Daddy's Coming Honey!

Fatherhood everywhere

I’m seeing fatherhood everywhere. I’m haunted. I feel like Jim Carrey in some movie in which every time he looks in the mirror he sees himself holding a baby and then contorts his face with a gasp, trying to hide it. And it is in this manner I feel like a child again, because when I was a kid I constantly imagined my life as a Jim Carrey movie. I bet you never imagined that.

I see fatherhood when I’m mowing my own dad’s lawn because he’s trying to take it easy before going to the doctor for a procedure.

I see fatherhood when my brother tells me his dog had about five puppies—meaning that they just had five kids before we had our one.

When I stand before my students and see them as young, impressionable kids with a handful of problems from the school they attended, the way they were raised, I see fatherhood.

When I sit in my linguistics class next to a soon-to-be mother, about as far along as Carrie is, I see fatherhood.

I drive Carrie up to see her parents this past weekend, and Friday night the cat crawls into bed with us and wants to sleep. I see Fatherhood.

Guests arrive for a shower. That’s the signal for the men to go on a walk to the local apple orchard (I don’t make this stuff up). The old men talk of retirement and ask me my career plans, the young buck in the picture. Like they’re training me. Fatherhood.

We return from the shower where a majestic quilt-patterned cake is ready for us to eat. Carrie shows me the gifts: assorted clothes, toys, books, a baby swinger, and a breast pumping factory. Just more things to fill the nursery in preparation for the real thing. Fatherhood.

Carrie’s cousin Jenn is with us, and she brings her daughter Ailey. Ailey and I chase each other back and forth across the house, until one of the women tells us to stop. She races her Barbie racecar over my feet. She has me help her act out Han Solo and Disney Princes Belle go racing in the car. She dances with me in circles. We watch Wallace and Gromit until she falls asleep at my side, her arm around mine. So this is what it would be like to have a daughter. Fatherhood.

We drive home and in the evening while we have Bible study in Blacksburg two other parents sit their little toddlers next to us and we watch them eat. Fatherhood.

It’s beginning to grow on me.


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