5/5 Means It’s Children’s Day

May fifth is Children’s Day here in Japan. That mean’s something special this year, at least to me. My wife and I are expecting. The due date is tomorrow, May 6. My father, who predicted my birthdate and my brother’s, says the baby will arrive May 13. I hope he’s right.

My wife and I are going to be parents. I’m going to be a father.

I don’t know what to say about this. I go through moods. I can be terrified. The apartment isn’t ready. We have just enough money as long as everything goes right. I’m in a country that even after ten years can be quite alienating. By then I can also be so joyful. We have all the essentials. My wife and I are as close as ever. Our families are being as supportive as possible and we have friends who want to help however they can.

How do I feel about being a father? It changes every few minutes. I am going to have a son. There is so much I am going to need to teach him. How to be a good man. How to give love and accept those around him and those who differ from him. How to know the difference between what is important and what those round hi say is important. How to question and ponder. How to be a man and to know that being a man does not make him better.

I’m going to be a father. I want to hold my son. What will he feel like? When I hold my wife she fits just right in my arms. Is it the same with a child? Will he always be a perfect size? I want to sing him bedtime songs and read him stories. What language will those stories will they be in? Will he be able to understand me in my native language or will his native language always be different?

There are things I will want to do. I grew up watching Marx Brothers movies with my father. Will the three of us be able to watch them together. Will he see the genius of Duck Soup in the joy it gives his father and grandfather? Will he track down books by Groucho and the autobiography of Harpo? Will it be be something else, something he gets entirely from me?

What will my child be like?

I’m going to be a father.

Any day now.


2 thoughts on “5/5 Means It’s Children’s Day

  1. You both will be amazing parents! May 13th was our parents wedding anniversary. They were married 46 years. Always loved the date, dad said this was a special date to him. He was born April 13th, went in the Navy on the 13th, and of course the wedding.

  2. Congratulations Brent! In my mind you are still 6 years old, with blonde curls. You probably don’t even remember me, though you may remember my son Peter Hathaway. I loved your essay. You are going to love being a father. And you will be a good one. You have learned from wonderful parents.

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