But as time went on, I realized that a) There really aren't that many things that I do now that I won't be able to do after our son is born and b) that's not really the issue, anyway. As is often the case when making adjustments, I was thinking about things in terms of myself, when I shouldn't/can't. Don't get me wrong, I realize that having a kid is going to impact my life a great deal, but if I'm going to look at my life through the lens of a parent, it's less about what I'm able to do and more about what I'm doing for my kid.
In other words, I started to wonder: How will what I'm doing affect my kid?
Really, my behavior changing or not changing is ultimately not important, because my behavior is no longer just my behavior. Kids learn by watching their parents. I know this much from having been a kid. So I can't help but wonder what our kid is going to learn by watching me.
That's not to say that I do anything questionable, although it's entirely possible that our kid might grow up thinking I have a drinking problem (then again, I would imagine the amount of whiskey I have the time to consume after the Appleseed gets here is going to drop considerably).
What about the TV shows I watch? How completely irresponsible I am with money? How physically fragile I am? Is this kid going to be a social misfit because his parents are either talking in some strange cutesy language or swearing like sailors?
I've never been an example for someone before.
My friend Anne has a younger brother, Greg. Anne and I have been friends for (good god) 21 years. My
Anyway, the next time we were at Anne's house, we gave him a little bit of grief for his brief dalliance with pyromania. We did it in a brotherly manner and Anne later told me that he was mad at her for telling us. I'm not going to say he looked up to us, but he at least cared what we thought of him. I would imagine these days he'd acknowledge how crazy that was.
What's even crazier is that I was definitely doing shit that would have been really bad for Greg to know about. Hell, Matt got arrested for lighting something on fire.
Thankfully, Greg only saw a certain side of me, at least until he was older and wiser.
But the Appleseed is going to see sides of me that perhaps I don't want him to see because he's going to be living with me. And the idea of an impressionable mind being impressed upon by me is terrifying.
I'm sitting here on a Sunday night, typing away, sipping my Scotch, listening to Pearl Jam, wondering what my son will make of this behavior.
He'll probably think I'm old and weird.
Which, all things considered, isn't too bad.