So I spent a year writing a story (or at least a number of words) and posting them to this site every day. That ended more than a year ago and the contributions to this site have dwindled since.
Driving in to work today I realized I missed the daily writing assignment.
So while I’m not committing to anything this go around, I’m going to write as often as possible about the greatest thing that has ever happened to me…watching the Penguins win the Stanley Cup.
Now that I’ve sufficiently pissed off my wife. I can really get in to this thing. Really, the best thing has been the birth of my daughter Leah. And while I’ll refrain from calling it the best thing that will ever happen, I do know that moment can only be equalled, never bettered.
But most dads are smart enough to share that same feeling, what makes me different?
Nothing really, but I like to write, and I don’t mind looking like an idiot so I’m going to share my this-can-only-happen-to-a-new-dad moments as they come. No real structure here, just look for my screw ups and massive confusion as they come.
Now on to the first display of what the hell is the dad supposed to do:
After the nine months of pregnancy and however many hours of labour your wife is unfortunate enough to go through, there are obvious physical signs that she went through all the work. While all new fathers know what I mean, for those of you who have not yet seen the pregnancy/post-pregnancy change, let me explain:
Moms are more beautiful in every way. In their face, in their body, in their feet, everywhere.
Period. (Email me for more details)
And what does dad have to show for the whole ordeal?
For lucky dads, it’s more about what they don’t come out of it with. Essentially, if you’re a new dad and you leave the hospital without your own vomit on your shirt, without a bandage on your head from the nasty knock you got when you passed out on the floor, and without bruises from your partner, the doctors, or the nurses as they squeeze your hand or push you out of the way respectively, then you should consider yourself lucky.
So you get home and if there are pictures of the event, you try and remember that you were indeed part of the whole process. Most dads would be ok with this, but I wasn’t.
So I decided to get a tattoo to commemorate the whole thing. What would I get? A picture of piles of blood and other unmentionable body fluids? The phonetic spelling of the sounds that were screamed out throughout the night and early morning? Or maybe a detailed illustration of the placenta—that lovely underappreciated life-feeding organ that gets casually discarded?
Realizing that while any of these options would have sufficiently accomplished the goal of reminding myself of that day, I wasn’t sure if they would survive the inevitable changes my body will make over the coming years (although I’m not sure a placenta can really lose its shape).
Instead, I decided on lyrics from one of my favourite songs—Still Fighting It by Ben Folds. I tried hard to convince myself that the first line in the song: Good morning son, I am a bird, was actually Good morning sun, I am a bird, but realizing tattoos tend to be permanent and not wanting incorrect lyrics on me, I cowered.
That more beautiful in every way wife of mine suggested another line: And I can tell you about today, and how I picked you up and everything changed.
I was sold.
So to mark the birth of my first child I was ready to undergo pain I hear is nowhere close to what women go through (provided they decide against the miracle epidural) during labour.
Still, I tried as hard as I could to replicate the experience, yelling and screaming throughout the two-hour procedure, forcing myself to throw-up, and soiling myself in front of the tattoo artist.
I feel better now. My scar has healed and I think I know exactly what women go through.
For dads (or even for moms) in Ottawa looking to make their own mark, I strongly suggest
Living Colour Tattoo and Piercing. You’ll get the best service and safety. And they let you cry like a baby.