Juniper

Juniperart

 

June arrived on Sunday. She’s beautiful and amazing. I’m still reeling from the experience of becoming a father and having a bit of a tough time putting the whole thing into words.

I look forward to being tired…

If you’ve been keeping track of me on here or on my other social media you know by now that this summer my first child will be arriving and that I am excited beyond belief. Since I announced the great news I’ve had such a great outpour of support from both my close live friends and my interweb compatriots. Lots of good wishes, great advice, and useful discussion. bitch please

Unfortunately, imminent parenthood seems to attract an insidious breed of moral reptile that loves dwelling in constant negativity. My wife seems to be getting the brunt of the annoyance, mostly thirty-something childless woo girls who dwell in mid-twenties infantilism, spouting annoying negativities about childbirth, pregnancy, motherhood, and the whole experience in general. These are the same time of women who despise marriage and anything wholesome in general and will end up lonely cat-parasite infested alcoholics.

What bothers me personally is the constant reminder that “man enjoy your sleep now because you will be tired… har har har,” a million times a week. I understand that the sentiment is meant as a light-hearted joke, but honestly, it bugs the shit out of me. It bothers me because I personally look forward to being tired because of my soon to be born child.

In my early twenties, I used to spend nights partying in alcohol-fueled rages. I used to hop from party to party for what seemed like weeks at a time. My buddies and I used to quote Hellraiser, “the suffering will be legendary,” to describe the horrendous hangovers. Sleep was an afterthought.

In my mid to late twenties, I continued my partying but now in a more sophisticated fashion with the USMC. I used to go drinking with my buddies, close off bars, only to be in formation a few hours later ready for a twelve mile, fully geared, hike up and down the trails on Camp Pendleton. The suffering was legendary.

When I was in Afghanistan I would go on eight-plus hours long patrols, return to the PB, only to be sent out again before I even had a chance to take off my gear. Not to mention that when I wasn’t out I had other duties like running sick-call or standing radio watch in the command tent. Sleep was a luxury that was never guaranteed and never taken for granted.

So basically, the way I look at it is that if I could give up sleep to party, give up sleep for war, I will willingly and gladly give up sleep to take care of my child. I know parenthood will be difficult and tough, but I’ve learned from experience that anything worth doing should be challenging.

After all, for all the hardships, I miss the adrenaline filled patrols and camaraderie from my time in Afghanistan. In the scope of life, it was just a short six months, but I remember every day in vivid detail. I have a feeling that having an infant will have a similar imprint in my life. In the big picture, it will be a short time, but one that I will always look back on.

So yeah.. I get it, it will be hard, but I’m looking forward to it, so shut the fuck up.

 

 

The Future…

I’ve been home for almost three days and somewhat still recovering from jetlag and the whirlwind of activity that took place in California. It’s midnight and I can’t sleep, mostly because I took a four-hour nap and drank coffee around 8pm.

My brother’s wedding was magnificent, and I am honored that he asked me to be his best man. The ceremony was beautiful and once he releases the pictures I will try to share some. It was wonderful catching up with old friends, many that flew in from across the country. And just as important it was great meeting new people.

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My brother and I

Most important was the time my brothers spent together last week. It was great to catch up and just hang out, even tho it was just for a short time. My brother, the one who got married, are only three years apart and grew up very close. My friends became his and vice versa. Our younger brother is the baby, 11 years younger than me, but a cool guy who gave an outstanding toast about our father who passed away over a decade ago. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the venue.

The other highlight of the trip was that my wife and I finally announced that we will be having a baby due next June. Yep, you read that right. We’ve known for a bit but decided to tell our close relatives in person so kept the news relatively secret. It was really seeing my brother marry a fantastic woman, knowing they will make a fantastic aunt and uncle.

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My father

 

I can’t lie and say I’m not terrified of the future. I feel more excited and emotional about becoming a father than I ever did about joining the Navy and deploying to Afghanistan. I felt more sure about myself going on patrols than I do about my ability to raise a human. But I’m going to try my best because I look at my wife, my brothers, my friends and know that I have great people behind me to help.

Going home, seeing all my old haunts, and catching up with old friends makes me reflect on the past. It’s hard not to get melancholy and pensive when it feels like days ago that we were all rolling D20s in my bedroom, feels like yesterday we were galavanting all over boozing and partying, yet here we are over twenty years later from those games and almost a decade from our early 20s.

Thoughts like that force me to see how fast and fleeting life passes by. Next year I will be 35, married 4 years, and a new father. I look forward to trying my best to succeed in these endeavors and live up to what my father and grandfathers were for me.