Ok so I promised you a plot twist. Then I got all caught up slinging you knowledge on parenting. Which, I have to say was very good advice. Jaime and I are straight up chilling.
So San Antonio didn’t go so hot. The job I thought I was supposed to get fell through. At the same time, Sondra called me from Los Angeles when I thought she was going back to New Orleans! I mean wtf. I was glad she was ok but my sister take spontaneous to a whole new level, and that’s putting it nicely.
Apparently, she’s had a life-long secret dream of being in movies. Um yeah. What? Like i’m your brother and I’ve known you all your life and you made to college without ever admitting to it. But “yeah, its true.” she said. ” i was so scared of even admitting it to myself because I was embarrassed by what might happen if I failed.” I had to say, I admired her honestly.
“so why now?” i asked her.
“because i just realized it. i mean i realized that not doing it is what has been making me so sad. i’ve been imagining jaime growing up and wondering what she’s gonna tell her friends, what she’s gonna think about me, how she’s going to remember her mother. and then i had this beautiful picture of her saying to her friends, ‘my name is Jaime —— and my mom’s name is Sondra—–. She is an actress.’ and I imagined her thinking, if my mom can do that then I can do anything. so suddenly i knew it was what i had to do and i couldn’t wait. i couldn’t wait another second. i asked you know who (the baby daddy) for money and then i got on the first plane to Hollywood. bob hope airport, to be exact. and now i’m staying in a hotel, but i know a girl from summer camp that lives here and we’re having coffee. I have a feeling she might put me up.”
and then i knew what was coming….
“Will you move here?” she asked me. “will you move to LA? with Jaime?”
I mean how could I say no.
Just when you think you have it all worked out.
Let me start by saying this: I am so happy with being alive. However crazy my story seems, however many twists and turns along the road, I know that its all worth it. I know that family matters to me, and being around Jaime has made me face the facts-
I was nowhere near fatherhood before this happened to me. I mean sure, in a vague sense I figured it would happen, but I never imagined myself with a baby. I didn’t prepare for it at all financially. Sorta figured that if thats what fate wanted to happen, then thats how it would happen.
A few tips for new dads:
- Don’t overthink it.
- Babies are people, men are people. although it may FEEL like it, a baby is not an alien or a hairless gerbils. There will be mutual understanding. It’ll he hard sometimes but mostly it will feel positive, so just be in the moment.
- Remember how fast time goes.
- Ok, so this is one thing you don’t want to under think. When I’m questioning my masculinity as I rock Jaime to soothing music, I remember how fast the past five years have gone. What have I really done for the past five years? I ran a successful website, I formed some friendships… but it really went by like a blur.
The next five years will be the same.
- Your baby will be a kid in five years. FIVE YEARS. How old are you, guy who’s reading this? 25? 40? 50? Now think of five years. What I’m getting at is, your baby will only be a baby a very short time. Then they’ll be a regular-type human being who doesn’t look like ripe little peach or a squishy little bear. They’ll talk and go to school and have playdates and jobs. Knowing this helps even the most tired, poop-smelling moments just a little bit sweeter.
- Ask for help. People feel good when they help you, so by asking for friends to step up and do you a solid, you’re actually doing them one, too. People especially like helping when cute little babies are involved. Added perk: Babies, including Jaime, instinctually are extra cute with new people. Somewhere deep in their baby brain, they know that they need to live and they do that by being effing adorable. This means less crying and squirming when they’re fed, clean, held and otherwise have no reason to be crying except to exercise their little larynxes (lari?) So you get help and have time to pay your bills and read and go for a run, baby is happy, friend feels like part of the family. ALL GOOD FEELS.
Where did I leave you?
I was with Sondra in her off-campus apartment while we ate beignets and discussed parenthood. I didn’t mean to say it! It just happened: “I’ll raise it, then.”
I didn’t know til I said it and saw the look on my sister’s face that that was what she had been waiting for during the whole conversations. She looked so relieved, so happy, I didn’t have the heart to add, “Maybe… let me think about it.” “CHRIS!!!!!” she sighed. “I don’t know how to say how happy I am.”
We agreed that I would come back to New Orleans in time for the baby’s birth. I would save up as much money as I could before then, and then head out west.
So I did. I showed up a week before her due date, and the very next day, as if she’d been waiting for me, Jaime arrived.
Wondering if people actually do that La Maz breathing? Well, they do. I know. I was there.