Sunday, November 05, 2006

I'm Not Ready...

Years ago, I saw this great Jules Feiffer cartoon entitled "I'm Not Ready." It was the story of a the milestones in a guy's life-- high school graduaton, military service, marriage, parenthood, etc. At each point he declares "I'm not ready!" At the end of the cartoon, he is an old man, hiding from everyone, declaring that he wasn't coming out until he was ready.

Today, my son's mother and I went to an open-house at Jones College Prep High School. It is officially the start of the process of getting my son into a decent high school here in Chicago.

I was thinking today to the first time I picked him up, at Columbus Hospital, where he was born. I'd never held a baby that small in my life. I was shaking. I was suddenly overcome that moment with the thought that this tiny little guy was entirely my responsibility for the next 18 years.

I've written in this blog a little bit about my adventures in parenting-- his mother and I eventually split, and fought over custody. It was funny today, sitting with her calmly, discussing his options. Thankfully, things are peaceful these days.

Picking him up for the first time that cold day in March of 1994 seemed like yesterday, and seemed like a thousand years ago. And I felt about 200 years old today.

If I weren't feeling old enough already, I forgot the little over-the-counter reading glasses I've needed lately to read, and had trouble reading the information packet they handed out.

I'm not ready.


Beth said...

I love your fatherhood posts. It's wonderful that you and his mom got over your pain so that you can concentrate on him and give him a balanced life. I hope he gets into this high school!

And I'm not ready, either.

lulu said...

Remember, everything about 7th grade matters!

Johnny Yen said...

Oh yes-- I was reminding him on Sunday.

Dale said...

But the thing is, you are ready. Your fatherhood posts are really great.

Johnny Yen said...

Thank you, Dale and Beth.

When Adam was born, I thought the world was falling down around me-- I didn't get along with his mother, and felt totally unprepared for fatherhood. I had no idea how much joy he was going to bring me.