I’m not a father and I don’t plan to be one anytime soon.
A lot of my friends and family, however, are either entering or deeply immersed in the “having babies” stage of life.
It is kind of freaky to think that nearly all of my best friends growing up are parents right now. Some of them are already onto baby number two. That’s insane, I mean seriously, I still giggle when someone says “number two.”
What really freaks me out is that my brother—my younger brother to be precise—is already on baby number two. Not just two babies mind you, but two girls. That’s right, my brother who grew totally into cars, construction work and un-ironic leather jackets is a father of two girls.
That scares the piss out of me. Not because I think he can’t handle it. That’s not an issue. My brother is one helluva dad.
In fact, as it turns out all of my friends have turned into pretty amazing parents, a fact that doesn’t really surprise me. Great people tend to be great parents. I think I’m still more shocked by the fact that damn near everyone of my friends is a parent at this point.
Just a couple of years ago, I’d go home for Christmas and we’d all hang out and hit the bars or whatever and stay out late catching up. It was great stuff. Now we generally chill at someone’s house and watch Finding Nemo, change diapers, complain about day care costs and then everyone is ready for bed by 10pm.
It’s different. It’s not all bad, but it’s certainly different. I assume that’s just because I’m not in that whole “baby” place yet.
And that brings me back to why my brother’s two daughters scare the piss out of me.
I think daughters are scary as all hell. There are days where I think that surviving the zombie apocalypse, public speaking and/or cheering for the New York Yankees all seem less daunting than trying to raise a daughter.
I remember having this conversation with my friends—the same friends who are now fathers themselves—way back in high school.
Boys seem easy, likely because I was one. You teach ‘em about baseball, you teach ‘em how to fight, how to write, how to drive and how to crack a good joke.
Daughters, man, that’s some complicated juju right there. You’re “the man” in their life and anything and everything you do could be screwing them up from that day forward.
You miss a ballet recital because you’re stuck in traffic, maybe little Taylor decides all men will abandon her and she dies an old spinster.
You spank little Katy after she smashes your TV with a softball bat and she thinks that’s how men are supposed to treat her and she ends up in a never-ending string of physically abusive relationships…and breaks a lot of f’n TVs.
You punish little Zooey and maybe she decides that all men are violent gorillas who can’t be trusted and she joins some sort of underground cult and is never seen or heard from again.
You tell little Jennifer that she can’t go on a date with Julio Von Douchington the football captain and she decides to that to spite her evil, controlling father she’s going to start turning tricks outside the local Dairy Queen.
That is a lot of pressure and it scares the shit out of me.
What brought on this confession, you ask?
Well, one of my favorite daily comics, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, had a comic today that pretty much nails my fears right on the head: