Cheer up! Yes, having a baby can sometimes make you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Amid all the excitement and enthusiasm, what about the new responsibility? In case of skittishness or need for adventure, or the call of the Phish concert, you can no longer sell the couch and rug, jump in the car and take off. I don’t care if you never ever did anything wild and impetuous in your life, there is nothing like impending fatherhood to shut down dreams and fantasies with a harsh slam. There is no “on the other hand” part of this story.
Fatherhood is the big, big leap into adulthood, of which marriage was just the baby step toward, brings you one notch closer to becoming your parents, in oh-so-many ways. As a wise stranger said to me on the day my daughter was born, “It’s not about you anymore.” You will never be able to sleep through the night again without worrying about another human being, and his or her health and well-being. But cheer up! Fatherhood, like the blessed state of matrimony, is what it is. You are in it, it is life, and without it, life itself would be ten times less meaningful. Mourn your losses like a man, with (or without) a glass of scotch, after the baby is asleep and the house is quiet and you are alone with your thoughts. And then quickly toast to your new family. You are beginning the most meaningful part of your life so far.