There it was.

That blue plus sign glaring up at me from the piss stick lying on top of the toilet tank. I was too focused on the business at hand for it too even register. It was like so much of the debris that finds itself on the back of the toilet. Then, with my free hand, I tentatively lifted the stick to inspect closer. This is a joke, I thought. My wife is quite clever and she has figured out a way to rig this instrument. We sometimes play pranks on one another, though they usually involve jumping out from hidden locations. This was more elaborate and I had to hand it to her. Well done.

Finished and zipped up I entered the living room for the requisite “Gotcha!”. She was on the sofa, nonchalantly watching television. Ok. I’ll play along, I thought, and held the stick up, a look of questioning on my face. Her eyes wide and a slight smile, not a “ha ha” smile, but a “uh oh” smile, and a barely detectable nod.

“Is this…,” I paused, unable to finish.

“Real?” She finished. “Yes.” She said with conviction.

Silence. Disbelief. Shock.

And some quick math. This happened in February. I was turning 49 in May. The child would be born before the end of the year. I would be 50 years old before our child turns one.

More disbelief and shock.

Now, 20 weeks into the pregnancy, the shock diminished, and reality setting in, I’ve decided to share my reflections on becoming a first time father.