The Daddy Dilemma

I'm going to be a father.*

And that statement is less terrifying than it once might have been. To be quite honest, I don't often think on what this means. I suppose, on a theoretical level at least, it will change everything. But then again, so did so many other steps in life.
  • Potty training was certainly a game changer, albeit one I don't remember well. I vaguely recall a mixed sense of shame and pride.
  • Elementary school was hard--did anyone else notice how they progressively whittled away nap time, snack time, recess, and play time? 
  • Puberty was excellent. 
  • High school took away everything that was glorious about elementary school, amplified everything that was difficult about puberty and forced you to dance with people in the same fallen state. 
  • Dating . . .  well, once you got past the awkward phase, it became fun.
  • Mission Service was hard. Again, once you got past the awkward phase, the blisters, and the homesickness, this was really fun.
  • College. Blessed college. It returned to you all that was glorious about elementary school and combined it with the fun parts of dating. 
  • Law School was . . . well, let's just say it was more like high school than I'd care to dwell on.
  • And marriage. So far, so awesome. (Although, no one warned me about the challenges of the first year. I thought our first argument would end in divorce. Thankfully, my wife is wiser and was more prepared for marital tension).
Each of these moments and phases of life have changed everything to some degree. Fatherhood is another of these phases--albeit one I hope will last longer (and be less emotionally painful) than puberty.  So, given this 1/3 of a lifetime of change, I don't see impending fatherhood as a dramatic sea change.

You know, the kind that's supposed to leave you rattled and questioning your sanity. Rather, it's another (albeit large) step in the same direction I've been traveling. 

Before all you well-to-do, vastly more experienced parents out there start to chuckle, nod knowingly, and mutter "He'll see... oh, he'll see," I'm well aware of the challenges before us.

And I do have fears: that I won't be adequate to the task, that I will fail my children in some way, that I will disappoint more than delight, that I will be Captain Dork rather than Captain Dad, that I will follow my daughter(s) around with a shotgun when they reach high school to ward off any of the unworthy heathen boys who glance their way, that I will unsuccessfully ward of any of the unworthy heathen boys who glance their way, etc., etc., etc.

Reasonable fears all, of course.

But you know what? Above all, I'm excited. Maybe I'm naive. Maybe I'm avoiding reality. Maybe I'm procrastinating my acceptance of "impending doom."

Or maybe I'm just too thrilled at the prospect of bringing another Vogeler into the world to let all the "what ifs" sink in just yet.

I've got thousands of sleepless nights ahead to ponder those, right?


*In light of the public nature of this blog, don't expect too much in the way of personal detail. I'll leave that up to my sweetheart, Erin. If you don't have access to Erin's blog, there's probably a reason or an oversight. Feel free to contact us if you want in, but fair warning: Erin's quite discerning.

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