The night Neptune was born was easily (and obviously) the most important event in my life. When they put that kid in my arms, man; I sobbed like I was a baby myself. By that, I mean, shivering head-to-toe with emotion and steady streams of moist salty residue coming out of my eyes. I didn’t expect to react that way at all. I just couldn’t believe what I had just seen and that I was holding this 8 lb creature that effectively came from my balls. When you really break it down, it is a mind-blowing, game-changing affair.
Now, the big job from there is so simple, right? “Just don’t fuck it up.” As a parent, that is all one must do. You know that home ec exercise of taking care of an egg? Yeah; it’s EXACTLY like that. Already, I can pretty much count possible cracks I have caused in my child; shit that may possibly stay with her well into adulthood. She’s seven now but she undoubtedly will throw it right back in my face in 30 years, quite possibly much sooner. I try to balance out those “wow, I really fucked that up” moments with “#1 Dad” moments as much as possible. One “fuck up” may mean about 100 counter, #1 Dad actions. Even then, there simply ain’t no guarantee.
Of course, I am almost entirely a “brukkup” egg. There’s no reason to get into that here. However, it does factor into how I try to “parent.” I can be a bit of a drill Sargent sometimes but it is not to take out my problems on somebody, it’s because I don’t want to raise some spoiled brat with no sense of anything other than themselves. Yes; I have already told her about the starving children in Africa while trying to get her to eat one fucking bite of rapini: “It’s good for you. You HAVE to eat! Arrrg.”
On the flipside, I can also be a complete sucker and get the kid whatever she wants sometimes just because I love that little ear-to-ear shit-eating grin of hers and I think about that time they put her into my arms and started to cry. Out of all the relationships I’ve had in my life, the one with my daughter is, by light years, equal parts the most complex while becoming my one bona fide, legit reason for living; to see this creature into adulthood with the least amount of cracks I can manage.
Soon, I’ll have to navigate this shit all over again, from the beginning, while trying to maintain the first one. That is on my mind a lot. Will I make the same fucking mistakes? Can I pull off this off? Two of these things??? It is terrifying enough to wake you out of deep slumber. Soon, I have to worry about not just one but TWO creatures every single fucking moment for the rest of my otherwise miserable life.
Thankfully, it’s not all worrisome. Every year we have a fairly massive party to celebrate Neptune’s life. I love doing it. The first year I think we stuffed about 60 people in our Parc Ex “manor.” As she gets older, the crowd changes from less adults to more children. Eventually, it’ll be a bunch of asshole teenagers and their almost senior citizen hipster parents. After that, it’ll be celebrating grandkids birthdays: circle of life.
Last weekend we had a 2-tier party. The first one was with a few of her school friends in the early afternoon — a tea party. When those kids went home, an hour later a bunch of our friends and their kids of all ages came by. In all, I think about 25-30 people trampled our house that day. It was great.
I’ve reached that point where after the party I’ll say to myself, “Okay, never again.” I said that last year and the year before. I said it this year too but this time I knew I didn’t actually mean it. I already started planning the next thing. And then I had the most disturbing thought: “Shit. Now I’m gonna do this TWICE a year now?” That’s right, nigs. Twice a year.
Above: Neptune plays “School” on the weekend at her (where did the time go?) 7th birthday, w/ her school friends as Sam, her oldest/dearest friend plays the class rebel.
Pentax MX, SMC 40/2.8, Vivitar flash, HP5, D76 1+1, 13 mins