The West Wing & Fatherhood

Have any of you seen The West Wing? I have. My wife loves it, and so do I. We’re currently re-watching it and one of the episodes we saw tonight resonated with me as a father to be.

It was towards the start of season 5. President Bartlet’s daughter was missing, he had recused himself of the Presidency temporarily and the world was seemingly going to pot in and around America.


Not read the article (it’s from 1993!) so I can’t comment on the sub, but Fatherhood is important.

But what got me was the tangential story-line whereby Toby Ziegler became a Father to twins. We saw him fall in love with his children. He didn’t know if he had the capacity to do that, but he did. He thought he was nervous because of that but no, it was because every father is nervous ahead of the birth of their child.

Actually, this narrative did more for me than I’d even realised watching it, and have now worked out when writing about it. Wherever you’re coming from as an expectant father the likelihood is you’ll be questioning how you’ll do it, knowing deep down you will, but how? And what and so on. In those few scenes Toby is that expectant father, the expectant father we all are. And he did it.


I wonder if they do in the UK? No, really, I do. Now.

It gives strength that we all can. And for me, as a great fan of TV and cinema over the years, it works for me.


Something Changed

Something Changed. Yes, it is a track off Pulp’s Britpop-era defining Different Class album but also a reality in my way of thinking today, and recently. You see, something has changed.

It was the UK’s budget today. I always listen keenly to estimate the impact it will have on mine and my wife’s life. Today I found myself adding another variable in there. Children.


Children. The one on the right is an illustrated example

It’s not just today’s budget either. It’s everything. I hear about anything to do with education and my ears prick up whereas before they’ll have taken notice but only in passing. We were watching The West Wing tonight and Toby and Josh cooked up a plan to make US college tuition cheaper (tax relief). This got to me. It’s kinda awesome.

This is what it’s going to be like from now on, hopefully as all goes well. But frankly, whatever. I think my mind is in this mode now and there’s no off switch. It’s like I’ve gone to 11 because it’s one louder but I could only do so by getting a  new dial.


They call me the Jackal

Well, here’s to it. However I must now go back and do some fantasy football theorising. I can’t totally change, after all.

The first scan

Hey folks! Next week my wife and I have a scan booked. Our first scan. Our first chance to check if all is going well. If it isn’t, what happens then is a whole different ball game to the one I want to talk about. And hope for.


A random scan, I assure you.

If the scan shows all is going well that also means we’ll get to see something equating to OUR child, OUR baby. Wow. If that happens – if we are so lucky – just, wow. We are further forward than we were last time. This is great. But neither of us is allowing ourselves to get excited. And we won’t until 12 and/or 19 weeks. But this scan, at 8, should help massively – or at least provide some clarity on how to think.


Back to Reality is quite possibly the finest Red Dwarf episode ever.

I can’t imagine either way to be honest. One way filled with such joy and wonder – a chance to really get excited and start talking about the next few months and years. The other way? Let’s cross that bridge if we need to. We will, of course. Whatever happens we’re in it together and will work through it as such. I just hope. I really do. Hope. Such a good word. It does always remind me of that Red Dwarf episode though.