At what point did my simple life of drinking beer and watching sports on T.V. descend into chaos? I can pinpoint the moment exactly. Our 16-year-old daughter came to us and said “I’m pregnant.”
Maybe it was my fault for spending too much time playing Xbox. Maybe it was my wife’s fault for refusing to feed me meatloaf while I played Halo. Maybe it was my daughter’s fault for turning down birth control even though we told her we’d help her get it.
In any case, she is now about two months pregnant, and that is that. Try as we might, we cannot turn back the clock. (And I have tried, believe me.) The only way forward is to try to make her pregnancy as positive and healthy as we can for her and the baby. My wife has also told me that it is bad form—and possibly illegal—for me to castrate the father of this child. Where’s Shari’a law when you need it?
I’ve also got to get used to the idea that just months after I turn 40-years-old, I will become a grandfather. Isn’t it bad enough that while I’m contemplating the unfairness of a life that would give me only four short decades before I become 40, that I am also now forced to cope with being a grandfather, too? Come on, Life, throw me a bone here.
Sure, like any man with children, I want to be a grandfather someday. I want to be able to look with pride at my own adult (and “adult” is the key word) kids in the eyes and say, “See, I told you so.” I want to play catch with my grandchildren. I want to take them to the zoo. To read to them. To give them their first taste of beer.
In the natural order of things, however, that should wait until my own kids are married and have a place of their own. It should wait until they have the maturity level to understand that “I’m not hungry” or “I don’t like needles” are not important considerations when you’ve got a little one growing in your womb. It should wait until they can pay for their own room and board, not to mention their child’s. It should wait until they have learned how to drive, for heaven’s sake.
See what I’m saying? This is chaos. Somehow, though, our family will have to learn to make the chaos a life-giving, learning experience for all of us—especially for the little one who never asked for any of this.