On The Due Date of My Daughter

Posted: October 7, 2012 in Pregnant Wife Stories
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As the due date for my Daughter arrives, last night was marked with restless sleeping and odd dreams. Subconsciously, the idea of the due date must have been more profound to me than I initially thought. When the doctor first relayed to me the dates, forever ago, I was certain that the method he came to the date was through voodoo, or a dart board with random dates at which to aim. But, here we are, at the due date of my daughter, and it’s early, I’m awake, and my wife sleeps two rooms away from me. Why the sudden dreamfest? I wish I could tell you my dreams were deep and had these prophetic events that just needed an interpreter to explain, but they were kind of cheesy. The significant thing about them was their seemingly long length and quality of repetition.

Into the Sleeping Mind of Heath Phillips

However, the great news for the reader of this blog is that I will take my seemingly cheesy and superficial dreams and go to great lengths to make myself seem a viable mind in interpretation. The reader will leave certain that they only marginally wasted their time. Or, this will be the last blog you read of mine and decide I am preaching to you. Either way, I want to discuss with you my dream, and what it ended up teaching me.

The Bagels Are Not For Eating

In my first dream, my wife had placed a buffet table up in our bedroom whose contents included only bagels. The conflict in the dream was simple: I was to keep the dogs from eating the bagels while my wife got her rest. My wife didn’t explicitly say, “protect these bagels, or you will die,” but the implication was there. You see, even in my dreams I understand my wife’s intent…that is all from training. Returning to the dream. It was stressful because all three dogs were being exceptionally irritating with their insistence that the bagels be their own. As dream time went by, I was pretty successful at parrying the dogs away from the table, but what I noticed was the dogs maintained the same relentless fervor for the bagels.

I woke up once during this dream, but the second I returned to sleep, the bagels were waiting for me to protect them. With the bagels came the dogs.

On the eve of the due date, I dream of protecting bagels. Its embarrassing…..protecting bagels?….However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was brilliant. The dream is as deep as any book that high school English classes force students to read and bagels are delicious.

Breaking it Down

The Bagels.

My unborn daughter manifests herself as the bagels. Now, why my wife decided to put my daughter in bagel form on a buffet table and sleep is probably another blog in itself, but trust you-me, Whitney and I will be discussing her treatment of the bagels later.

The Dogs.

The dogs are life and life’s funny way of relentlessly attacking you with random problems.

I believe that I am coming into my own as a father-to-be. I am developing the instinct to protect her from the dog that is life. Before bed last night, I had a long conversation with my wife and her mother about raising kids in today’s world. The topic stemmed from the news earlier in the week about a teenager giving himself an alcohol enema. On a quest to find the quickest buzz, the teenager deemed the enema his best option. End result is a teenager who had a blood alcohol limit of .40.

I have been playing over the scenario in my head of what must have gone down in the moments leading up to the alcohol being introduced into the butt. I was as reckless a teenager as there ever was. I loved drinking beer (through my esophagus), and I partied like life was ending the day after tomorrow. For the life of me, however, I cannot figure out the chain of events that would have had to occur to get me to try expediting the drunken endeavors through the use of my rectum, but this is what is happening now.

Teenagers. I have written extensively about the phenomenon that is the teenagers. These individuals have lost sight of what matters. But they have me running scared. Last night, we discussed how you raise your kid to avoid making decisions like the one above. It is not as simple as saying teach them right from wrong and they will go forth and do good things. Think about your life. You were probably taught pretty well about what is right and what is wrong, what is a bad decision making process and what process is better, but you still found yourself up to no good. What decisions come down to as a teenager is really a simple compromise between the values and mores derived from their raising, and the gravity of the decisions the teenager is facing at any given time. More simply stated: We are going to experiment, this is unavoidable, but our raising will, to some extent, dictate how far we are were willing to go with our behavior.

Can you imagine being the parent of the kid who is laying on a bed, near death, in the hospital from an alcohol enema? You have to go back and ask yourself, “What did I do or not do to protect the bagels?” My contention is that those statements are too interwoven to break down as opposing actions. When you choose as a parent to be your child’s friend, often times, you choose not to be an example. With every parenting decision you make, you are choosing to let certain things into your child’s life and keep certain things out. By avoiding harsh realities that good parenting is accomplished through leadership and mentoring, we have decided to leave decision making to adolescents. These adolescents have yet to develop the faculties necessary to function well in complex environments like adulthood where poor decisions they make today are tomorrow’s reality.

When you are a teenager, the idea that tomorrow means something is still very much in its fledgling state. One can argue that today’s teenagers have to be more aware of tomorrow and that this is evident in the school environment where students make decisions about colleges and intellectual tracts at 14 years old. I contend that a child knowing that adulthood is the next logical step does not mean that they understand how every action they undertake affects how adulthood will play out. In other words, understanding that one needs to prepare for the future doesn’t equal an understanding of how to prepare for the future.

It is Leadership 101 and it is what will kill you as a leader as quick as any poor decision you make. The people you lead, in this case, your children, do not need your friendship, they may think they want that, but they do not need that. They need leadership. They need to see a living example, and it needs to be consistent. What you see today is a battlefield. Parents are in a struggle to become authority figures that matter; examples that lead; and a moral compass that directs the behavior of their children against a dark enemy force—The inherent longing to be liked by their kids. In the process, parents essentially throw their bagels to the dogs of life and their ravenous appetites. We have to find a way to stray from our longing to be liked and develop a longing to be respected.

The Crux of My Dream

How long can I keep the dogs away from the bagels? The sad part about the bagels analogy is that eventually the dogs will get a chance to eat the bagels, because I can’t protect them forever, nor should I. It is life, and it is the scary part. Even scarier: if adolescents are facing alcohol enemas now, what decisions will it be in fifteen years.

This is where the dream gets difficult to apply, because life doesn’t have to eat us. It doesn’t have to be a series of traps that are lurking around every corner.

In the end, there at no guarantees that your kid doesn’t choose to self destruct. All you can do is engrain in them the faculties to make quality decisions so that when they face the moment of compromise I alluded to earlier, they do it better than the horror stories we read about today.

Or…….maybe, I was just hungry.

I just want you to know, because I have been holding it in for years.

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Comments
  1. Baz says:

    Maybe the bagels were analogous to sexy time, and the dogs are the baby thus grabbing at your now plausibly non-existent sexy time?

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