The start of a lifelong family journey all began while I was Half asleep.
Just like any other day we always made sure we said goodbye to each other before leaving for work, as I was sleeping she nudged me and whispered “I’m pregnant!” Well I work midnights, I slept in the basement where the sunlight and the noise would not bother me so I always expected my wife to wake me up briefly to tell me that she’s going to work and that she loves me but this time when she told me she was pregnant and in the complete darkness of the basement I can I will forever remember the huge soul warming smile that she had on her face as she kissed me and I gave her a hug. Now I’m not going to fluff my reaction at the time. So, my response was in my raspy voice “oh that’s so nice, I love you babe have a good day at work.” My wife has always been understanding when it comes to my job, so she did not take any offense to me not jumping out of bed and being as happy as we both really were. As I close my eyes back to sleep I just remember feeling extremely blessed at that very moment. I began to reflect on many things.
After 32 years of life I found my soulmate, my career, and now will be blessed with A child. Father hood was approaching and nothing could prepare me for the moment I heard my wife say those words. The words etched themselves into my psyche.
What to expect? Well, that is a complex question that requires at least a little bit of complex thoughts. I don’t know what to expect. Life will change. But, isnt change what we want as human beings? To continuously grow and improve, right? Even if I make plans or try to prepare, I’m not going to be “ready”… really it’s like any new growth… you can’t really be ready cause the “growth” is going to be new and if something is new to your life you might anticipate or think you’re prepared but in the end something new in your life can never be 100 percent planned for. I am an open minded individual that will never agree with the “Status Quo” until I have experienced it myself. That way of thinking isn’t always the best, might I add.
So when more people heard about my wife and I are expecting I got the same statement over and over which was “oh you will never have time to do anything”, “say goodbye to your workouts and say goodbye to any hobbies”.
Now, I have to admit, I do like spending quite a bit of time working out, playing basketball, and just basically being active. I know that will change, but I refuse to listen to those people that basically have a “negative vibe” on my new life altering change. I don’t mean to sound naïve because I don’t have any children but there are a lot of successful people in this world that balance work hobbies and have happy successful families. They didn’t fall into the “trap” of not being able to do what they did before they had a child. My wife and I have a drive to be successful and to be healthy mentally and physically. We will share what we know with our baby and instill those values.
“My Father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me”- J. Vilvano
The one thing I know I can bring to the table , with our baby being born is my relentless never give up attitude. I had that attitude when some friends and family said I could never play college football, since I didn’t play high school football. But, I did and I was successful. I had that attitude when I was told to stop pursuing a career in law enforcement. After six years of being persistent, I finally achieved the career that I work so hard for. So when I was told “you will never be able to do “that” again” I took that as a personal challenge to once again prove everyone wrong that I can have a beautiful newborn and still be able to balance the rest of my daily activities, with some modifications, of course.
I know that life will change and some challenges will arise. I mean think about it, I am responsible for another human life!
I couldn’t be more excited for the moment when I hold my child in my arms. “Hey Eric are you ready for the baby?” Well what an open ended question and this is my logic behind my answer to that question: no, I’m not ready and in reality whoever is ready? Even if I think I am ready, this is a new path that will bring the challenges, and that is exciting. I am ready to be the best father I can be, and the best husband to my wife . I personally believe that there is no course I can prepare me or anybody for fatherhood, but I plan on giving it my very best and at the end of the day I feel it in my heart that my very best will always be the most positive thing for my family. Everything I am and every experience story and challenge that I face will be passed down to my daughter. With every lesson, and every story I will be there for her on a daily basis.
What is the one thing I can pass down…..
When it comes to being a new father, what comes to mind? Should I be realistic? What if I said that being realistic is the most common Road traveled to mediocrity? My personal favorite movie is the 80s classic Back to The Future. If you know the movie doc brown tells Marty over and over “if you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything” I’ve experienced that first hand in my life and will pass that to my daughter. I keep thinking about The talks I will have with my baby girl as she grows up and I will definitely tell her that if she puts her mind to something she can accomplish anything. Now I am not just taking that line out of the movie and expecting greatness. That statement alone is very general and broad and I understand it, but I will tell my baby girl, that “if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything, but remember it might take you 10 times”. I will make sure she understands that it doesn’t matter what you do or how many times you try and fail at something if you keep your mind on track and really want something you will achieve it. At the end of the day the kid who mastered the bike in one try and a kid who mastered the bike on the 30th try are now both riding without help, they both overcame the challenge.
For my future daughter, she will see firsthand how a man treats a woman by seeing her beautiful mother and I communicating with respect. However, this may occur years down the road but it does cross my mind these days. I know no one will ever treat her with as much love and respect than her father and mother. Also another thought provoking question I ask myself is the relationship of husband and wife after child is born. I have heard many times “my wife and I barely see each other and when we do get a silent moment we….. sleep”. Adult responsibilities are always going to take time and have a certain level of stress with them, but do we forget about each other when “life has its challenges” like a new born baby? If we don’t take care of ourselves then how can we take care of the ones that need us? There is no problem in my opinion to revisit the relationship between husband and wife on a daily basis to have some kind of reflection on your relationship because just like anything else in life if you just go with the motion you’re not really experiencing the joy of the ride through life with the one you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with.
Now quickly revisiting the statement of “if we don’t take care of ourselves then how can we take care of the love ones and our lives”
So many different areas to touch base with that one statement, but I will choose the most obvious one- to me. Fitness is a great starting point, but it would be irresponsible if that was the answer to being “healthy”.
“At any moment you have to be able to sacrifice what you are, for what you Will become”
I believe that fitness is just like any other great relationship. People form that relationship throughout their lives. Fitness does not come over night. It takes hard work and dedication, you learn what things work and what things don’t, and throughout that whole process your continually educating yourself and growing not only physically to a healthier person but mentally as well. And it’s funny Innoway because you couldn’t really read that last sentence or two and apply that to any friend any husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, job, pet, or hobby because nothing happens overnight but knowing that you’re taking a small step forward is encouraging because at the end of the day if you’re not growing then you’re dying.
So wrapping up this post, there is a balanced point to take away and that’s this: its not only the joy of a new baby, but realizing that I need to rely on my core beliefs and morals. To communicate with my wife at all times with things regarding our child and us.
So, in conclusion no matter what challenge I face as a new father, I know that I will have each day to be thankful for because I know that my little girl is a little bigger and a little smarter than the day before and that her growth in life will be beautiful and triumphant. She will know her mom and dad Will be there with her and we will all grow together as a family which is the most important lesson in life.