“I Can See Clearly Now…”
I once had a vivid dream about being in an antique store, so vivid in fact that I could smell the musty scent of aged furniture and the unmistakable aroma of mothballs. I was looking at a beautifully crafted silver pocket watch. I pressed the button on the top of it causing the latch to release and the cover to flip open. I looked at the time and said to myself, “7 o’clock, I’m going to be waking up soon.” Even in my dream I knew I was dreaming. I held the pocket watch tightly in my hand with the intention of taking it out of my dream into reality when I awoke. Well, I woke up and I opened my clenched fist… no pocket watch of course.
As I sit here writing in my blog the house is still. It’s early morning; my wife is in bed, my daughter asleep in her bassinet. As much as I enjoy their company it’s nice to have a moment alone. Not many moments like that anymore but you won’t find me complaining. It’s been only 12 weeks and yet so much has happened in this short span of time.
My wife and I have been together for seven incredible years. When we started dating we were of the mindset that we had everything we could really ever hope for. I was working in the film/TV biz at the time and she was a Registered Massage therapist (still is). We had a great flat in Toronto’s trendy Bloor West Village, we went out for dinner every other night, socialized with friends, made plans at the drop of a hat, traveled all over the place and even bought a beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog named “Toblerone”. Life was good, no it was perfect. We were a couple desperately in love and when asked by others if we had ever considered having children, we’d look at each other and laugh, choking out a reply, “Us? Not a chance”. We were so satisfied with our life that we even bought a second dog, a Saint Bernard we called “MacKenzie”, a name we had planned to bestow upon our daughter had we decided to have one. But we weren’t having children so the dog got the name.
As the years passed the story became typical to that of any couple closing in on their forties. Life was still good but despite all we had there was still something missing. Now, I’m not sure if this is the exact point in our lives that we decided to have a child but my wife and I went out for dinner one night a couple of years ago. We were seated in the restaurant across from a couple who I’d wager were both in their mid-forties. They were dining with their daughter who couldn’t have been more than 5 years old. Under our breath, my wife and I talked about how beautiful and well behaved she was. She was dressed in an outfit befitting a little princess and rather than using her hands to shovel in large portions of macaroni and cheese she took small bites using a fork and better manners than most some adults I’ve seen.
The time passed and our food got cold as we sat in awe of this child and her perfect manners. We began talking about those “what if” scenarios. If we had a child what would it mean to us and what effect would it have on our lives, our freedom, our finances.
My wife and I are firm believers in fate; what happens will happen but for a reason. We’re not in control of our destinies as much as we like to think we are. We decided to leave it up to chance and should we get pregnant then sobeit. Well, days turned into weeks, weeks to months and still no little pink lines on the pregnancy test. It was frustrating for my wife but I was reeling from the irony. I tried so hard all my life to NOT get a girl pregnant and when it was OK I couldn’t!!
Anyhoo, we’ll hit the fast forward button here as I’ve already posted the long version of what happened next a few times in other blogs and I’ll be arrested by the blog police if I mention it again. Suffice to say we got pregnant and nine months later we had our first child.
We named our daughter Miranda after I vetoed my wife’s suggestion of Charlotte. She liked the name because of a character in the TV series “Sex in the City”. I put my foot down and said that we’re not naming her after a character in that show. “How about Miranda“, I suggested. My wife agreed with a smirk on her face. In retrospect my wife was suspiciously very accommodating of my suggestion. It wasn’t until after our daughter was born and I sent off for her birth certificate that she informed me Miranda was also the name of a character in “Sex in the City”. I threw up the flag, accepted defeat and the name stands today.
Being a father has had more of an impact on me than I originally thought it might. I’ve suddenly been thrust into adulthood, letting go the last lingering threads of my carefree ways. Now nearly everything I do, every decision I make has an effect on my family. My god, I have a family!! Sorry, sometimes it blindsides me even at the most inopportune moments. But it’s OK because regardless of my “go-go-go, I want it all” facade of yesteryear I realize only now that I’ve never wanted anything more than what I have… a family. Having a child put my whole life into perspective. I’m embarrassed to admit that there was a time not so long ago when all I wanted was a big house with a Ferrari in the driveway. I was going to be rich beyond my wildest dreams. But when she came out and the doctor placed her on my wife’s chest, Miranda looked up at me for the first time, grabbed my little finger in her tiny hand and in a single heartbeat my selfish attitude and material desires melted away. It took a small baby to help me see that all I ever really wanted I got.
My daughter was born at 6:47am on March 19th of this year. I can’t justify the experience by putting into words but I had a vivid dream once a long time ago about a beautiful little girl. Even in my dream I knew I was dreaming and I knew I was about to wake up so I held her tightly in my arms and when I awoke… she was there.