February 04, 2008

The early signs of fatherhood

Last summer, my wife got pregnant with our first baby, my reception of the event was as crude as it can get, crudeness apparently became a practice really; yes I was happy about it, I didn't necessarily applaud the occasion, I was mostly overwhelmed with the feeling of yet another no-turning-back moment, like the death of my father, my marriage and some other events and decisions that I've made.

Honestly, the death of my father is where every event seems to be referred back to, like the date of birth of Christ may peace & blessing be upon him with the annotation of Anno Domini (AD) that postfixes any date, I note things to have happened either before or after his death. To come and think about it; I tend to romanticize the things that fall in the former category, and somehow cast the intrusive shadow of his absence onto the events that falls in the latter.

But another development partially disrupted this practice of mine, in fact not only did it change the way I tend to remember things, its impact was so overwhelming that I can only explain it by it being a divine intervention, and this is the story:

Back in October, during a failed returning-home-for-good attempt of mine, my wife visited her doctor for the regular check, and called telling me the baby was a girl...

no suspense or surreal turn of events here, just an overwhelming (I'll be over using this word from now on) surge of joy; laterally my mind couldn't keep up with my heart as to why I was so much happy about my knowledge of my coming baby's sex.

Until now, I'm clueless to what happened from that moment onward, I'm oozing with happiness for what God have blessed us with and anticipating every moment until she joins us, as my disruptive and fun-spoiling mind-set got incapacitated in front of this new state of mind, I can only think that God instilled in me those feelings because I know that I'm incapable of not being crude or taking things for what they're worth at face-value.

Even the perpetual gap left by my father's departure seemed suddenly ancient history in front of the momentous event of my girl's nearing arrival, yes I do dwell upon the idea of what would it be like if he was around, and what name he would've favored (though he wouldn't have favored any, he was subtle with his personal opinions), but such thoughts were lacking the tear-drops squeezing & distressful emotions they come with, his departure was sad, but the soon to join baby girl is a happy event without any if(s).

Suddenly I started rationalizing one of my uncle's exaggerated obsession with his eldest daughter beyond anyone's comprehension, now -I think- I know what will it be like to father & feel proud of a wonderful daughter.

Before, I used to view my older friends with kids to be somewhat unfortunate to have chosen/dragged-into the unstoppable contemporary cycle of life; where one is rushed to pass his high-school, get a university degree, build a career, get married, have kids and grow a sizable belly and numbness while at it, never did I appreciate the heavenly feelings & tranquility they must've felt every time they were around their kids.

Until recently, I've constantly mistaken their obvious happiness when in the company of their kids to be merely a getting-used-to subconscious routine that they got themselves into in order to accept the fact that they're responsible for bringing those poor little things to this cruel world, and they're responsible for their welfare indefinitely.

But that's no longer; Since the moment I knew she was a girl, I never seize to carefully examine all father-son (or daughter) interactions that I happen to witness, including all the boring accounts of my friends on what their 2 year old son (or daughter) did or spoke!

I did always consider kids to be cute, all kids that is, no one was particularly special, for me it was like as if all the kids in the block were cool B-boys who knew how to break-dance, it no longer catches my attention if someone just made a 360 spin upside down, would it now? a far fetched metaphor I guess...

But after this sudden enlightenment, my friend's daughter was no longer annoying when she kept interrupting us in our get-together; displaying her latest (horrible; I must add) singing abilities, she was no longer the 6 year old in the midst of what's better known as "سن الزناخه" when she slowly turns from someone who's 1st words are much anticipated with cheers and celebrations (usually quoted after) and turns into an unstoppable word sprinter; now she's just the chatty little girl, "I like…".

As I turn a new page in my professional life; I find myself extremely motivated by all of this, in the midst of my fears and weariness of leaving a very good and rewarding career to start a new venture in a field abandoned by most of who invested in it, in a country everyone is relentlessly trying to exit; I find myself irrationally charge-boosted with zealous belief in what I'm about to do, and I still fail to spot the link, but it doesn't really matters no more.

As a closing note; I pray to the sustainer of the seven heaven, to make it easy for my beloved wife (and all the pregnant women out there) and make their delivery a silk smooth one, my imaginative mind can't withstand or comprehend how this must be physically and emotionally intense… May Allah be your keeper.