It’s time to take responsibility

Published 12:22 am Sunday, October 16, 2011

There was a self-help book published in 1992 entitled “Men Are from Mars, WomenAre from Venus,” written by John Gray, PhD. And if that title is true, then I am a happily married Martian who enjoys the rule of my Venusian leaders.

I am a man who believes the most important two words in a marriage are “yes, dear,” followed by the most important three-word phrases, “I love you” and “honey, I’m sorry.”

A few months ago, my wife, Stephanie, and I discovered that we were pregnant.

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Actually, she’s pregnant, I’m just responsible.

When learning that news, I couldn’t have been more excited. I was going to be a father and in just a few short months, I was going to have the opportunity to begin passing along all my worldly knowledge onto a new generation.

But as the months have moved along two things have happened; my level of excitement and enthusiasm has grown and I have learned two things that I likely already knew. The first is that my wife is an amazing woman, who has the patience of Job and the strength of 100 men, and the other is that if men were the ones responsible for giving birth the human race would have likely — very likely — expired long, long ago.

In these months, my role has been to be head cheerleader, lead foot rubber and chief worrier. You see, I worry about every little thing, every little sneeze, hiccup and backache. At each turn, I ask, “how are you doing,” “are you OK,” or “what can I get you.”

These are genuine and honest questions and — at this point — are the only things I can do at this point.

It is this involvement, this role I play, that makes me constantly amazed at how those who would be fathers would not want to take an active role in the process, not want to take a role in their partner’s life or their child’s life.

At this newspaper, we have written stories about the number of children born locally to teen mothers, unwed mothers and those women who are alone. We have written stories about the number of single-parent households and the number of children being raised by simply their mother and extended family.

In the newspaper we have talked about many of the ills in our community and what might be the root cause and what could be the best solution. As I have gone through this process for the first time, I couldn’t imagine not being there for each doctor’s visit, each sonogram and each opportunity to hear the heartbeat. I couldn’t imagine not being — as my Auburn fans have coined the phrase — “all in.”

It would seem to me that maybe the solutions to our community’s ills might be cured by first solving some of the ills of our families. They might be cured by overgrown boys finally becoming men, owning up to their responsibilities and doing what is right rather than what they want to do right then. If there is one thing I have learned I cannot cure morning sickness, the sore feet or the aching back, but I can be there to hold a hand, rub a foot and fix a glass of water with lemon.

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