I’ve been sitting here in a hotel in downtown Detroit contemplating all the events that I have coming up in the near and also the not-so-far-off future. I’ve got a few more trips for work, which I don’t get incredibly stressed out about because I’ve been doing my job for over 4 years now. I’m leading some training classes right now for the IT staff in Detroit. I’ll be teaching training in Pennsylvania for the next couple weeks as well. Again, I’m pretty good at it so there’s no need to worry too much about it. At the end of this month, I’ll be getting married. Granted, I’ve never done the marriage thing before, and I don’t totally know what to expect, but I’ve got a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen. Just last year alone, I went to 5 different weddings for my friends. Over the years, I’ve been in quite a few weddings too. So, the wedding process is familiar territory. This time it will be different, but I have all the faith in the world that I’ll come out alive, and probably extremely excited.

Now, let’s talk about what’s really on my mind. This baby that we’ve got scheduled to arrive into our lives sometime in March of next year. That’s what’s got me a little concerned. Don’t get concerned confused with scared or freaked out. I’m just thinking about what kind of father I’m going to be. And now that I think about it, I wonder what kind of husband I’m going to be at the same time. Man, these are some pretty big changes coming at me in rather short order. A husband and a dad. Two roles that I was starting to wonder if I’d ever take on. And here they both are, right around the corner. I’ve got a pretty good idea of what kind of husband I’ll be. Lori and I have been living together for a while now, and we know how each other works. One big difference will be that I’ll be calling her “my wife” now instead of “my fiance”. I finally got used to calling her “my fiance” instead of “my girlfriend” and now it’s about to change on me again. I can deal with that though. Like I said a little while ago, it’s the dad thing that’s tripping me out.

What kind of father will I be? Will I be strict enough to enforce the rules of the house, and yet laid back enough that my kid doesn’t feel like I’m running a war camp? Will I be consistent enough that my child won’t think that I’m not serious when it’s time to be serious? What about school? I know that I’ll be able to help my kid in their subjects, but heck, I wasn’t a huge fan of school myself, but I’ll need to make sure that this little Ferguson takes school seriously. Groundings, spankings, bedtimes, baths, homework, housework, birthday parties, sleep overs, video games, Christmas time, the list could go on and on. Am I ready for all this. And what about all the stuff that I’ve got to deal with before any of the above listed things happen? What about changing diapers, filling bottles, burping, naps, diapers, formula, baby food, diapers, diapers, diapers? Before I know it, the baby is going to be here and whether it knows it or not, it’s going to demand all of our attention. Everything is going to center around the baby.

I’m sure that every expecting parent wonders some of the same things during that time in between “Yay, we’re pregnant” and “PUSH!” I’m not the first soon-to-be dad to have these concerns and I’m sure that I won’t be the last. It’s just crazy how all of these thoughts about “how am I going to get through all of this with my sanity intact?” run through your mind and almost make it overwhelming at times. But then I think about the indescribable joy that I hear parents talk about that keeps my thoughts from running out of control. I’ve longed for the day when I have my kid look up at me and say “Daddy, pick me up.” I’ve longed for the Crayon drawings of awkward looking stick people who have legs coming directly out of their heads with captions scrawled in newly learned handwriting “I love my Daddy”. I can’t wait for that unconditional love that I hope I’m able instill in my child during the time that I raise him/her. Playing in the park, meeting Santa Clause, going to the zoo, learning about the world with my help. I look forward to all those things. And somehow, it’s that “joy” that I’ve heard so much about that eases my mind about being something so drastically different than anything that I’ve ever been before. A dad. A real life dad. Not that “dad” that my college friends called me while I was at A&M, because I was the oldest out of all of them. But a dad that is responsible for a human being that I helped to create. A dad that is going to have the best mom in the world as a partner during this whole thing. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect parental match. Me and Lori. Mom and Dad Ferguson. I never thought that I would see the day, but it’s on its way whether we’re fully ready or not. I’m more ready now that I have ever been in my life, so bring it on. Bring on the poop-filled diapers and the sleepless nights. I’m ready for it! I’m ready to be a dad.