Taking the first steps.

There’s something that just… I don’t know, it seems so hard to explain, and even more difficult to put into words.

You have this idea that your life is changing as you put together the crib or find yourself in the baby section of a store completely overwhelmed as you stare down at the different choices of wipes, thinking they look a lot alike but “This one you can use on the face and this one you can use on the face and bum… wait, face and bum? I guess they both have cheeks. Why not?”. You just don’t know. Then again, it is starting to dawn on you that there is so much you just don’t know as you wonder how people have done this for thousands of years and the human race survived, but you can’t figure out if you need a diaper bag with 10 or 12 pockets.

It’s hard, isn’t it? You want to make all the right decisions, all the right choices from the get go. Yet there is a nagging feeling in the back of your head that this is unlike anything you have ever done before. Even reading the books, you know something isn’t quite right. Maybe if you’re building a shelf or fixing the plumbing a book might be helpful but all this is doing is reminding you how completely unprepared you are. Oh yeah, and you need to build a shelf…

It’s probably right about this time that you realize that life, it has become a bit of a mystery to you. For as much as you may have figured out up to this point, it’s nothing. Oh, sure you were so cocky when you started out. Nobody was going to teach you anything you didn’t already know. Maybe somewhere along the line you realized you didn’t know what you thought you knew, or you weren’t as smart as you thought you were. Now though… well now it’s starting to hit you that you are about to take that to a whole other level.

When you look at that right, you come to realize it isn’t just that your world is changing, it’s that your changing with it. Your priorities, your outlook, they’re evolving and growing even as that life is. Things that once seemed so important seem so much smaller and insignificant. It’s when you think about it, a remarkable thing, as you realize you are moving past a sense of self. You are soon going to have this little life that is reliant on you, physically, mentally, spiritually and all you want to do is give him or her the best that you can offer and more.

That isn’t to say that it is all panic or fear or these sudden feelings of inadequacy as to the awesome task that is in front of you. There are moments of pure joy and happiness, of pure excitement that pales everything else in comparison. Staring down at that ultra-sound for the first or the second time, you wonder who is he or she going to look like? Is he going to have my nose? Is she going to have my eyes? Will he have my significant others hairline? (Though that might turn into a prayer) What will her smile be like? What will his laugh sound like? You just stand there, amazed, feeling that amazement move in you as you find the wonder building each step of the way, just so mesmerized by the miracle that is suddenly surrounding you.

All I can say is embrace it. All life changes with time, and you don’t know when it is going to change again, or what that change is going to bring. Sadness, hurt, heartbreak, struggle and adversity so often find there way into our lives. This though, as you prepare to take those first steps out into the world of fatherhood, give you the opportunity to see things differently, and bring a peace and clarity that you have never yet felt.  Let it encompass you and move you, realizing that nothing you have ever done or ever will do again is important as this journey that you are about to embark upon. It will, if you give it the chance, teach you what truly has value in life as you come to realize that you are a father now, and life has a new meaning to it. It won’t mean that you won’t ever be frustrated or overwhelmed or challenged. That’s part of life now. But you will also find hope, joy and this pure happiness in places you never knew they existed before.

Wyatt McIntyre (@wyattmcintyre) is a Market Researcher and Blogger. He is the host of the Fragile Freedom Podcast and the author of two books, including Coping Through Christianity:  Strengthening the Wounded Mind and the Broken Spirit Through God’s Love (Foreward by Matthew J. Cochran). You can find his work at www.fragilefreedom.com and www.freedinfaith.com.