Monthly Archives: December 2008

Not Looking Like Parents

My dad bought us a video camera for Christmas. It’s a really nice, compact Samsung camera.

Since baby is still a long ways away, the wife and I were searching for ways to get some use out of the video camera, rather than letting it sit in a box for the next nine months. In our effort to be cool parents, but at the same time…lame parents, we decided to document our progress week-to-week on video.

Just short 1 1/2 – 2 minute clips each Monday that will give our child a sense of what we were like while expecting. This past Monday was our first segment, mostly just introducing ourselves and what we were doing in 2008.

Then I watched the playback of the segment. I sure don’t look like a father. Maybe over the next nine months, I’ll develop scruffy facial hair, gain about 30 pounds, grow my hair out, and start wearing oversized polo¬†shirts, light blue Levi jeans and sweatervests. Yeah right.

Instead of looking like this:

parents20page1

We’re going to look more like this:

m_henleys

And really, it’s something we’re going for, and something that Generation Y places a high emphasis on: appearance.

When I go out with my child, what’s stopping me from wearing my bootcut jeans that have a couple “style” holes in them, or that crew henley I got for Christmas? Oh, I’m sure my kid will be embarrassed when he or she sees pictures of us, and I’m wearing what a 24 year-old should be wearing.

I’ve started taking note of what dads wear. And if I’m going to be a young dad, I might as well be a young, fun, good-looking dad (well…clothes-wise), right? It’s just not often are two college graduates/young professionals having a kid at this age. But we’re sure going to try and look good doing it.

But if I ever look like this:

Just hit me.

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Huh?

I just arrived home from work, about to leave for Thanksgiving at the in-laws.

I bent over, pet my dogs, and told my wife I liked her new fleece jacket. A second ticked by when I raised back up, only to see my wife holding two home pregnancy tests. I can’t be sure of what my reaction actually was, but thinking back on it, I feel like it was the same as going down the tallest hill of a roller coaster; a mixture of¬† stomach in your throat and the inability to breathe.

I walked over, looked at the two positive pregnancy tests, and then looked at my wife.

“Are we pregnant?” She nodded and began to cry. I hugged her for five seconds before I realized I was probably going to pass out if I didn’t sit down. “Are you mad,” she asked. I told her I wasn’t, merely I was feeling quite faint and needed a moment for something of this magnitude to absorb.

Up until that moment, the discussion of having a child was basically the only argument we had with each other. Until that fateful day in November, I’d been adamant about waiting to have a child. Funny how things happen, huh?

This blog is about being a father at 23 (or…24 when the baby is due). Generation Y is complex. As psychologist Jean Twenge wrote, we are very much a generation of “me”. We were raised with Nickelodeon, pop music, and the internet. Many of our generation hold a sense of entitlement, that we need to do what we can to get ahead. That “me” is numero uno.

But like our baby boomer parents, Generation Y is starting to have children. My wife and I are both college graduates. We were married when we were 21 and 22, respectively. And at age 23, we found out we’re going to be parents. Like most expectant couples, we find ourselves at the cross-section of terror and excitement.

I hope to detail how our lives change with every week, as a human being grows in my wife’s stomach. More specifically, I want to talk about the challenges, expectations, and differences in a Generation Y dad, one who wears American Eagle bootcut jeans and Hollister t-shirts, a dad who reads blogs daily and plays Guitar Hero regularly.

This blog is about going from none to one in a matter of seconds.