Joshua Penn

Professor Stacy Thorne

English 1301


It Just Might Change Your Life

            Two pink lines changed my life forever.  As I laid stretched out in bed on a very pleasant and sunny Saturday morning, my girlfriend Courtney walked up holding a foreign object in her hand.  I could not tell what the object was due to her clenching it ever so tightly.  I did know that it could not be anything good.  It appeared ominous, as though whatever it was it wasn’t supposed to be near us.  “We need to talk” my Courtney said.  Me being the prototypical guy responded back with “Can this wait till after the game?”  “No, we need to talk RIGHT now.” she quipped as tears started to form in her eyes.  As I sat up I finally realized what she had in her hand.  It was a pregnancy test.  “I’m pregnant.” she cried.  And in those two words, I knew my life was changed forever.

               My life flashed before my eyes like a Friday night blockbuster.  I was only 20 years old, a kid in my own rights.  Now I’m going to have one?  A million questions ran through my head like the bulls in Pamplona.  How am I going to explain this to our families?   To my knowledge there is only one way to make a baby.  I now have to stand before four conservative adults looking down on me and explain how we ended up in this situation.  How am I going to provide for this child?  I can barely support myself let alone another living, breathing human being.  I could barely take care of a goldfish (it ran away.)  Where are we going to live?  Do I have to marry my girlfriend now?  Is my life as I know it over?

            I sat there with a look of disbelief.  “Ok, first thing we have to do is calm down.”  I said.  “We can do this.” I proclaimed.  People have been having kids for thousands of years.  The truth of the matter was I was scared out of my mind.  I had to put on the cool front though.  That’s what men do.  When we come upon a situation, we grab some duct tape and we fix it.  The only issue was this wasn’t a problem that I couldn’t just fix. I can honestly say this felt like time slowed down.  What was only a couple of minutes seemed like an eternity.  “We can do this.” I repeated.  As if repetition would convince us otherwise.  “What do we do next?”  Courtney asked.  “I think this is where we call our parents.”

            She called her parents as I called mine.  I’m not sure how their conversation went, but if it was anything like mine, she had an ear full.  Do you know what you have done?  How could you be this dumb?  Do you realize that you’ve made your life infinitely harder?  After ten minutes of the riot act being hurled at me, emotions calmed down and a little sense of excitement started to come across my mother’s voice.  She was going to be a grandmother!  It was this realization that helped calm everybody down.  After the tears were shed and the goodbyes stated, there was Courtney and I in our room.  Where do we start?

            This began a whirlwind of change for me and the peaceful, simple life I had been living up until that point.  I needed to find a better job, one that paid better and had benefits like insurance (doctors are not cheap I have come to learn.)  A new car was needed; apparently a Mitsubishi Eclipse is not considered a family car.  A bigger place to live was next on the docket.  I read more books on pregnancy and parenting than should be allowed for a man to do.  This was happening, and I was going to be prepared.  I now was going to have somebody depend on me who couldn’t take care of himself or herself and I was not going to let them down. 

            A funny thing started to happen to me personally.  As the months went along, my attitude began to change.  Instead of being angry, I was excited.  Where I once was depressed, I now was encouraged.  How could an unborn child change me at an emotional level?  Every time I felt a kick or looked at the ultrasound though, I could tell I was not the same man I had been the previous year.  I wanted to change.  I wanted to be the best dad ever.  I wanted to be the caring, loving, supporting father that this child deserved.  I wanted to be everything that I wasn't already.

            After nine hard months of labor the time had come for our little Connor to come out into the world.  The suspense was killer.  Eighteen hours of labor came and went, and I was finally holding my son in my arms.  I was a dad.  As this precious little lad lay swaddled in my grasp, my heart melted.  I have cried twice in my life, once at the ending of Old Yeller and the second was when my son was born.  It was love in its truest form.  Where once fear and uncertainty filled my mind, now there was hope and calm.  As I sit back now six years later, and look at all of the bumps, bruises, late nights, touchdown runs, school recitals and happy accidents I realize I wouldn't change a thing.  He has taught me patience, understanding, how to make sure I don’t take everything so seriously.  Two pink lines changed my life, they helped make me the man and father I am today.    


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