I’ve never been more afraid of anything in my entire life.
I just got off the phone with Willie Colon and for the first time, one of our conversations made me cry. We’ve had some emotionally exhausting heart-to-hearts over the years but he's never put tears in my eyes. Willie is currently in his beautiful house, with his beautiful wife and their brand new baby boy. This conversation was our first time really catching up since he and his wife Aikisha had their baby last Thursday. While Willie vividly explained the process of watching his first child be brought into this world, I couldn’t help but silently get choked up on the other end of the phone… like a bitch.
Willie is one of the most unapologetically masculine men that I’ve ever met. A man who rebukes anything that challenges his manliness. A true quick trigger New Yorker who wakes up ready for the proverbially smoke. After 10 minutes of rapidly painting a picture filled with big ass scrubs and big ass screams, he paused to fully articulate his next sentence. “Time stopped after the doctor put him in my arms for the first time. It’s impossible not to cry… you next.”
For the past 8 months, I’ve flippantly dropped “my wife is pregnant” into almost every conversation. When I force this information into a debate that has nothing to do with children or parenting, I’m not trying to receive sympathy for me or my wife. In my mind, when I say “my wife is pregnant” I’m really saying “I’m married and my sperm works.” That’s the extent of the message, “the stuff in my penis works.” If I’m being honest with myself, I’ve been selfish ever since the conception of this child.
But after getting off of the phone with Willie, I realized that this pregnancy isn’t about me. Like at all. A very difficult concept for me to wrap my head around. This pregnancy isn’t even about my wife. Unfortunately, it’s all about this needy ass nobody (that we don’t even know) growing in her stomach/vagina/womb/clitoris thing. My entire world revolving around someone I don’t even know? I don’t even really like babies like that for real, for real.
I should probably have a better mental disposition about this unborn child. But, like most active members of the KKK, my fear is manifesting itself as anger. Not angry at the baby. Not angry at my wife for suggesting we have the baby. Honestly, I’m angry at myself for being way more fearful than I am excited about its arrival. It’s been nice listening to Large, Clem and Chaps talk about being a parent on The Podfathers but I imagine listening to people talk about changing diapers is a whole lot easier than actually doing it.
For all those who are already bored with my whole “oh shit, parenthood” schtick, please know that I completely agree with you. I’m clearly not pumped about the process of becoming a Dad either, but it’s as inevitable as me bringing up race in a conversation about Oreos or mentioning that I ‘played’ football for Notre Dame. This is a part of my brand now and we all have to deal with it.
For those who still choose to read my blogs despite the fact that I mainly write about being black and having a white wife, know that I’m going to 'LaVar Ball' this child to greatness like any self-respecting father would. It’s just going to take some time to get that LaVar level of fatherly confidence, but for now, my wife is due on March 12th and I’ve never been more afraid of anything in my entire life.