Sunday, July 11, 2010

What it is like to be a father

There are so many people out there really willing to become parents but on the other hand, they are frightened by the idea and wondering if they are really ready for that mission, just waiting for someone to come around and tell them it is all easy so they can go ahead and make it happen. I will give it to you: I have been a father for about 4 months and I can state that it's not easy AT ALL! lol

The very first thrill - or maybe creeps (lol) - is when the mother of your child takes the test and the pregnancy is confirmed, even though you knew it was coming at anytime. When I knew I was going to be a father, I just went like "Oh boy! And what now?" I confess I could feel no happiness at that moment but just fear and uncertainty about the future; I was frightened and didn't know what to do, didn't know if I was ready to handle such responsibility, ready to take really good care of a baby. My wife was a mix of happiness and fear so she couldn't snap me back to reality. It took me a while to figure the whole thing out.

The following weeks were full of congratulations, celebrations, hugs, kisses and wishes. The following months were full of ultrasounds, shopping for baby stuff, arrangements for the baby shower, visitors and photos. (You might have to put up with those friends of hers that will act weird and display excessive affection and support so watch out for that! lol) 

Though it may sound boring, it is important for fathers to be present for as many ultrasounds as they can and give their wives all the support they may eventually need. Not only for that but also to feel that emotional rush of seeing the growing fetus - that will soon become your baby - on the screen. You will never forget the first time you see it, believe you me!

Before you know it, you will be shopping for baby stuff everytime you go to a mall. And I advise the parents-to-be to start doing their baby shopping very carefully and as soon as they can so they can make good deals. The prices can vary wildly. Shopping for baby furniture is the hardest and the most expensive part of it, specially if you have a specific theme in mind as we did. We wanted our baby boy's room theme to be "The Little Prince". We had to work hard on it, visit lots of baby stores, spend a great amount of money but it all looked really beautiful in the end. We bought the crib at Oito Baby, the robe over the internet, some room items at Tok & Stok and Planeta Bebe and all the baby gear such as stroller, car seat, bouncer, jumper, playard, in the USA (way cheaper than here).

Here are some pictures of the room:

Gustavo's Little Prince themed room

The walls were painted baby blue and plaster 
was applied on the walls and ceiling

This amazing Little Prince painting was done by
my friend and great artist Charles Carvalho

After the baby is born, the couple must be aware that their life will never be the same again. Don't be surprised if you find yourself suddenly closer to those friends of yours who also have kids, friends that you never had that much of contact before; it comes with parenthood. lol

Long story short, you will no longer be able to do all the same things you used to before your wife got pregnant and those relaxing weekend getaways will be gone, unless you have a nanny and take her with you wherever you go. Once you are aware of it all and think you can handle well, then I think you may make an excellent parent!

I can say that, despite all the hard work and sleepless nights, I'm really happy and excited to be the father of this cute, smart boy named Gustavo Coutinho Nascimento. All the tiredness is gone when I hold him in my arms and he gives me that cute smile, when I get back home from work totally burned out and he looks happy to see me. I often look at his face and try to imagine what he will look like in a couple of years' time. I think about the fun moments we will spend together, about how thrilling it will be when he starts crawling and when he learns how to walk, not to mention other special occasions. Of course, I didn't know how to be a dad but I picked up the skills and I'm still picking them up. All I know is I will always be there for my boy and will do my best to protect him from evil. I want to raise him the best way I can. He's turning 4 months old on Tuesday.

I tell you I never knew true love until I met the woman of my dreams.

I never knew true joy until my Gustavo was born.

And that's what it's like to be a father.

My lovely family!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Our sixth title dream is over...

Brazilian soccer fans and players are both devastated. After a brilliant first half, with a great goal scored by Robinho on Felipe Melo's brilliant low pass up the middle of the field and some other incredible shots saved by the good Dutch goalie, Brazil succumbed to the Dutch and got knocked out of the World Cup, postponing - once again - Brazil's sixth title dream.

Brazil completely lost its composure after falling behind. The Dutch were helped by an own goal off the head of unfortunate Felipe Melo after a cross into the Brazilian area when goalkeeper Julio Cesar failed not only to punch the ball out of there but also to warn his team mates that he was going for it. The ball slightly slipped through Felipe Melo's head and got into their own net, bringing the Netherlands into a 1-1 tie in the 53rd.

That goal knocked out the Brazilian players! The Dutch noticed that and then started playing wisely. They knew from Brazil's previous games that the Brazilian players don't know how to behave when they have difficulties to show their game and just lose it. Dutch star Wesley Sneijder took great advantage of that, going to the ground at the slightest contact, driving Brazilian players really mad at him. The other Dutch players started doing the same thing and, in the 73rd minute, defender Felipe Melo was ejected for stomping on the leg of Arjen Robben.

From that moment on, Brazil began to unravel and the Dutch took control of the game, increasing their time of ball possession. The end of the match presented the unusual sight of the Brazilians scrambling wildly to find an equalizer.

It never came.




P.S.: I guess this is not time to find someone to blame. It is time to learn a lesson. It is time to focus on our presidential election that is just around the corner. If we really want to host a World Cup in 2014, something has got to change immediatelly. There is plenty of work to do and the time is short. Anyway, let's hope for the best...