Tomorrow will be my thirty-third birthday. Not a milestone, but deserving of some reflection nonetheless, I think.
It will be my first birthday as a father. What does that mean? One more birthday present, for one thing. It's cool, because I know it won't be Mickie getting me that DVD or CD or shirt or whatever, but it will be my wife getting it for me, and thinking of both of us, which is sweet.
I'd like to spend more time on this someday, but being a dad isn't what I thought it was going to be. It's supposed to change your priorities, and it does. I come home right away now. Almost always, because the wife needs a break, and Mickie needs to see me. Great. But I didn't change. Not at all. In fact, the hardest part of being a dad is changing into someone else. I'm trying to be (or at least pretending to be) the man that I expect a father to be. I'm still a bum. But now my bumminess can really hurt someone, like fuck up their life, and I need to be a stand up guy so her childhood doesn't suck.
Right. So this birthday, in many ways, is symbolic. I have to work on my birthday, which happens to every five out of seven people, and to every person every five out of seven years (except the first fourteen or so) I'm woefully average in that way, as far as North Americans go. If I farmed, or lived in a nation with shitty labour laws, those ratios become 7:7. I have to get up early on the morning after my birthday (slightly lower averages on that one, because people work nights and shit, but the ratios remain more or less unchanged). I am cooking my own birthday dinner (because I like to cook). There'll be nothing special about the day (except maybe sex and almost certainly presents). On the weekend, my wife and daughter will be out of town, so I take a backseat to other plans.
And that is probably the most symbolic thing about it. It doesn't bother me that I will be alone on the weekend after my birthday (partially because I can go out without guilt), because my life is now, in many ways, about the lives of others. My daughter, chiefly, but also my wife, my dog, and the rest of my family.
There's more to it, I'm sure, but I'm kinda sleepy. Someone remind me to expand and expound.