So, let's take a little turn. I follow politics and the general conversations in the world more closely than many, so I feel like my posts were heading in a somewhat political direction. That's not the intent of this outlet.
I've long toyed with how to address the fatherhood issue. Okay... long's probably the wrong way of looking at this as I've been a father now for *checks watch* fifteen and a half months. (Sidenote, Keya and I will not be those parents who are talking about their 26 month old. Months till eighteen, then half years). Even though it's been a little over a year of actual fatherhood, the idea's been on my mind a LONG time.
I always wanted two to three kids. It seemed like a perfect number. I also wanted boys and girls. In fact, if we're being really honest, I always thought I'd prefer to have girls. I really don't know why, but that was kind of my thought.
In college, my sophomore roommate and I had a plan. We'd have live-in girlfriends before the year in the apartment was up, then be on our way to getting married before college was over. We forgot to tell the women of Colorado Springs that was our plan. Needless to say, college went on and I had girlfriends, but nothing ever moving to the point of long-term.
Nevertheless, I got out of college without the prospect of marriage, let alone kids, so life went on. I could be a selfish, self-serving bachelor. Yes, again, girlfriends, a couple who I even thought were going to be long-term (some will tell you that was all of them in the first couple of dates...), but nothing stuck.
It's completely arbitrary, but by the time I hit 30, and there was nothing on the horizon, I began to allow myself to consider the lifelong bachelor life. I had a couple reasons. One, all my cousins and my brother on my mom's side were married (we hardly spoke to Dad's side), so ONE of us had to stay single, right? AND, it turned out as much as I fancied myself a Ted, I was much more Barney most of the time. (HIMYM reference)
It was that same time frame that I made the decision to move from Colorado to Nebraska. Wanna learn more? Go WAY back in these blogs (to, like, 2011). Now I've been a committed Husker fan for close to 30 years now, and many around me joked that I'd meet my wife within six months of moving to Nebraska.
I did. One problem, however, was that I was dating someone else at the time. Now, there were other factors complicating things but nevertheless it took us awhile to start dating. By the time we got married, I was 32.
Like I said, I'd always wanted two to three kids. But now, as I'm doing the math, I was down to two or fewer. The reasoning was simple, at this point, my parents would be in their late 80s or 90s when my kids graduated high school. That happening generation-after-generation isn't terrible appealing. And though I realize that men can have kids much later in their life than women can, I didn't want to be in my 40s with an infant.
Y'all are doing the math now. Wait, Ty. You're 32 at this point in the story. (Which is dragging on, BY THE WAY). You have LOTS of time to have three kids and not be in your 40s when they're infants. I should also add that one of the things that Keya and I agreed on when we were dating and engaged was that kids would wait until we'd had time to be a married couple. Travel, grow, establish ourselves. Oh, and she wanted to be done (or almost done) with her PhD.
So we went over four years before we had our first son. I was 36 when Everett was born. My dad was 37 when I was born. Keya and I are trying hard to make sure he's MOSTLY out of diapers when he has a sibling. (Before you start to get excited, no, this is not some announcement about another pregnancy).
Now, that's a lot of background to tell you this: Being a father is the greatest thing that's ever happened to me. Ever. I know a lot of people say that. Let me tell you, that selfish bachelor never really went away (still hasn't). I was very worried about how having a kid would change our life. I was concerned that things I'd love to do, I wouldn't be able to do at all, or at least nearly as much.
I'll never forget the first time I saw Everett. If you've never had the pleasure, seeing a baby in the seconds after it's born is gross. It is. But it's the single most emotional moment of my life. I don't cry. Ever. It's cause I'm profoundly broken (a blog for another day), but I. Don't. Cry.
I didn't that day either, but it was as close as I've been since about sixth grade. That selfish bachelor had a whole new perspective.
As crazy as it seems to me, well, or it would have seemed to me before December of 2017, every decision now is based in Everett's best interest. I really don't have the selfish impulses I did.
I love coming home to this kid. He's a little over fifteen months old, and he's running everywhere, full of personality, picks up baby sign like it's his job, and has the cutest quirks. Also, he's completely adorable.
It's funny the way that even a fifteen month old plays differently with Mom and Dad. He and I roughhouse more than he does with Keya. Sure, that's relative with a baby so young, but it's true.
You might have some idea from, in particular, the last couple blogs about how Keya and I have talked about raising Everett. The reality is, even though he gets gifts that are mostly "boy" gifts, there will be very few things we won't allow him to try. Dance? Sure. Basketball? Absolutely. Gymnastics? Don't get too attached, you'll likely be over six feet tall, but sure. And there's no such thing as boy colors or girl colors.
Fatherhood's been the most incredible journey for me. Both getting there and now the short period of time I've been there. I know it's trite, but it's so much more than I had ever imagined. I'm so grateful that Everett is mine and I get to share this journey with Keya. I love fatherhood. I love my son more than anything, but don't look for the "to the moon and back" social media posts. I don't think I need to advertise that.