Everything is Different and the Same

My wife is pregnant! I’m going to be a father. Even though we’re working our way through the second trimester, I already think of myself as a dad. I do plenty of dad things:

  • Make sure all the lights are off when a room is empty.
  • Keep a baseball bat by the bed to take out any would-be home invaders.
  • Get a list ready of kid-friendly superhero cartoons, books, shows, etc.
  • Take pride in anything my boy does (right now this is mainly just being himself).

Bringing a new life into the world makes you think about the circle of life. In my case, that means thinking about my own mortality and immortality. God willing, I will be alive and kicking until our boy is old enough to be a good man on his own. If I’m not around though, I thought I had better provide him with some life advice. I wanted to give him a letter welcoming him to the world in case something happened to me. I thought it would be wise and sentimental, and here is what poured out:

Dear Son, the first thing you need to know is that we love you! The second thing you need to know is that your parents are cool. I played in bands! Also, your mom is hot. Those two facts are probably why you were created in the first place. If we aren’t cool when you’re reading this, the only thing that has changes is that we had you! So if you don’t think your parents are cool it is probably your fault. Anyway, we already love you and are proud of you and we can’t wait to meet you. Love, Dad

This isn’t exactly a Field of Dreams level conversation between father and son, but it was weirdly reassuring. Yes, there is a new life in the world, full of potential (and responsibility). Yes, my life and identity if fundamentally changing. But I’m still me. Sam is still Sam. We’re just getting to experience the world in a richer and fuller way. We’re raising up a little one in the way that he should go. So maybe I won’t give our kid that letter, but I do hope I can pass on the best of us and minimize the rest.

Basically, I can’t wait to become Phil Dunphy.