That's The Only Option / 10 January 2003

If you’re a man who urinates standing up, and you live with a woman who urinates sitting down, then whatever goes on under the toilet seat is all yours. It’s a private sanctum for you and you alone. No one needs to know what goes on there.

Anyway, there’s a friend of mine who’s going to be a father soon, like in the next few weeks. And I’ve never had one of those before. I hadn’t given it too much thought until yesterday when I read something he wrote about it: “You know the whole time that you’re just going to be jumping in with both feet, so there’s no point in being all ‘I’m worried about jumping in with both feet!’ Because guess what. THAT’S THE ONLY OPTION.” And it struck me that having a baby, unlike other monumental events in life, is something that is fairly scheduled and pretty much unavoidable once the schedule is set. Meaning you can sit quietly and obsessively worry about it for nine full months.

It seems strange to think that there would be a new person in the house in two weeks. You look around at the house and the people in it and the sounds and smells and think: This is normal. This is how it works. But then one day you head on over to the hospital and when you get home, you’ve got a new person living there, a new person that will be the most important thing in the world to you for at least four or five years, however long it usually takes for kids to run away from home.

I try to avoid the second person as much as possible but that’s what came out this time around. It just seems jarring to think that a) your whole life is going to change overnight (for reals this time, not like when you rented that meditation DVD), and b) you have a pretty good idea of when it’s going to happen. It’s something written on the calendar. That’s something I’d do, write it on the calendar, like I was going to forget. Set my computer to pop up a reminder a few days in advance, just in case. Those are the kinds of things I think are funny.

Joshua Green Allen

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