals on any given day but I see their worth in the community if for nothing else to have debates over their funding and nursing shortage woos. The only piece of advice the nurse taking us on the tour told us that I retained was where to park your car so that’s a bonus when I need it. After that the next two hours were a blur.


The fetus removal room was a scary sterile looking affair with no windows lots of cold hard surfaces and as she showed us all the equipment I did get quite light headed and was sure I was going to hit the floor. Of course if your going to pass out and hit your head on a hard tile floor, a hospital is not the worst place for this to happen, “can I try some of that Demerol now please”? I did however much to my surprise stay on my feet and was glad for it because then she showed us one of the other eight delivery rooms, which was much lighter with lots of windows and a far warmer looking place to bring a new life into the world. The only reason she takes the tour to the nasty fetus frightening room is it’s bigger and easier to get the ten couples on the tour into. After the tour JoAnn wanted to know if I wanted to be the one to deliver the baby as she’d gladly pass that honor onto me which lead me to believe she’s not really looking forward to the whole ordeal either. I reassured her as best I could and promised her I didn’t think I’d be able to hear her screams at the end of the hall through the set of doors that separated the delivery room from the waiting area where I was sure I’d be sitting while she delivered our baby.


More than ever everything was starting to register that in two months we’d be doing this for real. Up till this point it was fun nesting, planning the nursery picking colors and doing the reno to our home to accommodate the impending change to our lives but doing the class and watching all the video’s of births and seeing the room where this was going to take place was really starting to sink in. We’ve been watching a lot of reality TV on TLC and all the shows about new borns and the delivery all looked a lot less complicated and scary than it really does in person. It’s kind of the same as watching a home improvement show and trying to replicate something Norm Abraham demonstrated so simply with nothing more than a couple hand tools that all looked the same as the ones you have in your own basement, the reality is a far harder thing to build yourself.


The more I read and prepare myself for the blessed event the less in control I feel and more scared about the future I become. An even worse thing is JoAnn who’s already been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster was starting to get worried too and up till now she’s been very confident. So now it falls to me, do I step up and stand tall and show her everything will be ok and reassure her, I guess that’s what I should be doing to ease her worry but I don’t know how much good I’ll be passed out on the floor under the bed while she delivers.


Daddy on the Spot


Volume #210

Five years ago when Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics we were having unseasonably warm weather that precipitated trucking in snow to stage the games. I didn’t need a groundhog meteorologist to predict what the budding crocuses have already told me. Spring is not only getting closer but by the temperature it’s pretty much here now. I don’t ever recall seeing the local ski hills being closer so early as they usually enjoy skiing into April. It’s just been that warm. Five degrees cooler and all the rain we’ve recently had would have assured them a great season but blame el-Niño again.


It was during this warm spell that challenged me as a father like never before. JoAnn was flying east to see family for a long weekend and it was going to be my responsibility to keep our girls alive for four full days. This also included the dreaded morning drop offs at school and the staggered afternoon pick-ups. This had me especially concerned because even though I hear her leaving and arriving home from my office everyday, I really didn’t know what time she was actually picking anyone up. She can tell me, sure but how long does it take to get across town mid day to get Dani at Preschool. I would actually be working so my hope was to leave at the last possible minute to maximize my workday. It’s possibly a bit sad that a dad that works from home hasn’t once picked his kids up from school and it’s February already. It’s just how the week seems to play out since most afternoons after school JoAnn has them off to Piano or dance or some activity she’s arranged with another mom. In the end I thought about just taking them to a local hotel for the weekend but decided I could handle this.

Is Norman home?

To catch her plane she was out of the house by 4 AM but I still got up to see her off, mostly hoping she was just playing me with this notion of leaving me and was really staying home. She was not and I soon crawled back into bed for a few more hours. She told me what time the girls normally get up, or what time their alarms would go off had any of them been set the night before, which of course they were not. I’d not set my own alarm in over a year and refuse to even set the time as it usually means we have a power outage within a few days so my clock blinks 12:00 most of the time. Morning came and I hit snooze, I hit snooze again and then one more time because I was so comfy. I mean I did get up at 3:30 to see off JoAnn. Alas by the time I figured out their alarms were of no use we were already behind the schedule that the girls usually follow. Everyday it’s a struggle to get them out the door on time and I’ve now just shortened my working time by 20 minutes.


From what they’ve all told me I was a bit harsher then mom in my wake up technique. Well I had no time to be sweet the clock was ticking loudly. I had to forfeit any thought of a shower and just go with coffee to get me through. My normal day generally starts around 7:15 to 7:30 depending when the screaming starts between whichever girl is most pissed off at their mother. Today I was first up and had the rest of them up in record time. Breakfast was fast (jut sugary sweet cereal) so now it was just getting them dressed. This too is pretty much automatic since they already picked out their cloths the night before but you do need to poke them to make it happen. Hair was the last huddle and probably my biggest fear. JoAnn is so anal about head lice she always has their hair up or in a braid. I didn’t know how to do either so it was off centre ponytails for all. I hustled them all down to my van, which was a treat for the girls as they always like to go in my car but being outside of their ordinary routine seemed to slow things down. Much to my surprise we made it to school earlier then the girls arrive normally. Since I didn’t know where everyone’s class was Dani walked me through the halls to show me so I could wish them all a good day. She may only be four but she’s made this trek every school day this year so she knows where she’s going. It still felt a bit odd taking direction from a four year old. We made it to her pre-school across town in plenty of time and by the time I got back home I was actually starting work about the same time I normally would though I felt considerably more beat then I usually do at this time of day. I got everyone picked up and even texted a photo of the girls to their mother just to prove I pulled it off. Now I just had a three day long weekend to keep them entertained and alive. How hard could that be?


I like to consider myself a fairly involved parent. I do more then just work to make the money to keep everyone feed and cozy. I will get in the trenches with no qualms. I’m balancing my level of involvement as a parent against myown fathers so if I grunt more then two words to each of them in a day I’m up for father of the year. We made it through that first day and I was never so happy to see them all tucked into bed. On most evenings this is when the volume on the TV goes down about 10 points and we as a couple can enjoy a show or two we recorded. When I say we enjoy, I mean I’ll watch while JoAnn naps through most of the episode but after today I see why. On a normal night I’m there to run interference. After dinner we’ll do the dishes together then she takes the young ones up for a bath and I can push the older girls to play piano or do homework. When you’re on your own you have to hope they’re doing what you asked when you head up to bath their sisters. I made dinner exceptionally early so we could have a movie night. When you have to prepare the meal, serve it and clean up on your own you realize there is a lot more too it. I still have 9 more meal times to get through. I’m basically a cook on the weekend sort of dad or through the week if it’s helpful but JoAnn rarely lets me through the week as I start messing with her grand plan. This weekend it was baptism by fire, I had to show up for every meal. Heck every snack, tear, tantrum, bedtime or late night scare that required a cuddle. There was no hand off, no rolling over in bed hoping the wife would answer the wailing call of one of our children.


On the second night Dani decided it she was all in on the concept of making me put her back to bed as often as possible. It took the better part of an hour to watch the first 20 minutes of the movie I started. After chasing her back upstairs countless times I ended up just scrapping the idea and went to bed to watch TV so she could then join me and pass out. Once she was asleep I put her back in her bed. And I did it three more times at 2: 18, 3:20 and finally at 4:58.


Other then the fact we had miserable weather and my boomerang girl kept me up most of the night I think over all it went very well. We did make it through with minimal flare-ups. I also put dessert out there as a carrot every night to keep the wheels greased so I got the things I wanted from them done. No one said you couldn’t bribe your own kids with sweets. It’s just creepy when it’s not your own children.


As I tucked them on the last night knowing their mother would soon be home from the airport I put my feet up and had a beer. I had accomplished something but I won’t say it was easy. It was not only a lot of work it was a lot of pressure and in the end I got a hug at bedtime. Seems like a lot for something I can ask for anytime but it really was an eye opener. I know I don’t help as often as I could and I’m going to be a bit more conscious of that now. I already know my wife is a super hero rock star. The only thing missing is her cape but I wonder how other single parents do this. When there is no option but to push on, work all day, look after your kids with no spouse to ever tag you out. I honestly never really gave the single parent a lot of thought but they were on my mind now. How do they do it? I can’t actually imagine how difficult it must be to balance it all with no one else living in the same house to support you. Most people don’t choose to become single parents, it’s thrust upon them by outside influences and though I know my team mate will soon be back but I’ve got to give to those that call what I just went through over one long weekend, their life. I just couldn’t imagine it. I’ve had nightmares about JoAnn having a horrific accident and I’d be lying if I weren’t a bit worried with her flying across the country and back. I don’t dwell on the negative but worst case scenarios always pop into my mind and her not returning from this trip fits that bill. Let’s be serious she has a far higher chance of getting hit by a car here in our own neighborhood then she ever does of being in a plane crash but it’s that sort of news worthy accident that few people ever walk away from that instill fear into us. We should all be more worried about going to the corner store for milk but if we did that we’d never leave the house. Most of my near misses have all been within 10 km of our home and JoAnn got rear-ended just two years ago with in that same distance. She’s actually safer in the air then we are at home but I still wasn’t going to relax till I heard the garage door opener grinding.


The key take-away for me this weekend was that I could actually do this on my own (for a short period anyway). I always thought I could as I’ve been watching and absorbing what my wife does for the girls but watching and doing are very different. I’m sure the girls are also much more then happy to get things back to normal with mom at the helm. The next time I meet a single parent I’m not sure what I might say but I may just ask them exactly how do they cope? I thought my wife was a super star but these people clearly are working on a different level then the rest of us. Hat’s off!

What sort of Dad will I be?


Volume #4

When you hit that point in the pregnancy where your wife isn’t experiencing morning sickness anymore and she’s just barely starting to show there is a brief moment where your life returns to a pre pregnancy normal though you should be wary of surprise shopping trips. JoAnn had already spent weeks doing research to nail down her choices for baby furniture and even though she knew what she wanted she went through the charade of showing me options and asking my opinion. I tried to act interested, I didn’t even fall asleep as she dragged me from store to store and that was a real chore. Like a good diligent husband I agreed with all her choices for all the same reasoning she put forth, the stuff was good, can we go now? That’s really all you can do at this point is wait it out and work on advanced nesting techniques. All the plans were in motion, she’d picked all the room décor and every weekend we…”when I say we I mean me”, would work on projects in and around our home to prepare the rest of the house for the impending nursery. The problem with our home being some what small was my office was really a walk in closet so now that we had to empty that room. All this stuff had to find a new home somewhere else in our house so all projects were geared at emptying the future nursery. Then we could begin construction of the nursery with a projected completion date by the beginning of August a full six weeks before Ziggy’s estimated arrival date.

While I worked away constructing shelves in the living room round about father’s day I realized this would be the last time this date passed when it was just about me calling my Dad, next year I’d be a father too. It gave me time to pause and think about my own role as a father and I realized my own Dad became a father a lot younger than I am now, I wonder how he handled this? I know he couldn’t have done a lot around the house to help with nesting, as he was never a really a handy sort of guy. Well he was always hand’s on but it was never what you’d call fine carpentry. He was a truck driver with a hammer which suffice to say a lot of swearing was sure to be heard when he had a project on the go. I know I must be doing the job right myself as swearing is one thing I do very well while working on a home improvement projects though I do think I have a little more finesse with my tools than he did at my age. Since retirement he’s gotten quite handy (his word) around their house getting under mom’s feet and messing with things that she figures don’t need messing with. When She made a solo trip to the coast to see us the one saving grace she had while she was here was my father was sick with a bladder infection so he wouldn’t be pulling a “While you were out” and adding an addition with her away for the week.

When I think of my own father I wonder what type of father I will make. As we grow up our prime focus is to not be like our parents but when we take the time to look in the mirror the apple really doesn’t fall too far from the tree does it. I like to think I’m nothing like my father but I see traits about myself that I see in him and let’s face it good or bad it’s who I am.

My father and I had the type of relationship that Harry Chapin sang about in “Cat’s in the Cradle”. Growing up I didn’t see my father a lot as he worked harsh hours, which now that I do the same I understand but at the time you just wonder where’s daddy? Then the weekends were time to relax or maybe we’d go for a daylong road trip, which is something I live for to this day. Nothing exhilarates me more than jumping in the car and driving somewhere, a good road trip no matter what country your visiting is the best vacation I can think of and I have to attribute that to my father.

One of my favorite road trips with my dad had just the two of us traveling to the east coast to PEI and back through Quebec city when I was about twelve or thirteen, I wonder if my father has any idea how much of an impression that trip left. The time we spent fishing at the cottage in Northern Ontario every year from the time I was in diapers till I was in my mid teens left the deepest of impressions on me and I long to go back to that part of the world though I think the scenery had less to do with my memory than who I was enjoying it with I think. All my fondest memories of bonding with my father were on holiday as I have very few fond memories of our home life together. I know we spent more time in the house I grew up in than anywhere else but it seems the routine of everyday life didn’t leave a real impact.

I wonder what sort of things I do now my child will remember when they’re in there mid thirties. Can you plan events that you hope will leave a lasting impact or do you just carry on with life and hope your child doesn’t shut you out? My own parents were never very tactile or outspoken with their feelings but I always knew they loved me though and as a kid I was always looking for that approval from my dad He never really slapped me on the back and said “wait a go” and I don’t think it affected me adversely. I think I’d like to give more verbal positive encourage to young Ziggy than my folks ever gave to me but I don’t think that made them wrong in there parenting technique. I was just the third of three boys so I they’d let me do just about anything by that point since my two brothers had worn them down.

Am I as close to my parents as I’d like to be is hard to say since they live on the other side of the country and for that reason I do actually feel closer to them as we don’t spend much time together so we always try to make it count. I won’t mention the road trip from Jasper a couple years back. Oddly enough my father displayed a trait I’d only ever really associated with myself to that point so it was comforting to know snits run in the family too. I guess if I don’t want Ziggy to be the same I’ll have to cut it out myself…. ok so the kid will have the odd snit doesn’t everyone?

This is my first child and girl or boy I don’t want to mess them up and have them talking to a psychologist years from now blaming everything that’s wrong in their life on their mother or me. I want to do a good job I want to be a super Dad like the one’s you see on TV that can always solve any problem in twenty-two minutes or less but the reality is this is who I am. I am my fathers son and soon enough the cycle will begin again with Ziggy. Will I make mistakes…with out a doubt, will I have regrets for things I do? I’m sure, .…will I be the best father I possibly can? I’ll always try as I know my dad did with me which at the end of the day is all any of us can do. I’ve never been convicted of a crime or done any time, smoked or ever tried drugs and apart from a couple scrapes with the law in my youth due to peer pressure I’ve turned out a pretty solid citizen that contributes to society. You are the person you are because of your parents and I can only hope I can stack up against my own dad as I think he and my mom did a great job with me. That didn’t sound too conceded did it?

A little context goes along way

So earlier this week I found a link in a long forgotten folder on my computer to this WordPress blog I created back in 2008. My intention then was to start up loading what I had written so far. I started writing a monthly post on my own experiences assuming the roll of fatherhood beginning back in February 2003 when I first found out about our first child.

Who knows why I didn’t follow through and push the blog live, life just sort of happens. In fact I recall 2008 was maybe the most pirvitol change in my own life with the birth of my third daughter only hours after losing my own father so I’m guessing I just forgot about this. I never stopped writing however and I’m nearly twelve years into the project so I might as well not stop now. With no fanfare or even much editing I just decided to push it live on a whim. The trauma of that year is long passed and what ever trepidation I had back then about sharing my thoughts and feeling in this forum are gone.

So if you’ll indulge me I’d like to upload a few more pieces I’ve done over the years. Maybe not all of them as that’s now a couple books worth but there are some interesting revelations along the way. Reading them now I’m shocked how I thought and felt back then as I can’t imagine that frame of mind now. It just proved to me I was correct to capture those moments at the time as they happened because writing it down now would never do it justice. So this can be a bit of a time capsule I suppose as I read over the few hundred pieces I’ve written so far. Most are the same length as my original intention back in 2003 was to submit them to a magazine or some sort of publication so they all hit the 2500 word mark. A little long for a blog perhaps and maybe that was another reason I didn’t pushed this thing live in 2008.

If you decide to come along for the ride I promise you nothing but honesty and the truth. Much to my wife’s chagrin I don’t hold anything back.

I’m Let in on the Secret


Volume #1

I was sitting in a chair in the living room of our home when the news was delivered to me like a blow to the head. She asked me if I remembered when I was twenty-five and had chicken pox which of course I did, don’t even get me started on that one. There was a chance that having this childhood aliment at that age could cause sterility in adult males but on this day she informed me apparently not in my case. It took a moment to process what she said and I sat there dumbfounded with a blank look on my face still starring at the TV. “Are you saying you’re what I think your saying? Is this your cleaver way of telling me?” Apparently it was and she had confirmed her own suspicion earlier in the day with one of those sticks you pee on. It shouldn’t really be such a surprise she stopped taking her birth control pills back at the end of August when we decided maybe we should throw caution to the wind and see what happens and I guess now we know.

I think really she was ready to take this step a couple years ago and only made little suggestions here and there but never really forced the issue. If there is one thing my wife has learned in nearly twelve years together it was never to try and force me to do anything, it was a sure way to not make what you wanted to happen really happen if you tried to force it on me. Her being the cleaver manipulative woman she was knew this and only dropped her subtle but well placed hints and waited biding her time till I finally came around to her way of thinking. She knew to be successful she had to make it look like it was my idea when in reality it was all part of her own master plan that she hatched years earlier before we even got married seven years ago, possibly while we were still living together, though I had my suspicion this plan was hatched June 8th 1990 the night of our first date.

A blind date set up by a friend of mine I worked with who was dating her best friend who selfishly wanted to piece this third wheel off so he could make some time with his girlfriend, that’s when I was drawn into the plan. Her name was JoAnn and I knew her father already as he was the guy responsible for the coffee machine where I worked and I often spoke to him when he came in every couple weeks to restock our coffee and clean the machine. The only thing I was told about JoAnn by my friend Dave was that she that she was a really nice girl and had big beautiful …eyes yeah that’s it, that was all I needed so I was in.

I was twenty-three and single for a couple years and starting to worry I’d never meet that one special girl. I never went out much other than with a couple friends and being a relatively shy person I wasn’t one for talking to girls in bars. I’d been seeing a girl I went to high school with off and on for quite a few months but for me there was little magic and I was just putting in time till someone came along to light me up. With little other prospects on the horizon I agreed to the blind date, something I’d never done before so I didn’t have the first hand knowledge to know this was doomed to failure, there was no voice telling me to jump out now, don’t worry about the parachute just jump save yourself. So blindly I agreed and hoped for the best fearing the worst but it was just a couple hours of my life I’d never get back I wasn’t giving the girl a kidney or anything radical like that.

When the car pulled up in front of the house I was as nervous as a geek in a sweater his mom had knit for him could be at meeting a new girl, did I think I’d get any action tonight? Not a chance looking like this. Apparently She’d not been given the same opportunity to know she was being set up and sat blindly in the back seat of the car while Dave knocked on the door to retrieve me. I can only imagine the words exchanged by her to her friend Melanie who was in on the fix, having already met me and my sweater weeks earlier at a local bar. First impressions are important and short of staring at her in the back seat as we sat nervously beside each other I avoided eye contact with her and spent more time talking to Dave in the front seat but when I first climbed into the back seat with her and said “hello” I was blown away by her radiant smile and beauty. She had this weird hair thing going on I couldn’t figure out at the time but I was sporting a stupid crappy looking ponytail so who was I to point fingers. Over drinks that night we sat oppisite one another and got lost in conversation after conversation as we had a lot of interests from music to favorite comic strips in common. The whole concept of love at first sight was unfamiliar to me and truly I didn’t believe in such a thing but there was indeed magic and electricity in the air and my stomach didn’t stop it’s nervous flip flops till sometime later that night after we said good bye to one another knowing full well we would see one another again. She wasn’t pissed at her friend for setting her up now and I think it was somewhere around when we were talking about our favorite Beatle song quotes that she hatched her plan of attack.

She’d date this guy for the next ten or so months spending countless hours together then she’d move into his Niagara falls home with him for a couple years while she finished college. Then she’d move with him across the country to isolate him from family and friends. After a year out west when they’d been together five years she’d get him to propose marriage then it was just a matter of time till the trap closed fully on him and she’d harvest his sperm one night and have his baby. It was a cleaver scheme only one a true master mind could hatch and follow through on but she was a woman so that gave her the edge over me and she was patient, I never even saw it coming after all those years.

We still had the formality of the prerequisite doctors visit to confirm hers and the pee sticks suspicion that she was in fact pregnant, there was always the chance this was a great miss understanding and things would return to normal as quickly as they had been upset. The following Friday was set for the doctor’s appointment and I wandered around the house nervous all day awaiting the official word, lets face it those pee sticks are about 99 % accurate so I already knew the out come but it was something to get it from a doctor trained in these things there was always a slim chance she just had a hormonal in balance or some form of cancer. The call came in a few minutes after the appointment that confirmed she was clinically diagnosed as pregnant…. With child…a mommy to be which made me a father to be and I had so little time to prepare.

After years together and seeing friends and family have children I’d shake my head in wonder at the amount of responsibility involved in such an undertaking, I couldn’t believe how grown up these friends of ours where to have children. It was remarkable and I wondered if I would ever grow up myself and take this plunge, every time I thought of it I got scared and retreated like a frightened rabbit. JoAnn was banking on the fact I’d come around. She didn’t want to face the reality of divorcing me and finding someone new to procreate with her if she couldn’t get me around to the idea myself. It was a long trip but I finally got it on my own or at least while sleeping with my dog Abbey, that’s not as creepy as it sounds we were on a camping trip.

After a well-deserved break from work I took off camping just my dog and me and we headed north not knowing where or how far our journey would last. After a week we crossed into Alaska but by the time we were through, emotionally we’d traveled a lot further. I think we were four of five days out when I found myself sitting in the Yukon enjoying the warm summer sun watching Abbey play with a little girl at the next camp site when it really hit me and it hit me hard. There was a family of four next to us and seeing Abbey play with this little girl and her brother did something to me and caused me to well up a moment. I was alone and probably that’s why it happened in the first place had JoAnn been there the spell may not have been cast but I liked the idea that this could be my own daughter playing with our dog as we had a daddy /daughter camping trip. I wasn’t getting any younger and I liked the idea of this, I didn’t think about all the hard or crappy aspects of child rearing at that moment like I was prone to do most of the time always seeing the negative. I just saw a pure moment of a little girl playing with a dog and I was hooked. Had Abbey not come with me I wouldn’t have reached this moment and it was my idea to bring her to spare JoAnn from walking her before and after work everyday and now I had to wonder had she suggested I take her? Was it really my idea or was Abbey part of the conspiracy to trick me into feeling this way. No matter I did and it freed a spirit in me I wasn’t truly familiar with but it put a smile on my face and made the rest of our trip to Alaska very fulfilling. I really couldn’t wait to get home to JoAnn. I needed to let her know after just over twelve years of trying she’d finally broke me and I was both ready and wanted to have children I needed them in fact, my biological clock that I’d been hitting the snooze button on for years finally woke something up in me, you did it girl congratulations I was ready.

Now here I am at thirty-five years old starring down the barrel of a whole new chapter in my life. So far I’d spent over a third of my life with this woman now we’d be sharing ourselves with someone new, an amalgamation of our genes someone wholly new a son or a daughter it didn’t matter because after all this time I was ready to grow up and after only a few months without birth control we’d hit the genetic jackpot my wife was pregnant and I couldn’t be happier.