Tiny Human

Holy crap, holy crap… holy crap. Some moments, you wonder what they’d be like if they ever happened. You wonder if you’d be excited, angry, sad, or what? Moments that transcend life as usual, and change the course of your thoughts and actions from there on out. I’m experiencing one of those now. But I’m always surprised to be an accurate assessor of self on the big things. I always wonder if this time I’ll be wrong, be timid where I expected boldness or vice versa.

I know this was true of me when it came to diving with sharks. I always talked a big game about how much I’d like to dive with them, but I was always hedging my bets in how I talked about it, because I’d never done it. For all I knew, once it happened, I’d be afraid, fearful, timid- who knows till it happens, right? Then finally after years of dreaming about it, we’re on a trip in the Bahamas and someone looks over the side of the boat and shouts “SHARKS IN THE WATER!” and I didn’t even think- I wasn’t finished getting my gear on or ready, but completely on instinct, I just jumped head first into the water, and worried about putting on my mask and fins once I was in. Reality revealed the truth of my desire.

Well, turns out, I feel the same way about being a dad. My wife just came to my work to inform me she has a small collection of pregnancy tests that all came back saying there’s some human child growing in her. (I’m assuming human, but hoping it’s a safe assumption). Turns out, nearing 40 isn’t too old… I’m not surprised I guess, but I’m pleased to be wrong about what trajectory I’m experiencing here. I thought this was the downward spiral, the end of a good and exciting journey. Turns out, I’m supposed to only be getting started. Time to stop drowning in the salt, riding like a kid, and in general being me. Time for Jim Smith 4.0!

I’d always wondered what I’d do if she told me she was, would I be scared, regretful, etc. Turns out, no. I’m joyful, excited, and hopeful that this kid could be lucky enough to turn out nothing like me. Where before I was ruled by fear that if I had a kid they could end up a copy of my worst and Natalie’s excesses, instead now I’m optimistic that it could be the best of both of us. (I have my nephew Logan to thank for that optimistic outlook).

So anyway, yeah. Looks like here goes everything!