It’s been seven months since my son was born. My life has not changed. I have not changed. My marriage has not changed. The only discernable difference this new lifeform has brought to my world is a considerable decrease in the amount of free space on my living room floor… and my iPhone.
Maybe I’m oversimplifying things, but I was prepared for a metamorphosis just a couple steps shy of Gregor Samsa. I had wrongly assumed life would massively change upon waking up to the first sound of a baby’s cry. If you count “less sleep” as a life change, I guess there’s that, but I’ve always been a generally yawny guy in the first place, so I don’t think there’s any recognizable difference in my energy levels. I preferred the couch prior to baby, and there’s no sign of that changing anytime soon.
There is, perhaps, one thing about me that has evolved over these past seven months: my vocabulary. I’m not sure I’ve learned any new words (except for mucus plug, thank you very much pregnancy), but I’ve caught myself using words I may have only uttered once or twice in my life up until this point.
Words like outfit, cute, and lil’ stinker spill out of my mouth uncontrollably like I’m an incontinent old woman. Sometimes, I momentarily pop out of my body when it happens, and my astral body gives off a noticeable shudder—I’m simultaneously embarrassed on two planes of existence.
Physically, I admit, I have changed. Somehow I feel much more attractive as a dad than I ever have before. The only explanation may be that my give-a-f*** level for my outward appearance has taken a deep, downward dive into “barely” territory. There must be some inverse relationship between caring about your appearance and your confidence in said appearance. It’s really quite fascinating.
Jealously levels may have also changed since the arrival of my son. I find myself begrudging him for getting to lay around all day in his pajamas, never even looking in a mirror. He’s got it so good he doesn’t even acknowledge it… drives me nuts.
Earlier this week, I found out that I tore the ACL in my right knee approximately 15 years ago, and since then, it has disintegrated into oblivion. This has nothing to do with being a father… I just thought people might like to know why I’m walking funny. It’s not my son. He’s only responsible for my crippling back pain.
No, life hasn’t changed much since becoming a father. I still prefer sitting to standing. My son’s consistently mismatched outfits prove I’m still colorblind. My wife and I are still in love with each other, even though our house may be less tidy… but we were never a couple of Monicas to begin with. My fears of losing my identity to an unrecognizable life as a parent have melted away. Things haven’t changed, they’ve just gotten better.
Post originally appeared on AreaVoices.com