MAN VS. BABY: Steve Volk Gets Pregnant

PHILLY MAG: The plan was to drink a few beers and listen to a couple of friends talk about fatherhood. Both had new babies, around nine months and four months old, respectively, and I hoped the conversation would confirm my own, slowly blooming desire to be a father myself. “So, let’s hear it,” I said, after we sat down and ordered our first round. “Tell me all about the joys of fatherhood.” One friend, who is dark by nature, averted his eyes and stared at the table. The other snorted derisively. And over the next half hour they talked about the lack of sleep, the constant demands, the strained relationships with their wives, the seemingly never-ending presence of in-laws and the loss of their own sense of place within their home. And then they talked some more about the lack of sleep. And the hours of boredom. They competed for the bleakest description of fatherhood they could muster.

It’s incredible to me, in evolutionary terms, that our species has survived. Why does anyone ever have children? I mean, I can understand having one out of ignorance. But two?

It’s like a slow death.

It’s like the aftermath of a bomb exploding, where there’s no hope but you’re still alive.

“Wow,” I offered. “I was hoping this conversation would confirm my resolve to have children.”

“Resolve?” the snorter replied. “Let me ask you this: Why would you want to have a baby?” MORE