The Expectant Father and clear thoughts
by Armin A. Brott, Armin A. Brott
I’ve been reading over this book that my sister gave me about being a father. I’ve been reading it because in eight short months (well, a little less), that’s what I’ll be. My fiance and I were swimming a few days after we watched the little pink line appear on the test – affirming our intuitions. While we were swimming I thought of how lucky I was to have this woman, who is going to be the warmest and most joyful mother on earth, swimming with me. I thought of the peanut-sized life swimming inside her. And because it was a beautiful day – sunsplashed and sweltering – I realized that the baby swimming in her was the luckiest life in the world because even though its mind cannot imagine a world as beautiful as this, the inner world in holding it is an equally radiant mystery in its own way, to me.
The book was, however, less of a magical experience. It holds imoportant reminders such as: Be nice to each other and Babies are expensive. Sucking the joy out of the walls doesn’t fully express the tiresome sections on finance and scheduling for prenatal visits. One of the problems with reading a book like this so early is, of course, the nagging fear that the author plays on. Namely: You aren’t ready to be a father. But some of the fears the book brings up are too strange for me to comprehend. For example, the book repeatedly points out that 60% of all fathers have the irrational fear that the child might not be their own – a suspicion which could never cross my overwhelmingly joy-addled mind. I am amazed by all of this too much for my mind to really hold, and too dizzy to read anything but poems with what can be called clarity. I opened up Malena Morling’s collection Ocean Avenue instead, in which clouds take the shape of our inner workings, where the lit dust falling between city buildings is the marriage of space and time, and that, finally, started to make some sense.