Merry and I are only a handful of days away from becoming first-time parents.
A while back, our doctor pushed up the due date to Oct. 14, meaning he would not allow the pregnancy to go further than that.
If we are still pregnant by Oct. 14, doctors will induce labor.
I have said for approximately four months now that the baby would arrive Oct. 7.
Still, if she goes the full amount of days, we have 25 days as of today.
We have already begun preparations for that day.
Baby's room: Check.
Suitcase packed and standing by door: Check.
Baby seat in car: Check. (Thank you by the way, Carrie -- one of my colleagues, and Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton for double-checking the seat).
Merry's sanity: Check.
My sanity: Not so sure.
To be honest, there's not much for a soon-to-be father to do in the months prior to birth.
I am as supportive as I can be. Daily.
But in only a matter of days, I will officially become a father.
And I'm a little nervous.
I know I have written about this before, but this thought enters my mind regularly.
Will I be a good father? A great father?
I know what I expect from myself, but as a parent, you don't really know what you're reaction will be until you are confronted with the issue at hand.
All I have as a blueprint is how my father reacted to situations involving myself and my sister.
And he was terrific.
I only hope I can be as great as a dad that my father has been.
But it won't be easy.
I waited, purposely, until I was older to become a father.
When I was younger, in my 20s, I didn't feel as if I was ready to be a father.
Selfishly, I wanted to live life and do things I knew I wouldn't be able to do if I had a child.
But I'm older now. Things have changed.
Life is different.
Life changed, for me at least, the moment I met Merry.
I knew things would never be the same.
We met in a coffee shop on a Thursday evening. Had a great time. Talked over java.
A couple of dates later, we were a couple.
A few months later, we were engaged.
Mere months after that, we were married and expecting child.
Life changes a lot quicker than what we realize.
Sometimes, it catches you off guard.
I just hope that I can keep up with this next chapter of life.
The third chapter in my life: Fatherhood.
The other day, I was walking around our yard thinking of a place where I could put a swing set or something of that sort.
Should I build it myself?
Should I pinch and save and purchase one?
Where will be the best location for this "jungle gym" for Jellybean?
Sunday morning I woke up and found myself brewing coffee and thinking again, will I be a good father?
Can I be as good as my father was?
All I can really hope is that I am.
I hope that I take time out of my schedule to attend Jellybean's music recitals or athletic events.
Maybe I'll have time to coach Jellybean in whatever sport they choose.
I just want Jellybean to know that whatever situations we face in life, I'll always be there for them.
I'll always take time out of my life from here on out to be there for my family.
This, again, is why I waited to create my own family.
Just 10 years ago, I wasn't prepared to think like this.
I needed to grow up.
I needed to mature.
Now I feel as I have. I'm ready to meet you, Jellybean.
I'm ready for this bundle of joy to open those eyes and display that wonderful, beautiful grin.
I just hope the baby looks like Merry and not me.