In a matter of weeks I’m going to be a father to little baby girl named Violet… I still can’t fully grasp or comprehend that. I’ll try to be as organized as possible here, but I can’t make too many promises as my stream of thought is so much more than active lately. From abstract concepts such as the shift and growth of my identity, the basic truth of the connection my wife and I will share with one another as well as with this new person we have crafted, and the shift of my perception of my own life, it’s like a constant fire of thought crackling and flaring, falling and climbing, rolling and blooming in so many different and indirect ways. I’m surprised I haven’t had more trouble sleeping at night. (Though I am certain that aforementioned fire of thought has settled some in my belly and as a result I have inflicted some slight intestinal damage from the subconscious stress.)
Like anyone else I have an identity that is shaped by many facets ranging from my personal interests and life experience; some of those facets are positive virtues, and some of them are negative scars. And like anyone else, sometimes those scars can be hard for me to forgive or see beyond in the grating and unspoken regrets of foolish pride and abandon on the twilight grey fringe of my memory… Projects that I never finished. People I hurt in my angry youth. Broken bones of trust to myself and others. Admitted mistakes as well as some never mentioned, simply swept under the rug. You have them too. You’re human. “Sure, I love myself” we claim almost universally as we squint toothy smiles in the sunshine. But when the hour is right, and the lights are low enough, if we delve deep enough, sometimes we all hate ourselves to the point of catatonic, Poe-esque horror... And those unspoken, squirming horrors of our own characters have a way of shaping our identities and self images just as much as any glowing accomplishment can. Unless you are a complete and utter sociopath, and no matter how far chronologically or geographically removed you are from these regrets, you will always carry them with you to some degree. The only thing that seems to erode and wash out these clawed gouges on our souls and thereby redeem ourselves is the chance for human connection. With that connection we are redeemed in the light we are held in by another. Simply because someone doesn’t know or see us as the “fuck up” we see ourselves as. And the longer we are held in that light, and the deeper our motivation is to grit our teeth and WORK to STAY in that perceived light, then the more our sins our washed away and the deeper our redemption runs… Enter Violet, my daughter.
I cannot imagine anything more unnatural than betraying this tiny innocent little girl’s trust in me. I’ve longed my WHOLE LIFE to be looked up to and seen as someone’s legitimate hero, and HERE is my chance. For granting me that self redeeming opportunity I owe her everything I can humanly summon and command, and I swear on my own life that she WILL have it. For the first time and for the rest of my life, I will TRULY know the meaning of unconditional love because it will flow FROM me, and to another; and that is the only way to truly know such a thing. Any mistakes I have made in my past will be washed away with every dirty diaper lovingly changed, every spill lovingly cleaned, and every scraped knee lovingly bandaged. With every effort I put forth to better her life, I will better my own and become a more patient and understanding person. I’m no longer some lonely, depressed, douche bag guy that skipped a tab after a bar fight and drove home drunk and bloody so many years ago. Today I’m a HUSBAND and soon a DADDY and a DAMN GOOD ONE TOO and I will do whatever I have to do in order to remain so. YES. THANK YOU VIOLET. AND THANK YOU MELANIE (my beautiful wife). YES. Keep in mind, there will be times when I fall and fail. But you girls and my obligations to you are my saving grace to get back up, wipe my eyes, and try it again. That virtue is not mine to claim. It is solely yours in which to find safety and solace. And I hope you always know that, even if I ever need you to remind me.
In the middle of any given mundane household task, it’s not uncommon for me to declare to Melanie, “We’re gonna have a baby girl!” Just last night we were laying down in bed for the night and I was doing just that. “We’re gonna have a baby girl! We made a PERSON. You and I, we MADE a real life HUMAN BEING together. Where there was once nobody, there will now be A PERSON… from nothing but OURSELVES.” She just looked at me and smiled as if she’s heard this from me before (and she has). “That’s AMAZING”, I marveled. “It’s… it’s honestly the most AMAZING, GREATEST thing I’ve ever done!” And it’s true, it is. This amazing little girl, who is so amazing by virtue of existence alone, is here because of US. Violet is made from the two of us. The love we have for one another has LITERALLY been personified by Violet and that is only one more (of many) thing that she represents to me. And as Melanie and I grow together so she will grow with us. AMAZING.
It’s been one hell of a year for growing in my household. First we got married and had ourselves challenged and sometimes just annoyed by the others perceptions. But that’s growth. Then we bought a house and snipped at each other in moments of fatigue and stress while accomplishing a goal. Which is still more growth. She has had stressful changes in her own vocation that I struggled to understand and appreciate. Vice Versa. During the house hunting and procuring we had a miscarriage which broke our hearts in such unfathomable ways that it took weeks of sporadic disassociation and gut wrenching acceptance to come together over it. But despite everything, the universe has given us a very clear and beautiful neon illuminated sign that tells us everything is fine, and everything is growing. The miscarriage began to happen on the 23rd of Christmas, and concluded it’s soul numbing horror on Christmas Eve. A month later, we found out that Melanie was pregnant again. A few weeks later, we learned that Violet was to be born on the same calendar day that the miscarriage occurred. Think about that- That means that even in that once perceived indelible destruction in the bathroom, there HAD to be some order or design of growth, progression, and life, still ebbing it’s warm little heartbeat away on the cold, dark side of the moon just waiting with faith and other worldly grace for it’s time in the sun while we obliviously nursed our wounds. There are just too damn many days in the year, for the odds to work like that, and have that day as her targeted day of birth. (To Melanie’s credit she basically will been pregnant for over a year now when Violet arrives!) Today at lunch, Melanie was telling me about a quote that she had read somewhere. Loosely the quote stated that no matter what it is you are going through, good, or bad, that it is of the utmost importance that despite your own intentions or desires, to know and accept that everything is as it should be. Everything is on time and working as planned even if you think you are running late, or on time. I happen to believe she is right on the money with that… I have no evidence or reason not to. I have Violet and Melanie. And I am a fool for ever being so short sighted to forget that; no matter how tired I may be.