November 15, 2006

Something strange happened the other week. I didn’t expect it, and now it’s happened I feel powerless to reverse it. What I’m talking about is a huge shift in my approach to my own money. I can’t remember exactly the moment this hit me, but it could well have been when withdrawing a tenner from a cash machine, or checking my balance.

And I realised that this money is not mine anymore. It’s our baby’s. It’s A’s. This money is not for me to spend as I please. And you know what, after I first thought this, I can’t put it out of my mind. Everytime there’s an opportunity to spend some money – from a drink in a pub, to a CD online, even train tickets and petrol – there’s something in me that stops me before I punch in my PIN number or reach for my wallet. I don’t feel particularly heroic and nor do I feel annoyed. It’s just a fact. I don’t want to spend anything that could be for our child, or for A.

It feels like I’m experiencing an extreme, and that this will dilute at some point. But it’s also made me think of all the many ways in which being a father could change how I view quite significant things, principles, or values, that adjust and shift because now I feel primarily like I am a provider, carer, protector, nurturer…

It’s a good job this broadband line is pretty cheap.


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