It was the lukewarm summer of 1998 when I heard five words that seemed to pull apart (the already fragile) fabric of my reality…

“Tyrone, I think I’m pregnant.”

Those words hit harder than Miley Cyrus swinging in on a 10 tonne wrecking ball, and as time simulataneously sped up and slowed down, the only word my brain cells could muster to think was…

“f*%k. ”

But I managed to say what every man says when ill prepared for the magnitude of the moment, desperately clinging onto the coat-tails of hope…

“Are you sure?”

Then stormed in with a follow up question destined to make the situation worse…

“Is it mine?”

Strangely it was the only situation where I would have welcomed a little infidelity. My self-imposed 700 – 800 word limit doesn’t allow me to give full bodied exposure or disclosure to the circumstances that led up to the declaration, but when I found out it was a false alarm, suddenly the title of R. Kelly’s biggest selling solo single made sense…

I believed I could fly.

Or at least that’s how I felt, when I realised I wasn’t prematurely destined to be chained by the bonds of fatherhood. What could I have offered a kid back then? Student debt? Minimum wage? Accommodation in my room among a fine collection of over 5,000 American comic books? Back then, I was the living embodiment of Khalid’s multi-platinum selling hit…

Young, dumb and broke.

The titanic intensity of that situation (and my immature handling of it) eventually led to a collision our relationship was never going to recover from; so that relationship sunk without a trace; but Celine Dion was right and my heart did go on and on.

So fast forward to a little over a year ago, when I heard…

“Tyrone, I think I’m pregnant”

Five words I was desperately yearning to hear, after trying to conceive a child unsuccessfully for just over a year, not to mention this news was following on from an unfortunate, miscarriage of injustice. An unspeakable low which paved the way for my bundle of sleep deprivation and joy to eventually make it into our crazy existence in December of 2017.

But what exactly can I offer now? Credit card debt? Wages that never quite seem to stretch, although my situation with accommodation is a lot better and my American comic book collection is streamlined from 5,000 to 2,000. A whole new world between the first and last time I heard the exact same phrase. A double impact statement that once made me feel my life was over, when in actuality it’s a statement that new life is emerging.

This post isn’t a lesson on contraception, this post does not seek to impose judgement on the choices a woman makes with her body, neither is this post aimed at those who can’t or don’t want to have children (the song that mainstream society plays, is not always at the tempo that everyone should dance to) but why do you think the modern human has been able to thrive for roughly two hundred thousand years?

A range of circumstances wider than Montserrat Caballé‘s octave vocal range led to our existence and while some of those conceptions may have been born from the harmonious unison, of a two parent family structure, many of those situations were unplanned, unexpected and even unwanted.

Upon discovering the new frontier called parenthood, I’ve known people think themselves to be too young, too old, spiral into depression, get married, move out, move in, pull together, split apart, cry with joy or laugh with pain. It’s a bittersweet process that requires humans to go through a range of emotions for this fundamental life forming process.

Before I conclude, let me just give myself a disclaimer…I only speak in terms of consensual adults, but even then, I’m not suggesting everyone should move into the quantum realm of parenthood. Raising a child is a job where the best payments are smiles and hugs, a responsibility no one should undertake unless they feel ready to do so; although I remain forever indebted to the mentality of my young, 18 year old mother, who rolled the dice and secured a place for me on this planet.

Even if we were to discount the sexualised society in which young, impressionable minds live, the primitive drive of human nature is a guttural force that is often under estimated. It is not a “logical” process but an innate primal behaviour that wants (for better or worse) to guarantee the continuation of our species on this rock.

Until next time.

P.S. I’m more than aware the consistency of my output has dipped lately, but please know I’m making efforts behind the scenes to rectify this situation. I appreciate all the varied situations and scenarios that lead to your conception that eventually bought you to this blog.

It is something I never take for granted.