Friday, October 19, 2007

Fatherhood Changes Your Brain

I had a period in my life when I questioned, partially based on my history and behavior, if I really did want to get married and have kids after all. I knew I had to figure that out, because:

If I married and had kids and really didn't want to, I'd be making a lot of people unhappy.
If I really did want that life, but didn't go out and get it, I'd end up unhappy.

So, for my own happiness...

If I really didn't want that life, I needed to avoid it.
If I did want that life, I needed to take the steps to get there.

I came down on the side of wanting a wife and kids, knowing that it would completely change my life - a life that with which I wasn't dissatisfied. I had seen how the lives of others were changed. I saw the tradeoffs as far as freedom, time, money, and energy, but I figured having a family and the husband-wife and parent-child relationships was worth it.

There must be some sort of brain chemistry that changes when a man becomes a father, especially if he did it intentionally. I think back to finding out we were expecting, and the ultrasounds, and feeling Keelie kicking. I'm still shocked over the profound feelings I had during the delivery and seeing Keelie for the first time. And now, as she isn't so fussy, as she straddles my leg and watches football (she really seems to like football) and makes soft babbles, I realize that I too have been hit by the magic crazy parent spell, where I'm not getting anything else done and not going out anywhere and I'm spending money all over the place... and I don't mind so much because I have this little expensive attention-hungry dependent poop machine in my arms, warming my heart. I would die for her.

I would die for her mother, too – the woman who carried her and gave birth to her, and takes care of her around the clock. I’d heard how much this experience would boost my awe of and love for my wife, and that didn’t seem possible before. Yet, that’s exactly what has happened.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally understand the idea that fatherhood changes a person, in terms of just about everything! I became a father, by choice, of children that were not mine, but those of someone I love dearly. It has been the most rewarding experience of my life thuis far, mand I doubt anything could top it. Congrats, Kenny, on finding such fulfillment.

Jeff Loonin