Insanely early Monday morning I was sitting at my kitchen table trying to figure out what classes I want to take at Grand Valley State next fall and winter semester. At 7am I was able to actually register for these classes so it’s safe to say my sleep schedule was haywire.
As I was pouring through the class lists, looking at my remaining required classes, getting pissed and keeping in mind my dwindling financial aid a thought kept occurring to me that hadn’t when I did this in years past. Next fall I will be a father…someone’s dad. I will be responsible for a life that is not my own. Anyone who knows me knows that this wasn’t something I ever expected to happen. That being said I am thrilled and grabbing on with both hands as well as my heart. This life ahead of Stacey and I is exciting and new.
I DON’T HAVE A CRYSTAL BALL
You may be asking, “Are you scared?” You wouldn’t be in the minority since a lot of people have asked me this. Truthfully, no I’m not. The dad part scares me less than the getting ready to be a dad part. Over the years I have settled into the life knowing I would never take on the role of a father. I accepted that it was a part of life I would not have and assumed there was some higher reason for this. Over time, I just assumed it’s because nature knew I wouldn’t be a good father despite the insistence of most people I know. I thought, that if I had a kid it would interrupt natures plan in some way. Couple that with the belief that my swimmers didn’t care much for swimming, or so I was told.
As for me I had a plan, structure and direction I wanted my life to go. And I still do but I am learning to alter the time line a bit but not the plan itself. I see no reason to scrap the plan as a whole since it’s a good plan with or without a kid. The kid, a son even just makes the plan that much more exciting and that much more necessary. I think every parent (expecting or otherwise) needs a plan right? I suppose the scariest and hardest part of this is doing a fast change from what I was doing and my mindset to what I need to now and a new mindset. I feel like Captain Marko Ramius from Hunt For Red October and i’m doing a “crazy Ivan” at the bottom of every hour.
One thing I know already from attending GVSU is that they DO NOT make it easy scheduling classes for working adults and its even worse for working adults with kids. These 4-year universities really need to get on the ball and join the modern world. I want the quality education a 4 year university gives which was why I went there and I’m not afraid of the work; I actually enjoy it. But they don’t (at least GVSU doesn’t) offer enough night and especially ONLINE classes. Next fall I managed to score one of my required writing classes for my major as an Online class. I am entering my senior year and this is only the 2nd online class I’ve had for my major. I think of all the majors they offer and it seems a Creative Writing Major is one that could easily be offered both traditionally and Online…or even partially online.
The scary WHAT-IF’S
So as I was sitting there trying to figure out my classes I was imagining all the various what ifs. What-if’s are freaky and fun right. I was trying to figure out how to schedule my classes, have dad time, homework time, have me and Stacey time, work and work on my writing. I was trying to figure out what would work best for Stacey knowing full well she will need a break and time to rest and do her stuff since she is in college also. I had visions me having a nervous breakdown while working full time, being a dad, a full time college student and a writer. I had visions of myself holding my son, rocking him to sleep while I practice my Italian or reading something I was working on for my advanced fiction writing class. I KNOW that the reality of how that will actually play out might differ from what I see now. That’s just obvious.
Life and Baby Plans
So why do I do it? Why am I even attempting to handle all this? Why don’t I take the easy way out and drop out of college or go part time like so many fathers are expected to do or just do on their own accord? Because I have to and because I can’t quit that’s why. I don’t have a choice. To do anything less than that would stupid and irresponsible regardless of how hard it will be. Remember that plan I talked about earlier. Well I can’t move to the next part of the plan if I don’t finish this part of the plan. And now part of my plan means taking care of a family, loving Stacey with all I know how and raising our son with her. Their happiness and mine depend on my plan and Stacey’s plan working. We know it will be tough but I am pretty sure we can do it.
For all the other first time dads out there (or dads in general). What is your plan like? Do you or have you ever worried about your plan and whether it will work or not? Have you wondered if its the right plan and was it hard to stick to your guns? Any advice you could share for new fathers in college or 1st time working dads?