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Plans for 2012 keep getting bigger

It has been a whirlwind of a year for me personally. In June, I married my favorite person in the world. And, despite not getting to see her very much over the last few months thanks to professional obligations, I have laughed more in the hours since our wedding than I have in the totality of my life up to that point.

The latest news in our life became official this week when we learned that our first child is scheduled to enter into this great big world in early May.

I’ll be 30 by then. I can’t imagine that being much different than being 29. That being said, I’m not sure I’ll know what to do when this living, breathing, vulnerable, tiny human being enters into the world and relies on me for all the basic physical and intangible necessities.

I suppose, a good start is to employ the same approach Blythe and I have utilized in our marriage up to this point.

Laugh. A lot.

I have learned a great deal of coping mechanisms in my life, made mental jots of my favorite diatribes and proverbs and have come away from it all with the knowledge of one simple truth: if you can laugh, I mean really laugh, you’re alright.

So one of my first objectives as a father will be to teach my child the value of laughing, especially when it is hard to do so.

As for what else to do? I’m not quite sure. I know the value of faith and what it means to Blythe and me. So that will be the vital framework upon which everything we teach our children will be hung.

But what else? It’s hard to remember everything my dad has taught me over the three decades I’ve spent on this earth. But I know that he did a good enough job that those lessons seem to be at the forefront of my mind every time they are needed.

So, I have confidence that when the time comes, I’ll remember what my dad taught me and know how to relay those same things to my child.

Still, I think the scariest part of the prospect of becoming a father is the knowledge that someone will be entirely dependent upon me. I will responsible for their health, safety, guidance, etc. Truth be told, I still haven’t entirely come to grips with the notion that I am capable of providing those things to myself.

But I take genuine comfort in two things. My wife is one of the smartest people I know. And there is just no way she would have married a guy who wouldn’t be a good father. So, in true Caddyshack fashion, I’ve got that going for me.

And I am comforted by the knowledge that my dad has been a pretty stinking good dad. So, if all I can figure out how to do is emulate him, my kid should be pretty well set in the dad department.

Jeremy D. Smith is the community editor of the Demopolis Times.

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