Thirty-two weeks and the reality is setting in.

"I'm going to be a father."

“I’m going to be a father.”

Am I ready?  The short answer is yes.  As ready as one can be.  The big pieces are in place.  Crib. Check.  Changing table. Check.  Diapers. Check.  Birthing classes are progressing, although I admit to looking away, a little, when we watch the films of actual births.  My psyche has not made that leap yet.  The birthing plan and all the checklists are coming together.  Having many nephews and nieces has prepared me for the diaper changes.  Baby poop does not intimidate me.  And I’ve been waking up at odd hours of the night as if in anticipation of the sleep deprivation to come.  So, physically, I feel prepared.

Mentally.  Well, that’s a different story.  Many time throughout the day it hits me.

“I’m going to be a father.”

Then I stare off into space, dumbfounded.  I truly came to believe that after 49 years this was something I would not experience.

Then, all the fears come rushing in. ” Will she be healthy?”  “Safe?” ” I am not prepared for this and have no idea what I’m doing.”  “Am I too old?”  “Will it all be too overwhelming?”

Deep breath.

Then … the doubts subside … and a silly grin replaces the worry lines.

“I’m going to be a father.”

“She will be healthy.” “I will keep her safe.”  “I’m young in spirit.”  “It will be trying at times, but I am not alone.”  “Not if, but when, I make mistakes, I will have the humility to recognize and learn from them.”

So.  There it is.  Hopes and fears all wrapped up in one simple phrase.

“I’m going to be a father.”