The answer has evolved over the 35 weeks that we've experienced so far, and can be broken down most simply into: yes (up to 12 weeks), no (13 - 26 weeks), I want to go on holiday (27 weeks), when is it coming (31 - 35 weeks), yes (now)...
Of course I am scared. Things that I have worried about have included:
|The baby will be beautiful, so that is not a worry.|
But these are all fears that if they come true, we can work through (except for the not being able to read). The genuine fear is about the father that I will become, as contained in the Philip Larkin poem “This Be the Verse”:
This Be the Verse
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
This is the only poem I know by heart. One reason for that is I agree fully with the premise (except for the don't-have-your-own-kids bit). Having had divorced parents, even if they didn’t wear “old style hats and coats”, did allow for me to isolate specifically which parent fucked you up and in which way (Dear dad and mama, obviously I used the f-word relatively and with the same poetic licence as Philip Larkin himself. Serves you right for buying me poetry books as an adolescent. Love from, Max) . So my fear is how will I do it, and what are the extra faults that I am going to create?
Already there are mitigation measures being put in place: we’ve decided that we will move back to Europe once the child is of high school age to avoid them becoming an international school brat. It will provide them with the opportunity to grow up in a community that they can be a part of over the long-term, and will at least help to prevent them automatically becoming an aidworker, or even worse a UN staff member. But I never lived abroad, so this is not a fault I’m giving them. Looks like I’m buggered and need to refine my coastal shelf.