There is this thing that happens to runners–if you are one, you know what I mean. It helps you drag your tired butt out of bed, put on your shoes and shorts and pound the streets for a mile or two, or seven or eight. It’s this sense of calm that brings you into a weird harmony with everyone and everything. It is a contentment that brings you closer to being at peace with the world. And you know it is going to happen no matter how bad you feel at the start; no matter how much your body protests during your run; no matter how sore you are afterwards. This is running euphoria. It is the chemical response to physical activity. Last night I experienced a similar euphoria, though one induced by the notion that I am about to be a father.
Yesterday was the final part to the certification process with Baltimore City Department of Social Services. The Fire Inspector walked through the house, pointed out a few things that would help us if there ever were a fire, but was able to check off everything on his list and mark the “approved” box. It didn’t feel like we were trying to pass some test. It was more about what we could do to make the child that we will adopt and ourselves safer. After changing locks, installing smoke detectors and coming up with a fire escape plan, it was comforting to know that we were better prepared for an emergency. When I spoke to our social worker afterwards she explained that with the fire inspection completed, she had only to do some additional paperwork, but that by next week we would be done–certified.
After hanging up, I could feel the sense of euphoria as I danced around the house, just me and the three dogs (Darrow hadn’t gotten home from work yet). There are still lots of unknowns about the rest of the process. Do we just sit and wait for a case worker to call us about a child? Do we seek out specific children? Do we call other States to determine if there are any kids in our age range available? Do we find Junior or does Junior find us? All of that could be stress filled if not for the euphoria. Somehow the journey of parenthood is about to begin and I can feel it. It could start next week or maybe a few months from now. But I am going to be a father and will be until the day I die. There is a sense of peace in knowing that.
The other day I spoke to the wife of a coworker who is eight months pregnant. When I asked her if she was ready, she said yes–but that really, she just wanted to finally hold her baby.
Yes, me too, I am ready to hold my son.