Titles and Subtitles

By now, most of you know that my daughter Morgan Audrey Fairley was born on June 20th at 8:47am.  She was born at home with a fantastic team of four midwives coaching Alissa along, and clocked in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces.  Or 3.4 kilograms, if you’re fixated on the metric system.  How long was she?  I don’t remember.  You see, I wasn’t in the right state of mind for remembering anything.

As convenient as a quarter-to-nine birth time might seem, I found it to be the opposite.  For one thing, Alissa went into labour just as we were about to go to sleep for the night.  She had scheduled her vacation time for the week before her due date, so she had no plans the next day.  I was working and had only just started to discuss what kind of time off I’d want after the baby was born.  I started early the next day, so a good night’s sleep was pretty important.

Her labour started off fairly innocently.  Or at least, I was able to sleep through it for a little while.  Or try to.  By hour two, it was clear that sleep wasn’t happening.  One 10 hour shift lead into another.  Around 8:30, our primary midwife asked me if I was up for assisting in the delivery and catching Morgan.  Either because I was too tired to think twice or because YOLO, I agreed.  One way or another, I held my daughter within her first seconds of life.  That sort of thing can mess with your head.

I’ve assigned myself more than a few titles over the last decade.  Philosopher (that didn’t last long), intellectual (obviously self-assigned, and also quickly abandoned), activist (if you missed this stage, we’ll talk later), artist, director, writer, blogger, actor, and teacher.  Husband came a little more recently, but Father – Daddy – seems like the first one that’s a calling.  Obviously, it’s the first one that involves a tiny human who relies on me for everything but oxygen, but there’s a definite weight to this new title.

It’s put things not just on hold, but into exile.  After directing My Radio Flyer, I figured it was best to put my theatre projects on hold.  Only the ones that I really wanted to do (Yasmina Reza’s Art being on my dream project list for a long time).  Within a year, this plan was abandoned entirely.  I shifted from director to Daddy, and I didn’t want to leave Morgan for long enough to see a couple plays at the Fringe Festival.  I honestly doubt I’ll ever write or direct another play, let alone become an award-winning movie director.  I’m not even capitalizing “director” anymore.

I’m also not watching movies much anymore.  So much for my title of film critic (which, to be fair, I did actually do for a while.  Published in no less than three publications!).  I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised by this, but cataloging all the titles I’ve abandoned on the way to becoming Daddy is a little overwhelming.  Oh, and lead guitarist.  I haven’t played much in the last few months, though I’m sure Morgan will ask me to learn a few songs for her over the next few years.

There’s still subtitles, but for now, being Morgan’s Dad is enough.  After six months, it’s become a pretty natural state of being.  I’m not sure what subtitles are still to come, but they’ll almost certainly be just that: subtitles.

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