The Birth of Little Boy Blue

New Fathers Behave Very Strangely, Very Awkwardly


That moment when the midwife exclaims it’s a boy penetrates a new father’s heart like nothing else. Instantaneously, the entire life of the just born son flashes into the father’s consciousness. Okay, maybe not the entire life, because fathers tend to skip past the part about a nursing, diapers, and preppy unnatural outfits the kid has to wear annually for birthday pictures. Many dads jump straight to the post-potty training era because then you can teach your kid it’s cool to pee on a tree.

We dad’s get right to the good stuff too, snakes and snails and puppy dog tails, but the puppy is a pit bull. No lap dogs for my kid. It is awesome to go exploring with a little man when he still has so much to discover. Good dads, well dad’s who miss being little themselves, almost always let a kid lead the hike through the woods. Dads are always looking, from a kid’s birth until the dad’s death, exactly how the kid is thinking and feeling, always remembering what he felt and thought on his first hike with his dad who let him lead the way.

One of the first things we are going to do when we get home is hike man; then dad remembers diapers, bottles, and crying. First lots of crying, and lots of diapers. A lot of new dads flash through snakes and snails straight to sports.

By now, in the delivery room, the unimportant and hardly necessary weight and height are announced. The weight catches dad’s attention, not the number, just the word weight because that is going to be important if the kid is going to be awesome at sports. He’s going to need to be big – 200 to 225 would be about right for any major sport. Probably 6’ 2” 225 will do. Dad is standing among the delivery crew at 5” 10” 185 an over over-weight 185 – thinking his kid might be 6′ 2″, 225. I mean he has to be playing in the bigs right? Probably dual sport in college we’ll see.

While his wife is being pieced back together, but still holds his hand, he notices she’s holding the left hand. He thinks about the left hand; he’ll probably have to be left handed a southpaw at least throwing hitting baseballs, shooting hockey pucks, will teach him to switch though, better off if he can switch. Those first few games of catch are going to be frustrating, but he’ll figure it out, he’s got good genes.

Dad is now on the Little League field, coaching first base, wishing more than anything his kid doesn’t strike out with the bases juiced. Dad still remembers the look on his father’s face when he struck out to end the game. This kid isn’t going to strike out; I’ll make sure he gets plenty of instruction. He’s going to have a natural, easy, swing no two-out strikeouts for him. I mean after all, he has my name… “What’s his name sir? what’s the boy’s name?” the nurses ask while tapping dad’s shoulder. Dad is frozen still paralyzed by the 2-out strikeout. “uh…umm I don’t know, I don’t know,”

The wife is beaming up that her husband, somehow she sees the little boy in him, the little boy she never met, never knew but so clearly sees on her husband’s face. She doesn’t seem to care that he is paying her no mind. She knows somehow, she just knows, she knows that this moment is necessary for her husband; he is instantaneously planning the whole future for his 2-minute old son.

Notre Dame will be fine I guess. If they allow two-sport athletes. If not ND, then Ohio State, not quite the education, but it is tOSU. There is no place, anywhere else. I’ll start saving up now. Medical school is probably expensive. He’s going to be a great doctor when he’s done playing sports.

Dad is so so happy he can’t contain his joy. He tries not to smile too much, you know because of course, it was going to be a boy. I mean come on. But then, he still has doubts, still doesn’t believe it. The absolute tell-tale sign of “it’s a boy” hasn’t been administered yet.

He looks over at the nurse washing and poking and prodding his baby. She better be careful damn it. The drawer under the incubating bassinet is opened, and dad gulps as the nurse looks down at pink hats and blue hats. She moves stuff around and takes out a card and prints the kid’s foot. What’s taking so long? Impatient-dad doesn’t realize yet that his baby is just 5 minutes old. She washes his foot and then grabs another card and writes something on it with a sharpie. He can’t see what she’s doing, but the card is stuck on the bassinet.

She reaches into the drawer again, and this time she pulls out the tell-tale sign that “it is a boy.” A blue beanie hat is taken out, and she places it on his head. “Shit just got real now man.” Baby boy is wrapped up like a burrito in two or three blankets. The nurse lifts him from the bassinet and turns toward him; he eagerly reaches out to take possession of his new little buddy, but the nurse ignores him and places the protege on mom’s chest. He looks down at them and accepts that she is going to have to help too. So it’s okay if they spend a little time together.

A few hours later the baby is taken to the nursery. Dad can’t stand that his son isn’t here in the room with him. He wanders down to the nursery and notices other dads out in front of the window. They are looking happily into the nursery as Dad arrives. Dad looks for his kid among the dozen-or-so babies. He scans for blue recognizing immediately that there are more girls than boys. Another dad smiles and asks which one is his. He is the blue one, second row. Only one baby in the second row was blue; the other dad looks with envy, “mine’s the little one to his right” Dad almost feels a bit bad for this fella. Poor guy didn’t dream of snakes and snails pitbull tails a few hours ago. He had a princess instead. Dad wonders if this new father knows what to do with a princess? “That would be hard,” then his gaze returns to his little boy, his little boy in blue, his Little Boy Blue.