There aren’t many people shopping at Target when it’s 9:30 on a Sunday night. We had just finished a very large, 4-course, meal at The Melting Pot, and now one mission remained before going home to crash for the night.
The mission: Diapers.
The 10-month old little girl in the back of my Yaris had fallen asleep in her car seat. Somehow it had become my responsibility to carry her into the store. Fortunately, I only had to carry her so far, as we ended up grabbing a cart to place the entire thing in while we shopped.
It wasn’t until the check out lane when something happened that opened my eyes to an interesting reality. Directly in front of the lane was the store security office. Most of those offices have a two-way mirror. Walking through the check out, while the child’s mother was making the transaction with the cashier, I happened to glance up. In the mirror I saw a man, in a black pea coat, with a sleeping baby in the cart he was pushing.
Obviously that man was me.
If certain situations had gone differently in my past I could be married right now. I could have a child right now. This fact is not beyond me. All things considered, I am merely only a couple of weeks away from turning 32. I’m an adult, but rarely do I consider myself living the official ranks of one. The thing is that I’ve never really felt I’d fit the role of Dad. Hell, as much as I want to get married I, at times, have trouble believing the title of Husband will fit me.
That reflection ended up causing an explosion in my brain. For the first time ever I saw myself fitting the fatherly bill. It didn’t look at all too strange that I was pushing a baby around in a shopping cart, near closing of the local Target, buying diapers.
There I stood, finally seeing it within myself. I looked the part of possible husband, possible father.
This turning point in my continued adult maturity can be accredited to a friend I, not too long ago, had thought was lost; Kristen. You see, we reconnected back in November and due to some holidays travels Kansas City became a stop on her return route home. Schedules were checked and we confirmed when she, Lily (the baby), and Oliver (the Pug) would visit.
The weekend she was due to arrive I had a winter work party that Saturday night. Earlier that very morning I received a text message indicating she was minutes away from beginning her journey. Traveling from New York, I estimated she would arrive to my apartment around 1 to 2am.
That guess wasn’t too far off as she pulled into the apartment parking lot around 3am. I had arrived home from the work party a little after midnight, but I had not gone to sleep as I ended up talking with a friend on the phone for a couple of hours until Kristen called asking for some assistance outside. After helping carry some items in from the car we began to catch up while I helped her get settled in the bedroom, which I had done my best to prepare for her and the baby.
It wasn’t until 4am that I left the room in hopes to quickly drift off into a wonderful slumber on my make-shift bed; otherwise known as the couch. At 7:30am any dream currently taking place was abruptly stopped by the sense of an unknown presence. Opening my eyes, Kristen was holding Lily just a matter of inches from my face. Being single as long as I have this was most definitely a sight I was NOT expecting first thing in the morning.
Lesson Learned #1: When baby is awake, you are awake.
To be continued…
© Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy, 2010-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photos, videos and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.