But First Him, Always Him

Jose Vilson Jose

Alejandro Luis Vilson Rojas and His Dad

For the last four days, I’ve averaged about four hours of consistent sleep, including a a period of 24 hours from Thursday to Friday where I slept nothing. These days have been a haze of semi-consciousness, floating between staring at hospital beds and nurseries and recouping in the disaster area that was my house. Before December 5th, I remember reading a few books (OK two: Kevin Nealon’s Yes, You’re Pregnant But What About Me and Thomas Hill’s What to Expect What Your Wife is Expanding), reading a TON of articles online that answered all the questions Luz had of me that I didn’t know the exact answer to, and hoping to God I didn’t lose too much time with my students in class. Sure, I was nervous about the whole pregnancy, but occupying my mind with other things made the idea of fatherhood a little easier to work around.

After I crossed the 24 hour threshold, my paternal instincts kicked in. I don’t remember reading about the strength and courage it took to go through pregnancy, to be the rock when things seem like they’re falling up and around you, to ask questions that don’t often come in your repertoire, to talk directly to your child in the voice you used while he / she was in the belly (you did talk to your child while in utero, right?), to not take it all personally, to not take it all personally, to not take it all personally, to remember that your manhood will manifest in how the other people in your new family feel, to manage expectations, and to sleep in the small pockets you’re allowed.

Between friend and family management, changing diapers, supplementary feedings, and the plethora of oohs, aahhs, and awws proliferated between the major social media venues, phone calls, texts, and visits, I almost forgot about the simplicity of Alejandro. He doesn’t require much, but what he does require matters. Thus, until I learn those nuances, I’ll have to scale back my online efforts a lot more for the next couple of weeks until we get our relationship in order. I’ll be back in the flow of things for my birthday, but let it be said that I’ve already gotten my birthday gift in a major way. All I need is a chance to better understand this new undertaking while finally putting some of my (clearly loftly) dreams in motion.

But first, him. Always him.

Jose, who gets it …