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November 18, 2005

Gotta Start Somewhere

 

A blog.

Christ on a stick, I started blogging in 1993 when I would write "my book" and then literally mail chapters to friends of mine as I completed them.

Then, for rather obvious reasons, I stopped.

Why start again?  Why now that it's so trendy it's played?

Well, rather a lot in my life (and the world!) has changed since then.  Once upon a time I greatly feared running out of things to say, mainly because I loathe repeating myself.  It's been long enough, though, that I might have come up with a thing or two worth noting.

Besides, even if I haven't, I can amuse myself, right?

Imagine, a diary you're hoping people will read.

I'm hoping nobody does, but in the meantime, I can practice writing things I wouldn't wince to have discovered.

Who knew, 12 years ago, that one of those would be me-as-the-father-of-two-kids?

My boys.  Yeesh.  One of them is going to be a year old on Tuesday, and the other will be 5 on Christmas.  The Concorde may not fly anymore, but time seems to be making up for it.

I'm married.  Over 5 years.  Got my woman to take my name, and as male-dominated as that may seem, well, it's a sticking point with me.  Many years ago, when my mother remarried, I was the only person in a city of nearly 50,000 with my surname.  She kept my name until I was six, then took another.  I've already beat the time married that my parents spent before my mother filed for divorce, and now I'm aiming for "still married" status when the oldest is six.

The two lessons I learned in fatherhood, via counterexample:  Be there.  Be sober.

I'm married, and now it sounds like it's just an axe to grind or some twisted competition, but really it's about my boys.  My (biological) father is something (someone, damnit) I didn't have growing up.  I've got him now, and he's a wonderful grandfather, and seeing that example I'm sorry I didn't have him a lot sooner.  My (now-dead) step-father is someone I did have growing up, but never asked for.

When I met (online! of course!) the woman I married, back when we were still in the "getting-to-know-you" phase, I told her I would be proud to have her as the mother of my children.  Of course, I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to have any, but I knew if I decided to go there she'd be the right choice.  I was right.

I wouldn't have kids without her.  That's not to say "she gave her body up to the miracle of birth" (which is mostly true; she gave it up to the miracle of gestation, and had some surgical help with both births), but to be more pragmatic and concede that I probably would have let self-doubt continue to get the better of me with respect to (potential) fatherhood.

My genes are lovely things, but they lent to some bitterly bad times, for which there are fortunately medications these days.  I wasn't sure I wanted to pass them on, to inflict the tremendous odds of repeating those conditions if not experiences -- knowingly.  But with my wife, we're getting through quite admirably (if I say so myself) and I'm confident my boys will, too.

So that's a story (or semi-woven collection of anecdotes and thought fragments) I've told myself many times.  Here it is for posterity.  I don't think I'll wince too much if my parents read it, or my wife, or another dozen years from now my boys.

Had to start somewhere, and that's something new and hitherto unsaid.

It's a blog.  No way it's all going to be about my boys -- I've got too many other interests leading to too many other pointless observations.  But don't be surprised to see other stuff about them, too.

At least it's not a blank page anymore.
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