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What does it feel like when you become a father?

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We were living in the Village in Montreal when Drama Bear was born. She wasn't a planned baby, but she arrived at the perfect time. I'd just been accepted to graduate school, and at 5 months pregnant her mom and I had moved all of our stuff all the way across Canada to go to McGill. We had some rough experiences with the doctors at the Jewish General and so we decided to drive all the way out to the West Island to have her.

Drama Bear was due immediately after my first semester exams. She was a cooperative kid, and didn't arrive early. We had an induction planned, so we arrived at the hospital, Mom got the needles and I fired up the 6 seasons of Charmed I'd loaded up on my laptop.

There was a lot of pacing and waiting, then quicker than I expected it went from tired frustration to a dull roar of activity. When Drama Bear was delivered, picked up and placed skin-to-skin with her mom, it was like a 'click' happened in my head. I was really stressed about having a kid, her mom was even more stressed about it. But that 'click' in my head seemed to open up a whole section of love I didn't know I was ever capable of.

Two weeks later, in desperation because of a fussy baby and no comfortable chairs in the house, I threw a pillow and a blanket in the cast-iron clawfoot tub we had tucked away in our tiny bathroom and sat with her for two hours until she calmed down. Somehow, it made perfect sense.

Two years later we moved to Qatar, also 5 months pregnant and had Feral Raccoon.

Even when I have my worst times I sit down with Drama Bear or Feral Racoon, hold them in my lap and give them a hug, They keep me centered on what's important.

So, what does it feel like to be a Dad? Think of having a key turned in your head and all of a sudden Responsibility, Kindness, Care, and Worry are all running at 110%. Think of freaking out over some adult worry like rent, or food, or an existential religious crisis and having a little hand tap you on the shoulder and give you a hug to make you feel better. Think about caring about someone more than anything else in the world.

Being a dad and being a good dad is an overwhelmingly good experience. It makes you a better person. You wonder how you can care for someone that much. It's scary, but the good parts are wonderful.

Drama Bear started kindergarten 3 days ago. Yesterday she shooed me off the bus and turned to her friend to start chatting. I'm so thrilled my baby's growing up.

Now you've made this taciturn INTJ start to tear up and write mushy things about his little magnificent bastards... :)

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