One day you’re the man. You’ve got nothing more to worry about than where to go for dinner or what time the big game is on TV. And, then, one day, everything changes.
Now, nothing is truly your own. Not your schedule, your money, your time. Not even your heart.
After nine months in the passenger seat, you take the wheel. One look at a reddened face, one heart-wrenching cry, one touch of ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes changes everything. You reach out to take the swaddled bundle and in a heartbeat you hold the future in your arms.
Late night feedings and diapers by the case will give way to preschool music programs and bicycles without training wheels. Little League games will replace major league sports. College tuition will come out of the budget before money is spent on dinner in a favorite restaurant.
Before you can put that precious cargo in the car seat for the first ride home, you’ve already got a lot to worry about.
You’re still the man. But now, you’re the family man.
Happy Father’s Day.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance columnist for The Spokesman-Review. Her audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This piece was first published in Spokane Metro Magazine, June 2009.