Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Baby, baby, baby...! Baby, baby, baby...!

So tell me if this is the latest trend in your life. Everyone around me is having babies. A few years ago, the trend was marriage. Everyone was getting married. So it stands to reason that the natural progression from there would be procreation.

Babies. They're popping up all around me.

My buddy Eric just had his second child. Kevin Antcliff has his own number two on the way, and posted pictures of the ultrasound on his blog. (And that gives me an idea for a future post. Hmm... if I ever have a colonoscopy... ) Fried Rice Favorite and frequent commenter Mrs. K has a bun in the oven. And my long-time friend Chris just had his first child. He showed me pictures over the weekend, just before a celebratory round at the bar.

I haven't gone over to see the young buck yet, but I can see the difference in his father. He's made that transition from fearful to hopeful. We've known each other since we were kids, and now he's responsible for a child. And he's excited. You can see it in his eyes, you can hear it in his voice. The dude's now a father, and he's ready to take it on. As his friend, I'm extremely proud of him.

During his pending fatherhood, while he was waiting for the birth at the hospital, and once he took his son home, I've tried to imagine myself in his shoes. Our friend Mike had his first kid - his first of three - six years ago, and I probably had similar thoughts at the time. But Mike has always been a step ahead when it comes to embracing the trappings of adulthood. He got married first, he bought a house before the rest of us, and figured out his "real job" while we were still looking. He just seemed to take each of those steps without really questioning what he was doing.

For whatever reason, I found myself relating to Chris more throughout this process. Maybe because the transition was more apparent to me. I could see him asking those questions, whether he verbalized them or not. I could see him slowly become comfortable with the concept of being a father, acknowledging that playtime (or that particular version of playtime, at least) was over. And I wonder if I could ever do the same thing.

At one point or another, I've said to most people I know that I don't plan on having kids. And I'm actually quite comfortable with that idea. Every time I go to a birthday party for Mike's kids, I wonder where the nearest vasectomy clinic is. Of course, much of that sentiment has to do with my current station in life. I'm older now than my father was when I was born. But that's probably true for a lot of us.

Never say never. I know. Things can change - and fast. But not too fast, please.

Anyway, the point of all this was to tell you people to slow down. Just because I started drawing a paycheck again doesn't mean I can spend all of it on baby gifts. (Fortunately for me, the Warner Bros. Studio Stores all closed down, so I'm not tempted by lil' Superman and Batman outfits. How #@$%ing cool are those?) I'm all for the rehearsal. Go practice conception. Knock your brains out with that stuff. We could all use more of that. (Maybe I'm speaking for myself...)

Let me have a little more of that before we talk about little Ians filling diapers all over the place, okay? Late bloomer over here.