I have been many things in my life. I’ve been a student, a writer, a reporter, an actor, a pizza delivery driver, a cashier, an assistant manager, a heavy metal vocalist, a cartoonist, a poet, and a friend. This semester I added a new title to my repertoire: Daddy.
It is not an uncommon site. Unplanned parenthood is not restricted to spoiled high school girls on MTV programs. Even those considered socially responsible find themselves in this unexpected situation.
You can see some girls on campus sporting the enlarged bellies — a signature sign of new things to come. Expecting fathers can be harder to spot. Although, that unshaven guy chain-smoking outside Birkam is a sure candidate.
For some, it is unexpected. Risky situations can lead to predictable outcomes. Or certain fail-proof methods of responsible, adult interaction end up… failing. There’s a thin line between recreation and procreation. Or should I say a thin membrane?
For others, it is somewhat planned. Some students have been sweethearts since high school, and although they are not yet finished with their education, they simply cannot wait to grow up the hard way.
There are many roads an expecting student parent can take. Some take low roads, such as termination. This is a serious subject that divides our country on moral and personal grounds. The definition of priority differs among many.
Others take the middle road, and choose adoption. There is an abundance of wishful couples in this country that would love to start a family, but are otherwise unable to. By making this sacrifice, dreams and prayers are answered. This can be a hard choice emotionally. It’s a good idea to think in future terms.
And of course, there is the hard road. Being a parent is no easy task. Back in the day, if you became a parent, you had to quit school and find a real job in the real world. Nowadays, it seems you absolutely need a college degree for anything more than minimum wage. Multi-tasking is tough and the weak do not last.
My son, Reece, was born just over a month ago. With his birth, many of my hopes and dreams for my own personal future died – but without mourning. My life has since taken on an entirely new meaning and significance.
No longer am I floating through life aimlessly, listlessly or recklessly. In my hands is the safety and future of an entirely different person, and brand new, to boot. One day, he will look up to me. He will need me and he will lean on me. Nothing in the world can be traded for that. n