With about ten days to go before the birth of our first child, I’m sure I’ve been through all the fears and anxieties one can have as a prospective father. They seem to fall into a couple of camps: health-related (will he be ‘normal’ in the sense that all the right gear is attached fairly well in all the right places) and fatherhood-related (how quickly will my son realize what an awful father I’ve turned out to be). I’m sure I’m not going out on a limb if I suggest these are the traditional fears any man might have.
My wife, looking beautiful and relaxed as always despite being 9 months pregnant, revealed her own fear to me recently, the fear of being upstaged in my eyes by the impending interloper. To be honest, I hadn’t thought of that. Does that really worry me – that maybe she would be giving our lad the attention she currently gives me? That I’d be running 2nd in the adoration stakes, perhaps neck and neck with our mastiff Rooney? Though I’d settle for runner up - assuming I edge out the dog - there’d be a fair bit of positive equity to be shared out among us also-rans, but it did make me think. Watching your wife fall in love with another man is going to be, well, rather strange to be honest. And it’s already started - I’ve seen the way she looks at his fuzzy, baby-shaped outline on the ultrasound screen. She used to look at me like that too, over glasses of champagne in San Francisco restaurants. Maybe it was the champagne clouding my judgment, but I know how it feels to be under her gaze. It does still happen. It makes the world feel right. How could I not wish for him to feel the same, to feel loved and adored by such a wonderful woman?
Fears, then? Not many. Greatly outweighed by excitement at the impending birth, and the chance to share our lives, at least the next 18 years, with our new son.
– Peter Boland