Wyrd Words: Being A Pagan Father

Wyrd Words: Being A Pagan Father December 11, 2014

Greetings, and welcome back to Wyrd Words. Keeping the Thor in Thursdays, every other week here on Agora!

Sometimes life loafs about, trudging endlessly through the same monotonous rut for months on end. Other times, life decides to pull itself out of that long ditch and go for an adventure out in the open. Then, every once in a blue moon, life finds itself crying for its mommy while dodging a veritable maelstrom of flaming debris. Let us say that the past month has been “interesting” in the ancient-chinese-curse kind of way! On top of the standard holiday madness, I’ve also been working 50-60 hour weeks in preparation for a sudden change in employment. Now that’s a big enough stress-grenade for just about anybody, but it pales in comparison to the biggest bomb of last the month.

 photo baby_zps4e6ac417.png
[Babies: For when you want to measure stress in Megatons…]
 For the past few weeks approximately 50% of my brain has been devoted to an unending loop of: “Holy crap I’m going to be a father. Holy Crap I’m Going To Be A Father. HOLY CRAP I’M GOING TO BE A FATHER.” The other half of my brain has been busy trying to figure out exactly what that means. We’ve all seen those awesome movie montages in which some loser discovers that he’s a father and miraculously becomes a cooler person over the course of a single song. I honestly spent the first week waiting for somebody to cue the music.

I thought I’d suddenly feel this massive paternal drive to become a better person, work harder, go to the gym, pray more… I thought I’d become obsessed with morality, and ensuring that my child was raised “properly”. I thought that Faith would suddenly take an even more central role in my life now that I was in charge of raising the next generation. Why? Because that’s what happens in the movies. The main character suddenly finds god, drops his bad habits, turns his life around, and becomes “Super-McAwesome-Dad-Man”. Unfortunately, it seems that my expectations may have been somewhat unrealistic…

It’s difficult to focus on such high-minded concepts, when there are so many other (more immediate) concerns. It’s hard to put too much thought into what kind of theology you’re planning to teach your child when you can’t stop wondering how you’re going to find space for baby supplies. Your plans for ensuring that they have a quality science education seem inconsequential when you’re so focused on figuring out how to baby-proof your house. (Seriously, I can barely keep my CAT from doing really dumb things like chewing on live power cables, and now I’m basically going to have a cat with THUMBS.) I thought that the discovery of my impending fatherhood would bring some kind of profound spiritual revelation. Instead the biggest realization I’ve had is that my Smart Car has no back seats, and that’s suddenly a problem…

 photo DaddySmartCar_zpse3d21f2d.png
[That’s a negative Ghost Rider, the vehicle is full.]

You know what else the movies don’t tell you about becoming a father? Absolutely everything becomes COMPLETELY TERRIFYING. Little molehills that used to fly under your radar suddenly become giant mountains that keep you up at night. “Mom” has the sniffles? Well her immune system is shot so you need to make sure she’s taken care of. “Mom” trips over her own feet? No longer something to snicker about, because now you’re too busy diving in to catch her like some kind of Secret Service agent body-blocking a bullet. The stairs in your house that you never cared about before suddenly become an obstacle course of DOOM. Every single unexpected phone call from your partner now sends a shot of ice down your spine because something could have gone wrong while you were away. As a father-to-be you now have 99 problems and a baby is every single one of them.

BUT…

It’s not all bad. There might be a whole new passel of hassles, but there’s an upside too. It’s brought my family closer together. Now that there’s going to be a grandchild, my parents and my in-laws have become a more cohesive family unit. It’s brought my wife and I even closer together, which I didn’t think was possible. Most of all it’s given me one more reason for living. When I feel like crap, and the car won’t start, and work sucks more than usual, I can get through it all that much easier because I know that one more person is depending on me. I thought that responsibility would be a burden, but instead it’s become my inspiration. I know I can handle everything else that’s coming, because becoming a father has given me HOPE.

</Cue End Of Musical Fatherhood Montage>


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