In Honor of Father’s Day: A Trying Decision

With Father’s Day just past, I thought I would revisit my old blog and post one of the very first (maybe THE first) “dad post” that I ever wrote (way back in October 2004).


To my knowledge, I’ve never gotten anyone pregnant.

There was the one time in college when the condom broke. And there have been a couple of “I’m late” messages left on my answering machine, but fortunately, none of these instances resulted in a little bambino. (Again, to my knowledge.)

So now, after 21 years of using every form of birth control including condoms, the pill, the rhythm method – and especially the occasional prayer – for the first time in my life I am actually having sex with the intention of knocking someone up.

You see, my wife and I have decided that, “it’s time to try.”

Instead of enjoying the anticipation and imagining all the great things I’ll do with my kid, I’ve discovered that with this decision comes a whole new set of sexual insecurities.

Since that first time so many years ago with Stephanie Robertson on her neighbor’s bed, I have reasonably overcome the “was it good for you too?” (and other) questions that plague any sexually active male. But now? Now I have to worry about a much bigger question: Can my boys swim?

I probably wouldn’t worry so much if it hadn’t taken my wife and me about five years of weekly conversations, debates and philosophical pontification about whether or not to have a kid in the first place.

Many couples just know that they were put on this earth to procreate and multiply. That’s not us. We just happen to like sleeping in, dining out, traveling and watching too much Reality TV. Plus, we already have a nearly three year-old dog, which in people years means he would be almost done with college. And he’s never hated us. Not once.

Of course, it’s that very same dog and our unparalleled (some say ridiculous) devotion to him that makes people tell us that we should have kids. “Just look at how you treat that dog,” they say. Unfortunately, the things that we do to take care of our dog-child so well are considered abusive to a human-child. Apparently crate training a kid is frowned upon. Go figure.

As we continued to struggle with our decision of whether or not to throw condoms…er…caution to the wind and go for it, we decided to get a little more scientific and professional in our fact finding.

The psychic told my wife we’d have a boy. Our therapist asked questions in response to our questions. I logged onto and bought lots of books (we even read parts of some of them). And the big mistake – we told our friends and family that we were considering it.

Our FWCs (friends with children) always looking tired and exasperated, all delivered the unconvincing, “You should do it. It’s the best decision you’ll ever make,” speech. The speech always seemed a little forced. In fact, I think doctors hand out that speech to all new parents as a business development tool.

And what did our Jewish mothers-in-law think? They were wonderful and understanding and told us to, “do what you think will make you happy.” Sure. As long as, “whatever you think will make you happy,” includes getting pregnant and delivering a grandchild sometime in the next nine months.

In the end, we just decided to go for it. We were watching the 1980’s classic movie “Risky Business,” and my wife turned to me and said, “Honey, sometimes you just have to say what the @#*%. Let’s do it.” Okay.

The funny thing is that now that we’ve made this decision, I can’t wait. And, it’s not just because we’re supposed have lots of sex. It’s because it wasn’t the reality of the kid that was scary. It was making the decision.

Damn, I hope my boys can swim.

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