Friday, January 23, 2009

What it all means....

It has now been a little over a year since I first found out that I was going to be a father. Between then and now, the number one question everyone wants answered is "What is it like to be a new dad?" Everyone asks me this. The checker at the grocery store, the telemarketer who calls during my dinner, old friends, new friends, family members, the homeless guy standing outside of Pikes Place, in fact if you are reading this post, odds are that you have asked me this at least one time and if you haven't I am sure you have wanted to.

The reason I think of this now, is because on my bike ride into work this morning there was an interview on NPR between a father and his son through the storycorps program (On a side note, if you haven't checked out storycorps, stop what you are doing right now and check it out! It will be worth every second you spend listening.) and found myself close to tears. Here I am, on my bike, in industrial south Seattle, at 5:30 in the morning, about to weep. I then promptly hit a pothole, nearly died, and was jarred out of my sentimental stupor. But this is exactly my point! becoming a father does this to you! My eyes are misting up now just thinking about the interview. I am an emotional wreck! Of course, this could be because I only got four hours of sleep last night because my son decided to scream for an entire hour last night. (This is really my fault because I wanted to let him cry it out...Wife wanted to feed him after the first fifteen usual Wife was correct and I would have gotten some extra sleep if I would have just listened to her) but this is besides the point.

So a few comments on what it is like to be a father....

It means you find yourself balancing on one leg with your hands covering your face while making unintelligible noises just to produce a smile out of your child.

It means when you are not holding your son, you want to be holding him, but when you are holding him your are not quite sure what to do with him...except to look at the boy, wonder what he is thinking, remember you had some chores to do, and then hand him back to mom...only to wish you could have him back once you start doing your chores.

It means realizing that for the rest of your life between a wife is (graciously) right most of the time, and a child who will (theoretically and not so graciously) right all of the time, you are going to be wrong 99% of the time.

It means admitting that your parents were probably right 95% of the time.

It means understanding and accepting that the whole responsibility thing has been kicked up by about 10 levels.

It means (if you have a son) that despite how in shape you are, how much hair you might have and how great your smile is, you are no longer the best looking male in your wife's life.

It means you will likely have to take out huge loans, work long hours, and sweat blood to provide for you child...and you are fine with that.

It means all that crap you gave your Dad (or Mom) about pushing you to be better and wishing they would love you "even if you ended up being a bum on the street." Was exactly that, crap.

It means every day you realize that this little being, all 15 lbs of him, is going to break you heart someday...probably many times...and that it is going to be worth it.


  1. Hey Mike, this is Chris Layacan.

    Great blog site my friend. It seems that fatherhood is so meaningful to you. Reading this makes me want to be a father. Great job. Amazing story

  2. Thanks for spreading the word about StoryCorps! We’re glad that you felt moved by our stories. One of our MobileBooths will be coming to Eugene, OR in May. Please visit for more information about our project and how you can participate.


  3. loosearrow@nctv.comJanuary 26, 2009 at 9:51 PM

    Michael, you will be right once in a while, so make sure to enjoy it when you are.:)

  4. This is my favorite one so far. We all know you love to rant, but this one shows your tender side which is a lot more of you than you let on.