It's a helluva thing, because in many regards, my job is going better than ever.
I'm getting a huge raise, a big promotion, and possibly an office with a window.
No one saw this coming. Many people feel that I'll have thrown it all away. Yeah, they might be right.
Had I just thought about things a bit more, maybe I'd have ended up even better off at
that job. One more tier. One more pay grade. One more payday.
My family might secretly believe, though, that its all just the same self destructive bend that
started with quitting the church. Quitting your job ultimately is just a symptom of your ultimately
quitting the church. And it's hard because no matter my protest, they will utlimately feel so justified
So let me just state for the record, that the reason I would quit my job has nothing to do with
the church. Two years ago, my ex girlfriend, after cheating on me, got pregnant with the guy she cheated
on. Now the guy she cheated with, he didn't want a baby and urged her to get an abortion.
But I knew my ex well enough to know she'd always wanted a kid. We'd tried several times
ourselves. I might be infertile or something doesn't jive, because out of three pregnancies,
three ended up in a miscarriage. So I told her, don't get an abortion just because he tells you so.
Have the kid if you really want to have a kid.
Still he tried to pressure her. For some reason, at this moment in time, even with my liberal, pro choice bend,
I somehow just wanted this pregnancy to happen. It makes no sense at all, but I kept urging her
to not give in to this guy. Don't get an abortion. It was mighty high minded of me, I thought,
to stand up for her right to choose, even when ultimately that meant choosing against the abortion.
But let's not kid ourselves. I was in it a little deeper than that. For whatever stupid reason,
I wanted that pregnancy to result in a baby. I was associating a fetus with a baby. I was
pushing for it, against all rationality, against my own atheism, I was suddenly a believer in some kind of
And then came the baby. The guy she'd cheated with was long gone. I was there, because this was after all
what I'd pushed for. Our relationship was kaput but I was in for support. I was willing to
be this baby's father, because really, in the long run, that was all this was really about.
I wanted to be a daddy. But there in the delivery room, I suddenly felt far far away from this baby.
It wasn't mine! It was just some stranger's baby. What the hell was I doing here? I felt
so detached all of a sudden.
Damn, why did I throw in for this birth? Why did I influence this birth to happen, against three
scheduled abortions, why did I fight for this moment? This is dumb.
But then the baby's pulse went down. Way way down. There was danger now. And for some reason, it was
this danger to this baby's life, now at the very moment of his birth, that drew me back in
Rushed into the emergency delivery room for a C section. And in about two minutes flat, out plops this
messy piece of life, this slimy, warp headed baby, this brown skinned beauty. And the doctor hands him to me.
What the fuck was that? Why did the doctor hand this baby to me? I look down at this baby.
He isn't crying. He isn't particularily distressed, from what I can tell. He's just looking up at me.
Who the hell is that guy?
You are going to have a great life, I say.
Then I keep repeating this, for whatever reason, I keep feeling compelled to say this.
It becomes my promise to him. What right do I have, to promise something like greatness to a baby life.
But I do it, and I do it with a certain confidence. His life's greatness becomes something of my own.
That night, I have the weirdest dream. I dreamt of Brenden, new Brenden, sitting in his little tray.
He's kicking his arms in my dream far more freely than his swaddling in real life would ever allow. But there he
is, pushing out with all his might. And then his little baby voice sings something true and pure.
Just one little word. "Wow".
I wake up amazed. How do you really have that dream for real? How is that little baby, saying
wow in your dream, wow what a ride, wow I'm here, wow this is life, wow who's that ? who who's that one, this one, so
many big faces towering over me? How is the baby in that dream not your own son?
So I made him my son. I swaddled him in mummy wraps. I held him close, and when he let out a wail when
I had put him down, I rushed to him, and took him up again, letting him know that
I was wrapped around his finger forever.
It was the best year of my life, raising that boy as my own.
But then, the father, the biological one, came back. I told him he was welcome, he should be in his son's
life. I arranged appointments, visitation.
My ex and I were raising a baby. But she began longing for her the biological family, to be
the only family.
In six months, she moved out with my son to be with a biological dad.
And now I know a numbness in my being, a pain that cannot be encompassed, a pain that cannot be abbreviated, cannot
be short cut. I am stuck with this pain for as long as it will last.
If it is a punishment from God he could not have done better. And the reason this man, who when he wanted back into Brenden's life I welcomed, when he needed help and a place to live I helped him with that too...what does he say is the best reason for cutting me off, for not letting me ever seen Brenden again?
I'm an infidel. Ha.