When people take a look at me, I think my biggest fear is the last thing they would ever think if they had to go through a list of them. Someone standing over six feet and broad shoulders, just like all of my Uncles who were in the Black Watch in Scotland. We’ve never been short people.
But to see a grown adult male completely freeze up out of terror, and unable to spit a word out just from standing in front of a toddler isn’t something you would see every day, or see in your lifetime more than likely.
The first person to ever really notice I was terrified of children was Marissa, and that was the day I met Seth. I didn’t know back that, but that little pizza-eating dude would change my life, along with a little help from my friend.
To fully describe what it’s like to be terrified of something that will literally not hurt you might be a hard one to explain. But it really comes down to two things.
I would say I’m heavy-footed and don’t really know my own strength and I’m afraid I could knock them over and hurt them or something, and I don’t really want that.
I think the other is going to be harder to get into words. So I guess I’ll use an analogy for worst case scenario.
If I were to be in a public place, like a park or a cafe and to smile or pull a funny face at a kid just to make them laugh, I hope that’s all the parents around were to see it as. If they were to give me some kind of look or scold me for having some fun, and take it the wrong way I think it would reverse all the work that’s been done to get me where I am in terms of being around kids.
Marissa put a lot of trust in me to be able to interact with Seth and get comfortable around him, Seth’s always been pretty wise for his age. Which is why I’ve always called him the “little Buddha”, and I sensed he know I was awkward around him even at his very young age. Now he’s my dude, we get along great.
It stepped up a gear when Riss told me she was pregnant, I had to go outside the office and cry. Out of happiness for her mostly, but also that I get another kids I can bond with from a younger age. That sort of newborn age terrified me still. Nine months later there was Eli, who I’ve had a ball with. Picking him up and zooming him around the lounge room like Superman and chasing Seth doing it. I have a lot of fun with the boys.
I recently turned 37, and after a bit of thinking and a few things that have happened recently I can probably say that I want to have kids of my own. I just don’t want to be a father, anyone can father a child. But I want to be a Dad, I can’t guarantee that I’ll be a great one. But I’ll sure as hell try, and I’ll be terrified most of the time, but I know eventually I’ll settle on the idea and it’ll become second nature to me.
I want my mornings filled with cartoons and pancakes, and laughter. Not because I feel like it’s too late, but I’m finally feeling like I’ll be comfortable with the majority of it.