Fatherly Expectations

There is no glimmer of fatherhood in my near future, but the blessing of unclehood will be official in three months. It seems almost unrealistic, and Future Baby has years ahead of being spoiled unbeknownst to him or her. Not that there is a personal say in the matter, but there is excitement that my brother and sister-in-law have chosen to not find out.

There are plenty of things to look forward to being a father. I live vicariously through friends and whose children I see often. Down in Brooklyn, there are two kids — there seems to be a lack of sincerity by referring to them as “children” despite their ages categorizing them that way (if you knew them, if they had to be given designation, they’d exceed expectations for their age group) — and it’s been fascinating watching them grow up.

The thoughts about this came to me while I was eating lunch the other day. It was the first time for me to voluntarily leave the office to eat out. Getting the dose of fresh, cold air was needed, appreciated and approaches with a promise of addiction.

It was also a surprise no one decided to talk to me while sitting at Coleman’s bar. Perhaps the tall glass of water — literally, it was a 20-ounce glass of water — proved so intimidating of my businesslike intention. Conversation was definitely not on my mind.

The guy who plopped down next to me emitted an explosion of cigarette smoke. Judging by his laugh, he proved the odor was his.

His weapon of choice was a Labatt Blue Light. During a phone conversation, it was revealed he was at his child’s field trip to the zoo, something I’d be all about — my trips to the zoo are just as prominent as my trips in my youth — and something that would not have to be chased with a beer.

I'm just looking for someone to smear poop with. Is that too much to ask?
“I’m in a glass case of emotion.” | Photo by Christopher Malone

I’m not one to hate on another for enjoy a beer during lunch. But was the zoo stressful? Did a monkey bawl in front of him? Did it make a heart-shaped poop stain on the glass?

Did he, um, [whispers] make obscene gestures with his winky?

(They are trapped in a cage for eternity. Let them play with themselves in public. You have to give them something.)

Maybe parenthood is like that: Free pass to enjoy a beverage after chaperoning or during any day for that matter. (I’m not criticizing, just wondering.) Do spouses argue over whose turn it is to use the $5 in their designated chaperon treat jar?

To hell with cookies. I want my calories empty.

Yet, there are other perks as well. Yesterday, during my drive into work, I noticed in my side mirror that a white wagon of sorts was swerving. Granted, it was a cold and snowy day — something we Central New Yorkers should be used to by now — but the vehicle was edging closer to the cars in the right side lane of the already narrow, four-lane W. Genesee St.

As the car awkwardly approached closer, it was clear the driver was eating cereal (or something) from a bowl. The scooping was obvious.

The elementary-aged kids in the front and back seat were also obvious, noticing this as the white wagon pulled up next to me.

While resisting staring, catching glimpses out of the corner of my eye, I pretended to be into the song that was coming through the speakers. Ah, let’s face it: I was actually trying to sing to Andrew Bird.

The smoker with a beer, whatever remnants sticking around of the situation, left my mind. This situation was way to overpowering. Of course, the four minutes left on my trip into work were dedicated to reflection.

He made this parenting thing seem less difficult than it is. Clearly, this isn’t the case. At least it prepared me for the possibility of it. This is why health food stores make breakfast smoothies, why Strong Hearts makes milk shakes — they may not be entirely healthy, but they taste great. Drink your breakfast like the rest of ‘Merica.



… I mean drink coffee or tea.

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