Ah, the memories…
I had the opportunity to march the Tournament of Roses parade in 2001. There are few experiences like seeing the KTLA boom camera just above your head, or half-running around the wide turn right in front of the cameras. Of course, there are the people holding signs that say ‘Half way there!’ around mile 5.5 (the parade is about 6 miles). And, for the record, Pasadena City College is the halfway mark… and everyone in the parade knows it.
I also remember the training — the years of work that went into auditioning and being accepted to the parade. The hours of training on weekends practicing that critical turn to ensure that the ranks stayed nice and straight for the cameras. The music memorization and practice. And, of course, the physical endurance training to ensure that the members had the stamina to last through the parade — while wearing heavy black wool and with virtually no water (IIRC, 3 of us shared a half of a dixie cup of water around mile 5).
As I think about the impending child, I realize that there is similar training that must occur. I have come to realize that the 9-month gestation period, which feels like an eternity when you are so excited about the new family member, is designed to provide the time to mentally prepare oneself for the life changes which are about to occur. You start to realize that doing every-day things like going to the movies will become a much greater challenge — and more expensive. Of course, it is a far more extensive mental-shift than that. I found myself at the store yesterday comparing diaper rash creams. I caught myself thinking, ‘have I become that guy?’
It takes time to become ‘that guy.’ Let’s face it — no one wants to be ‘that guy.’ Wrestling with what car seat to buy, how to set up the nursery, whether to co-sleep or not, and reading up on parenting styles and techniques all play a part in the transformation that occurs subtly, when you aren’t looking. But this is all part of the journey.
Have a great day-after-new-years, enjoy the parade, and remember the journey!