Fatherhood: 12 weeks of Dreams, Fears, and Chipotle 3 times a week.

What to Expect, a website that has been consulted in our home more than Harry Potter, Educational Psych books, and Netflix Docu series as of recent, says that my child is the size of a plum and looks like Thanos meets Boss Baby.

M y Child…This child of mine has already imprinted itself in my and my wife’s life. It has doubled the blood in my wife’s body, made her nauseous, brought fall-asleep-with-your-mouth-wide-open-on-the-couch-at-6:30 fatigue, and this sweet child has brought Chipotle cravings three times a week.

12 weeks in and it is already apparent this genetic combination of Katie and I is going to take with intensity. Pillaging our energy this child has made itself known through the dishes that are pilled up in the sink, budget overage in the food category, and irregular sleeping patterns. I already find myself being humbled by my child, a fetus that has just lost its tail. I find my life bending to its needs, its taking.

While it takes it also gives. (Did I mention Chipotle?) My wife and I have so much hope. A bare-bones guest room in a few months will be a stylish, gender neutral nursery, adorned with a ship-lap accent wall — so vogue. Vacations will be family trips. All firsts to be celebrated are imagined and considered like a sacred text; first words, first steps, first day of Kindergarten, first interests, first favorite book, first love, first heartbreak, first embrace, first conflict. All of it beautiful and crammed with so. much. hope.

With hope comes fear. So much hope. So much fear. Both belonged as I watched my big headed child who just lost its tail on the screen during the ultrasound. The intense feelings of taking my child to the first day of school or watching first steps taken is neutralized by possible loss. Fun family vacations obscured by the future possibility of estranged relationship. Unquestionable love lost in the questioning of my fatherly capability.

So much fear and in that fear there is something to learn. There is always something to learn. In this I am reminded that I am not in control. Unquestionable love will ooze from this bumbling father who knows control is allusion but still wars for it. In that love I hope to communicate to my child this: “ you are worth the fear, the sadness, and the hurt.”

With hope and fear,

a father to be.