First off, I know what you’re saying to yourself. You’re saying, “Whoa, a baby at 42?! Dude is probably never going to live to see that kid get married. Or get to know his grandkids.” Then you do your little stupid rude math (math meant to be rude) and you toss out that old, moldy chestnut: “When that kid is just like 20 years old, his or her dad will already be 62.”
Oh, you bastard.
You think it is sooooo clever, the stuff you come up with, but you are wrong, kemosabe.
Yeah, I might be getting up there in age, I’ll admit that. And okay: 42 is no time to be messing around in life, you need to have your sh!t together, but I pretty much do. I have a job, anyway. And I have two other kids already.
I own two cars. Paid off!
I own three fishing poles.
What the hell do you want from me?
A tiny baby born into this world is a precious little blessing bestowed upon the family to bring happiness and joy and BLAHBLAHBLAHBITTYBLAH.
Believe me, I get all that. I understand all of that ‘angels delivered a baby to us from heaven’ crap.
I don’t really buy any of it, but I get it.
Everybody wants to think that their kids are special deliveries from The Ancient City In The Clouds, but c’mon people; the reality is that most of the time we are handed a toothless, raging, 20-22 inch Marzipan muskrat that pisses and craps as if it’s allergic to the very idea of being anywhere near us.
It takes one look at you in those first few seconds after pooping out of the chute and it lets out the most blood-curdling scream you’ve ever heard and you manage to convince yourself that the kid is overjoyed to be born into your big, swampy life?
And then, you haul the baby home to a room you’ve decked out with all sorts of expensive, useless gear and it sleeps its tiny ass off and pretty much ignores the hell out of both parents for about six-straight months, only dropping the charade to haggle for the boob or the bottle.
Oh, just admit it. It’s like you’ve given birth to a booze hound mooch.
So, I don’t really know what the bug fuss is all about at this point, to be honest. I mean, yeah, I am in my forties already. And I will probably never pitch in the big leagues or win the Daytona 500 or date an unbelievably hot college girl who loves to take dudes out in her bass boat for some serious fishing under a very special canopy of night stars that promises everlasting life to a select few very younger men.
So what?! Who cares?!
So what if I am older than just about every soldier in every military in every country. This isn’t war, it’s life! And, by the way, it’s life that I helped create with my ultra-virile body, you know? So, don’t be sitting there judging me! Hell, you look at me with just the right glint in your eye and you might end up pregnant yourself!
Listen, of course I thought about whether or not I would be able to be a great dad for a long enough time in my child’s life to have the kind of impact on him or her dads are supposed to have. Of course, I considered the fact that I could possibly be dead and gone by the time they are graduating college. Or that they might have to drop out of grad school to help wipe my butt thirty times a day because all of my insides are broken down and I am spending my mid-60s in a Mr. Turtle Pool of my own filth and slobber after my 14th heart-attack and/or stroke (the doctors have given up trying to figure out what’s what with me).
I’ve considered all that. I’ve zip-lined hard and fast into the future and tried to get a whiff of exactly how I’ll be feeling if I bring any kind of this crazy stuff down on my much younger kids. In all honesty, I have tiptoed around the Garden of My Own Demise, peering down into the mushroom dirt of possibility and you wanna know what I think?
I think: oh well!
That’s right: OH WELL!
As in: “Oh well, I had three babies when I had them and I sure did love the snot out of them until I couldn’t even keep a cheek of tap water in my gob anymore. I loved them until I my eyes were rolling up around behind my brow like a couple of ball-bearings rattling around in a fireman’s helmet. I gave those kids my everything and my all until my tongue was a dumb bird popping out of my face every ten seconds like some old airport souvenir coo-coo clock.
When I’m rolled up in a ball and my glory days are gone, and people hold their stupid breath whenever they come into the musty room to stare at me and whisper bullcrap at me about the weather outside or whatever and secretly they can’t wait to get out of there and back in their cars out in the bright sunshine of the living, instead of in here with old Serge, who was a great guy and all, but now he’s a 5-foot lump of meatloaf blocking the hall, they’re still gonna say that no matter what/no matter how old and twisted and gnarled that SOB got, he still loved those kids of his with a million years worth of love.
And yeah, maybe love is better in the here and now, in real time, in the room with you and the people you aim all of yours at.
You can love a person as hard as you want to. You know that right?
You can love a person so much during the course of your time with them that even when you have to go, soon or a long time from now, they will always know that your love is there, inside of them, like hot coals in the furnace of some midnight locomotive cutting across the land.
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