Welcome to The New Chainik Hocker. I am your host, the eponymous Chainik Hocker, here to share news, reviews, pretty pictures, and silly opinions with you. Contact me at chainik DOT hocker AT gmail DOT com

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Alone in the dark with my thoughts.

Being a father is seriously weird. It seems as though my wife was born knowing how to do all this stuff- as if motherhood is hardwired in the female DNA. I, on the other hand, am flailing helplessly through a sea of diapers and bottles and teeny tiney itty bitty little clothes.

First off, the hospital. After 30 hours and two epidurals, we have a screaming, slimey, blueish purpleish screaming thing, with toes that resemble nothing more than corn niblets, microscopic brownish-red nails, way more hair than I expected, and enormous dark eyes.

He looked at me. Right there in the delivery room. Everyone told me he wouldn't open his eyes for a few days, that he won't be able to see much more than light and dark for the first few months, but dagnabbit that boy looked me right square in the eye and held my gaze, like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes he star'd at the Pacific and feverishly calculated the cost of all that beachfront property.

He looked at me as if to say, well, here I am. What are you gonna do now, tough guy?

First off, I blubbered like a beauty pageant winner. And then I got to work.

Here is this tiny person, I mean an actual functional tiny human being, completely helpless and totally dependent on you for all his bodily needs. That right there is an enormous amount of pressure. That's why I got this new job at Big & Huge Electronics. Good pay, good benefits, good promotion prospects.

I'm hoping I don't screw it up.

What would happen if I lost my job? What would happen if I got hit by a bus? What would happen if there was a sudden zombie apocalypse and we had to make a run to the Arctic Circle, shooting thousands of zombies while roaring through Canada in our armored Winnebago packed to the roof with canned food and diapers and ammo and Adam Sandler DVDs and perhaps a fellow survivor or two. Hell, I don't even have life insurance or a machine gun.

These are the things I worry about on the 2 hour commute home from work. I sit there in the dark, crammed on a bus with my fellow proles snoring around me as we barrel down the Garden State Parkway at a speed just a little over the limit, leaning side to side as we zip in and out of traffic. I sit in the dark and I worry about economic downturns, and biological warfare, and terrorist attacks, and why the bus driver feels it necessary to smoke all that crack right before we leave the Port Authority bus terminal.

I worry about being a bad father. I worry about the screaming, irrational, abusive maniac I know is buried somewhere deep inside of me, and whether it will ever come out. I worry about not being able to provide for my son.

I worry about being a bad role model.

But then I come home, and I pick my son up, and he smiles at me. Honest injun. I know, it's just gas, but it isn't, because he only does it when I smile at him.

And everything is alright.