So I’m a Dad now. This is my first blog entry on dadhood. I have typically despised the gushing “new Dad” phenomena. All of a sudden otherwise normal men start driving the speed limit, talking in baby talk and losing all sense of spontaneity. I don’t expect non-Dads to understand this post just like I didn’t understand previous new Dads. But I can report that you don’t have to turn into a pussy just because you are a Dad. On the other hand, it is totally weird the emotions that come over you when you have your first child. First of all and most obvious is the immediate and intense love you feel for your child. When Myles was born he was born C-section so when they whisked him out of the operating room I followed him and was with him for his first few minutes out of the womb. He was small and purple and he was crying. Immediately I felt an intense feeling of responsibility for him. He was mine. He was helpless and delicate and he immediately needed love and care. He held on to my finger as they cleaned him and and I rubbed him and spoke to him and welcomed him to Earth. As time goes on (he is 4 months old now) the feeling of love and intimacy grows as you bond together. Right now I am on an airplane and he is hundreds of miles away. If this plane went down I would cry like a baby all the way down, not so much for Myles but for myself and for the love and joy that would be robbed of me when I died. I miss him right now and I know in some way he doesn’t quite understand he misses me. He is my buddy.
I am a busy person and having Myles hasn’t changed that. I travel and go to meetings or go to my observatory. I work a lot and enjoy getting out with the boys for a beer now and then. I’m not going to hover constantly over my son or avoid living my life to be with him. Yet he is undoubtedly the most important thing in my life now. It is funny because I was very much on the fence about having kids. I wasn’t against it but I could easily imagine a life without kids. I still can, and I know it would be a life very much worth living. But somehow this take-it-or-leave-it feeling was replaced by the most-important-thing-in-my-life feeling within minutes of him being born. I love my son deeply and I look forward to every minute that we’ll spend together in the decades to come. Now I am on the fence about another child. I could take it or leave it. I used to say that I don’t see the purpose of my life to raise children. I still don’t. I want to raise my children in the context of my life, but I will never give up the ambitions and adventures that I treasure. I feel sorry for parents who do. I may not make every baseball game as Myles grows up. I may be gone on trips now and then or busy at meetings and such. I think my son will benefit from having a father that is constantly interested in learning things and doing things. None of that changes this wonderful feeling of fatherhood. I am not the most responsible person in the world. I won’t enumerate my vices here, but I am not your stereotypical Dad. I play in a band. I study astrophysics and go SCUBA diving. I enjoy the hell out of life and rather than having my children being something that inhibits that, I intend to live a life where my children enhance it. For you non-parents out there, being a parent is absolutely nothing to fear. It is fun and satisfying and can be an ultra-enjoyable change in context for your life. Whether you have your own children or adopt children, I believe the feeling is really the same. These children need you and love you and without question you will find that you need and love them, too. Being a Dad is cool.