It’s amazing how something as innocuous as a single question can turn a life upside-down.
Let me explain.
Wednesday evening, I was sitting on the couch with the little lady in our new home when she looked at me with the most innocent eyes imaginable.
“Hey honey, how would you feel if you found out you were going to be a father at your age?” she asked.
That’s about the time that the blood drained out of my face, I became cold and clammy and had trouble catching my breath.
And my first reaction probably wasn’t the most appropriate.
“What do you mean, at my age?” I asked, not quite grasping the gravity of the situation.
Now granted, I’m going to be 47 years old in a couple of weeks, so this isn’t something that was planned, but “at your age?” I mean seriously, it’s not like I’m falling apart or anything.
Given a few minutes to think, I told her that I’d be scared to death and thrilled at the same time.
“If it were with someone else, I probably would have already created one of those Wile E. Coyote holes in the wall as I ran out,” I said with a wink. “But since it’s with you, I’d be kind of excited.”
We turned in for the night, where I didn’t get any sleep whatsoever.
What followed that initial question can only be described as a whirlwind.
By Thursday afternoon, one at-home test was complete. I knew it was complete when the little lady called out from the bathroom.
“Hey baby? Baby? BABY!? Can you come in here?”
One look at her said it all.
She was laughing while tears were streaming down her face.
“Two lines,” she said, positively glowing.
Once again, I didn’t grasp the gravity of the situation.
“You mean…” I asked.
“Yep. You’re gonna be a daddy!”
I wasn’t convinced, so I promptly went to the store and got another test. Still positive. “Either we’ve gotten two defective tests, or you’re pregnant!” I said.
Throughout the rest of the evening, one of us would occasionally wander into the bathroom and look at them again. “Still positive,” we would call out. “Hasn’t changed yet.”
By 8:30 Friday morning we were at the doctor, where they confirmed she’s about five weeks pregnant. Now we’re in the process of setting up OB-GYN appointments, getting prenatal vitamins and doing a whole lot of other things I had no idea had to be done.
So, here I sit with only one thing on my mind:
I’m totally unprepared for this! And by totally I mean I’m financially, emotionally, spiritually and mentally unready for what’s about to happen. Suffice to say I have no idea what I’m supposed to do.
But she brought it back into perspective by noting that in the space of less than two weeks we had stumbled upon a home we love and discovered that the room we were going to turn into a combination office/entertainment room is now going to be a nursery.
“It seems like someone wants us to be together,” the little lady said, pointing toward the Heavens. While I’m not the most religious person you’ve ever met, I have to agree. Things are falling into place far too easily to not have some kind of Divine intervention.
While I’m shocked, happy, excited, and even a little unsure, I don’t think the fact that I’m going to be responsible for another life has sank in at this point.
But it came a little closer to being real over the weekend.
Walking through the crowd at the Autumn Leaves Festival Saturday morning, she and I saw a couple carrying a newborn.
“You know that’s going to be us at this festival next year,” she said, smiling and squeezing my hand.
And when all is said and done, I can’t wait.
Keith Strange is a staff reporter at The Mount Airy News. He can be reached at email@example.com or 719-1929.