|Art by Tara Hardy as published in the Globe and Mail, August 21, 2013|
At the moment of our daughter’s conception, we threw caution to the wind, but soon found ourselves scrambling to get it back.
It’s not that we didn’t want a baby, but we had debts to pay, grad programs to start and a pathological fear of minivans that hung heavily over bi-monthly talks titled “Children and Other Distractions.”
Circuitous conversations, they went something like this: “Let’s try to have a kid – but we’ll need a new car – we can’t afford that – so we’ll just work a little longer – but if I had another degree surely I’d make more money – yeah, let’s wait to finish school – but then I’ll be too old – fine, let’s try to have a kid – but…”
On the evening in question, her dad declared: “Seriously, will there ever be a good time?” Locked in an embrace that would distract him from that question, I never did voice the fear that hovered above my right ear: What if we raise her wrong?
I know so little about everything. Well, at least everything that is important to raising a child right.
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This essay, originally titled Trust Me: I Don't Know,consumed me the month after my son was born: writing between feedings, editing in the middle of the night. It has been written and rewritten a dozen of times since. Today, it found a home off my hard drive, in a very condensed format (there are about 2000 words more), in the Globe and Mail.
If you enjoyed this narrative non-fiction style, check out my other essays: My Neighborhood In Transition and Backyard Betrayal.