Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy : Marriage and Family Life

Alright, so I sat myself down and figured I’d go write something to pass the time. As a lot of you readers know, I got married early last year and my son was born a few months afterwards.

Marriage, a big word. One that drops men to their knees (or knee, if you want to be technical about it) and is one of the word that separates “men” from “boys”.

Family is also a big word. It has terrified both men and women since forever due to the responsibilities it entails.

 

What do I think about these so far?

 


 

Marriage

 

As far as marriage goes, I’d be one to admit that ours is not a smooth road. I don’t think it will ever be for anyone, and those who say it won’t or can’t happen to them is either lying, or haven’t encountered the rough patches yet. I’m honest enough to tell you that while a lot of people (well those within our little community) who know of our love story will tell you that we’re like a dream-come-true, we still have a lot of things to grow into. Now growing into things doesn’t always mean everything will fit snugly into place. In the same way that kids get sick while growing their baby teeth, it’s pretty much the same as with us grown-ups who are growing into a new identity, like being a mom and dad, as well as being a husband and wife. There are times of course that friction happens, and I think this is a fact of life.

When two completely different people come together and decide to start a family, there will always be arguments. Brace yourselves people – being so close to each other all the time will make the wrong words hurt much more than say if you were still living apart. A bedroom isn’t going to be big enough for a long drawn conflict.

Long before we got married, we made an agreement on a few things, and we try to remain true to these things that we’d agreed about. One would be that it’s ok to argue, but we have to make up before long. That means that even if it was time for one of us to leave for work, we have to make sure we can look at each other squarely without feeling the need to wring each other’s necks, and to always kiss each other hello or goodbye. I have to admit though – almost two years into our marriage, I am still getting used to this kind of an arrangement.

You see, I’m the kind of guy who grew up with nary a touch from my parents. I kid you not, I feel uncomfortable (not so much nowadays) with a hand to my shoulder, or a pat on the back, or even my elbow brushing against anyone’s body parts. My wife is a very sweet lady and back when we were dating, I almost always kept away from her because of this. I mean sure, we can sit together, hold hands and all but hugging is such a chore for me, except this one time when I spontaneously did so out of gratitude.

One thing we’re still working on is the fact that my wife isn’t well versed with household chores, but we’re making steady progress however small it is.

What I totally love about her is how attentive she is to our child. I mean sure, she needs a lot of help with some of the stuff, but she keeps a detailed memory on what he’s had for shots, when the next shot is, any medicines that he may need and so on. She even knows what kind of medicines I need just based out of her memory. She’s also really attentive to any health issues, almost always prodding me to see a doctor when before it gets out of hand. Me being a douche only goes when it’s already fairly bad – as evidenced by this one time I put off seeing a doctor when my throat got swollen to the point I was having a hard time breathing. You see, I grew up almost having never to see a doctor and just totally dealing with things myself, because my parents also didn’t go see doctors. She on the other hand was fortunate enough to always be within easy reach of a doctor and seems to be quite used to seeing one. In a way, she’s helping me get over my apprehension of doctors and professional medical attention.

I absolutely love the fact that even though I get grumpy due to lack of sleep, she manages to flash me a smile. I have yet to learn how to do that because when I’m grumpy, I just want to be left alone. I also don’t tend to smile very much and while neither does she, a smile from her is almost always in order before leaving for work, or coming home.

While she doesn’t really cook very much, and I’m pretty much the main chef at home, it escapes me how she can make instant noodles tasty. That had always been beyond me and I can never make those Korean noodles taste as well if I had cooked it myself. One of the things we do almost constantly is for me to buy the noodles (with her funny description of it having a “Kanji” character and not much of a name, how I even found the noodles beats me) and she will get up from bed when I come home from work. She’ll cook the noodles, sprinkle whatever sort of magic ingredient she uses, and we’ll make small talk over the kitchen counter. See, these are some of the only times we spend alone together – being parents kind of takes away a lot of the alone-ness we were so used to having.

One thing I almost immediately was able to do, was to be able to introduce her to people as my wife. I mean, it was just so natural I almost never had to think about it. One of the things people may notice about me is my apparent lack of ability to introduce people to each other, be it friends meeting strangers or vice versa. But with her, I don’t know, magic I suppose.

 


 

Fatherhood

 

On to our little bundle of explosive potential energy.

So while I work at night, and my wife is off to work in the mornings, it is but natural for me to be the one tasked with looking over our kid on the most part. We don’t have a maid – well we kinda used to but she packed up and tapped out. It’s mostly fun and games for my kid and I – wake up in the morning and feed him breakfast. Then it’s mostly a quick trip to the other garage / ghetto shop / man cave where my father often spends the day. I’ll probably leave him there for a bit while I go prepare lunch. Play around some, maybe watch some TV, give him a bath, eat lunch then nap for the afternoon. It’s a repeating cycle and while honestly I’m mostly all tired and ready to sign off into oblivion, it’s a fun thing to do. Sometimes, I even juggle the laundry for good measure. My wife keeps wondering how I seem to be able to do all those at the same time. The short answer is I don’t – what a lot of people see as multi-tasking are actually carefully orchestrated moves done in sequence. I mean hell, I only have a pair of hands and feet.

Having a kid was, quite honestly, something I had not quite imagined.

Marriage? Sure thing. As early as three weeks into our then budding relationship, I had already told my (then) girlfriend that I was not into this to play games, I was serious about her and that I want to eventually marry her. How and why I thought of this – I have no idea. Love just happened I suppose, and no one had ever promised to wait for me, much less stay. The whole thing is so ghetto in a sense that I ditched the idea of a fancy proposal, and formally popped the question in a dark lit parking lot somewhere along a tollway far from Manila.

While the above paragraphs might give you the impression that I’m some kind of superdad and husband, I’m not and I don’t really think I am. For many years prior to getting married and being thoroughly surprised that we were going to be parents, I had not given thought about having kids of my own. I’m not very fond of children, although I would make an exception of my sister since she was really easy to take care of when we were kids. There was this one kid with whom I grew really fond of, but sadly I had to resign myself to the fact that I may never see her again since I had decided to ditch that portion of my life.

Now as an almost full time dad, I could say that while I miss gigging, learning and writing music, working on Aska, driving, doing Gunpla, drinking myself into near alcohol poisoning levels and so many other things, I think I’m slowly growing into this new mold of being a father. I’m sure my wife also misses so many things that she was into while she was still single, so I’m surely not alone in this venture.

Right now, I don’t have any set expectations for my son yet. Although I think I should say that I do, but it’s more of a general expectation for him to grow up into a fine man. I’d definitely show him the ropes as the time comes for each one to be learned. A lot of folks are saying the kid will be musically inclined seeing as how my wife is a good (even if she doesn’t think it) singer, and I’m a guitar player (mostly) in a band (/s). I don’t know,  but there’s definitely a lot more to learn about over the next few years.

 

 


 

What now?

 

I must admit that I still have so much to learn about all these things happening in life. There are times that I loose my almost Kolinahr-esque way of dealing with things. I’m quick to admit faults, but of course sometimes, a lot of things get in the way. In this regard, I’m glad to know that I’m still human and not Vulcan or something.

One thing is for sure though – I’ll hold up my end of the bargain to make sure that my wife was not wrong in telling me she wanted to stay, and probably try my hardest to be the best father to my son.

 

I guess those car and guitar repairs can wait for a bit while I figure it all out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~

 

 

 

 

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