As of 8:08 PM tonight, I will have apparently been a parent for twenty years. Virtually half of my life. And frankly, it’s making me way more emotional than I had anticipated.
Twenty years. So much has happened in that vast span of minutes and hours. And I am brought right back to that night of July the 10th, 1999.
I can’t quite recall the time but it must have been past 11 at night. I had been drinking and hitting the bong pretty good. Then I hear a loud wrapping at the door. Typically, no one would be knocking on my trailer door at that hour on a Saturday. In my stupor, I was able to assess that the girl I had knocked up about nine months prior had gone into labor and I was being summoned.
Initially upon hearing the news that I had impregnated her, I was again high and amidst the shock of it all, I assured her (and myself) that things were going to be alright and that I was there for her. I wasn’t. I was freaking out like never before and though working alongside her at the grocery store, I distanced myself from her and our growing fetus.
The knocking on the door got louder and wouldn’t stop. I was like a deer in the headlights: frozen and no clue of what my next move would be. I had it in my mind that I would pretend to be sleeping and eventually they would go away. That didn’t happen. A bunch of wallops then silence, repeat, ongoing for what must have been ten or fifteen minutes.
I finally caved. In a fog, I opened the door to see her father and the store manager with the dreaded news of which I was bang on about. Next thing I know, I’m putting on my shoes and my jacket because this was, in fact, happening.
An awkward moment or three
Living in a “fly-in community”, the expectant mother and I hopped on a single engine plane and took to the skies enroute to High Level to give birth at the nearest hospital. Being in severe pain no doubt added to her despisal of my sobering self being there with her but she seemed more open to it than one would guesstimate. Awkward dialogue ensued.
Around twenty hours of awkwardness ensued. I passed out on two chairs pushed together at some point. When I woke, their was a baby in my lap. Not a word of a..just kidding. If only it was that easy. I remember walking her around, leashless mind you, in hopes of breaking the ol’ water. At one point, things got moving and words like dialated got tossed around. The moment we had all bought tickets to was upon us. Upon her. I was just an innocent bystander by the name of Krissy.
Most of this is a blur but the next part involved her laying down in stirrups and a lot of yelling going on. I remember her squeezing me and somehow twisting my person, creating equal pain for myself. Ok, equal is a harsh term here but it wasn’t comfortable, I’ll tell you that much.
I remember seeing the head and thinking ok, that’s disgusting. Then out he came like a baby shot out of a cannon. The doc had to go long if you catch my driftola. No, he didn’t. But here was this greasy, crying little bundle of baby body and I instantly fell in love with him. He looked up at whilst gripping my middle finger and said “Papa, who’s your daddy?” To which I immediately replied “Nnnnno, I’m your daddy.” Then he seemed to settle in and all was roses.
Everything changed in those first few moments. I now had a purpose, a responsibility, a mission in life, if you will. I would quickly learn selflessness. I would become a provider, if you want to call bootlegging liquor and selling weed providing. That was very short lived, might I add. I was on the up and up, providing legally.
And so the origin story is wrapped but the journey of parenting continues. I have loved every minute of it and still do daily. I always remind myself what ifs like what if I abandoned him up there? Would he be the man he is today? The YouTube success? The staying forever sober mentality? And all his other virtues. I know the answer and can only smile in remembrance of the way we saved each other that day he was born.