Imagine if we were honest in delivery rooms.
What if fathers said what would ultimately come true to their children when they first held them in the delivery room of hospitals? What if instead of ooohhing and ahhhing over the closest thing most of us come to a miracle, we told that little baby was going to happen when they were older?
“I’m going to abandon you and your mom when things get difficult and I feel trapped.”
“When you’re a teenager you’ll be sexually active in large part because I never gave you love in your early years forcing you to cobble together a father figure anywhere you could.”
“I’m going to start a new family and pretend you’re dead.”
Those would be horrible things to say to a newborn, the nurses in the delivery room would probably weep. But no one thinks that way. When you’re screaming at your daughter in a counseling room 25 years later, no one stops to say, “Would I have ever said this to the baby I thought was an angel? Is this person, with all the bumps and bruises she’s acquired over the years, any less my flesh and blood?”
But why are we able to say those things by our actions when kids get older? What happens after the delivery room? How do the things that were so alive and on fire in that first moment of fatherhood grow so numb and cold? When does it become OK, internally at least, to hate your children?
I don’t have a clean wrap up for this one, just a friend who’s dad chose his new family over his first family and killed his first daughters along the way.