Daddy's Coming Honey!

Fresh Start

Was watching Mad Men the other day. If you don’t know Mad Men, it’s about the ad men on who work on Madison Avenue (get it?) in the 60s in New York. Creating ads for cigarettes, demeaning women, ignoring negroes, fearing commies, drinking scotch, adulterating and living by the Ayn Rand philosophy. It’s a satire of the absurdity of 50s familyhood faced with the emerging and equally absurd 60s counterculture.

Anyway, so I’m watching Mad Men, and Betty, the Cococola image of a housewife to mysterious ad man Don Draper, is having her baby. He hands her to the nurse in the hallway and the nurse wheels her off, while she looks back at Don and watches him disappear, leaving her by herself. And that’s when I realize: When all this is said and done I will get to say that I am more of a man than Don Draper. For one, I don’t cheat on my wife. Secondly, I don’t create lies for a living. Thirdly, he’s a fictional character, so he’s not a real man or woman. But most importantly, I plan on not only sitting in the room with her, but coaching that baby out of her. Write that down: Caleb Guard is more manly than Don Draper.

Of course, it was a different time back then. In the 60s people were really bought by express birthing, and men were encouraged to stay clear of a world they were told they had no business seeing. I can see why some men abide by that today. I just don’t get it.

So while Don sits in the men’s waiting room, drinking scotch with another father-to-be, the other guy tells Don about his sudden epiphany that this kid he’s having is going to be a fresh start.

A fresh start. I like that idea. Bump New Year’s Eve. You want a real chance at a new beginning? Have a kid. Wanna quit smoking? Wanna start eating right? Wanna start that Van Halen tribute band and tour the country like you always wanted? Have a kid.

I think about what it will be like to look at that new face for the first time, and how it will be like looking at a new me. I mean, he will share half my DNA. I will have another being to care for, someone who will look up to me, need me, learn from me, be punished by me, feel the desire to make me happy and not disappointed, maybe even hate me sometimes.

Like my own spiritual rebirth, it will be a time for renewal. I’ll get inspired to write that book I’ve been planning on writing (caz I’ll have time to do that). We’ll exercise and eat better, so we can live a long and healthy life and be able to see our grandchildren. We’ll quit watching shows like Madmen and get one of those TV guardians. We’ll go camping and stuff. We’ll study the Word more. We’ll stop making mistakes. We’ll be everywhere on time. We’ll transform into unblemished examples. We’ll just be a perfect, ideal family. And everyone can look to us for a reflection of how they should be. The American dream. And a TV in every home. In technicolor. Something the whole family can enjoy.

Truth is, I have what I need, and I don’t need anyone to tell me what else I need. I received more than I deserved on at least two other occasions: my baptism and my wedding. It’s about to happen again.

Later Don Draper’s in his office, and his secretary Peggy confesses to him that she envies his life.

“You have everything. And so much of it.”
Says Don, “I suppose that’s probably true.”

I lack in many things. But I see a shape looming that brings both trouble and joy. Everyone tells me the joy will win the battle, and I have no reason not to believe it. Let the blessings flow like milk and honey. And let me have a rag to wipe that milk and honey off my shirt after my kid just puked it up. Let me look my boy in the eyes and tell him that he has everything. And so much of it. Let him tell that to me in return. Let us all fall asleep at night in our quiet house and tell ourselves we have everything, and so much of it.

I suppose…I suppose…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: