Being a man, I have from time to time been accused of selfishness. For the most part, these observations (usually coming from the fairer sex) were delivered tongue-and-cheek and so I took the remarks lightly and understood them as references to the roguish peculiarities of the Male Animal. My great Uncle Tim and Great Uncle Percy, for example, were both charming roustabouts. So I simply categorized any inherent self-absorption that I possessed as being part of that ilk.
In my 29th year, I married and so becoming a husband in the 21st century gave me the opportunity to alter my ego-centric view of the world and my place in it. Among other things, I learned to share a bathroom sink, toothpaste, a bank account, Queen sized bed and, from time to time, even my feelings. However, our communistic way of living had naturally built-in parameters. For example, my wife showed no interest in rummaging through my toolbox and my DVD collection of World War Two movies remained largely undisturbed on my carefully organized shelf.
Fatherhood is different! At times, the opportunity for self-denial appears biblical in proportion. I now share everything! I share my TV, my tools, my books, my upstairs office, my food, my money, my car, my piano, my gym, my other TV, my xbox, my blu-ray player….Get the picture? Everything! The intangible items are also up for grabs: a sense of self would be one of the more abstract examples and, after a hard day’s work, even what is left of my patience.
It’s all worth it of course, but I can’t help but think that early on some sort of Support Group might have better prepared me for all the self-sacrifice involved in raising two small boys. Sometimes, it just doesn’t seem natural!
|"...And so, we must also share those nipples dearest to us!"|