We’re Pregnant and I Can’t Speak Japanese
In 1975, I was fifteen years old and cruising through life without a worry in the world. Life was about football and music, AC/DC’s High Voltage LP cranked up to full blast on my sister’s portable record player. 1975 was a good year.
Twenty years later, I found myself living in Tokyo, and still without any major worries to show that I had grown up. I hadn't carved out a stellar career in business or as a family man with a home, two cars and a dog. I hadn't travelled the world beyond my regular trips back to Australia for Christmas. I was happy to go to work, have a drink with friends on weekends, and mark my time until I would return to Australia as a retiree and live out the rest of my days as a withered old soul on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
But then one day I woke up and I was forty-four years old. The universe suddenly turned on me. My partner of five years suggested we get married, which actually sounded like a good idea. Then, naturally, she suggested we start a family, as our biological clocks were ticking down – hers for childbearing and mine for child-rearing: arthritic knees. Again: not a bad idea? But, as nothing seemed to happen, she suggested we buy an apartment and commit ourselves to a double-income-no-kids mortgage, which we did. That, of course, did the trick and in a matter of months, we were pregnant. I was about to turn forty-six.
We're Pregnant and I Can't Speak Japanese is my log of the months I spent as an expectant father tagging along on my wife’s pregnancy. For the first time in my life, my future was directly going to affect someone else’s future, which was a frightening thought. 1975 seemed like a long time ago.
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