On swimming and my boys

If the title at all confuses you, I’d suggest reading the piece below this one before reading on.

I make a lot of rash decisions in my life. There was the time I decided to kill a bug on a second-floor ceiling by jumping from the top of the stairs and swatting at the little monster. There was the time I decided to open my wallet and start challenging anyone in the vicinity of a barroom pool table to a nice game of billiards…for money. And then there was the time I tried to convince the police officer that my friends had not been shooting off fireworks as my friends hid their fireworks in a burning firepit. And then there was the time…oh, just add water to any smirk you have right now and keep smirking.

I may not have developed a reputation for being an impulsive, devil-may-care guy, but I’ve had my moments. With that in mind, you should know this entire Otis as a daddy thing was not unplanned.

Since I’ve had so many questions and so little time to provide details, here is a list of answers to the Frequently Asked Questions.

1) Um…really…this isn’t an accident? No. It’s not. We’d been thinking about it for about a year, prepping for it for about seven months, and actively trying since October. Regular readers might remember my dad’s head exploded in mid-October. The ensuing hospital stay precluded any attempts to really make a good effort in October. Careful study of the science and math involved indicates Ms. Otis became pregnant the very moment I arrived back on Mt. Willis. Like within minutes. I don’t think I have to say I’m…relieved…about my boys’ backstroke.

2) Are you really ready for this? Well, no. But, we decided recently–especially in light of my dad’s head explosion–that we would never be ready professionally, personally, and financially at the same time. We’re close enough now to make it work.

3) What’s the due date? August 12th, although an informed medical source thinks it could be about a week earlier. Ms. Otis is officially like 12 or 13 weeks, but that’s science talking. They say a baby takes nine months to cook. She got pregnant in mid-November. That’s only two months ago. It’s seven months until August 12th. The math just doesn’t add up. But, I’m no doctor. All I know is I’ve seen a peanut with a heartbeat and the doctor says everything looks good.

4) So, blue or pink? Neither. Or both. It doesn’t matter. In the age of 24-hour news stations, there just aren’t many surprises anymore. At least for our first child, we’d like to be surprised. So, make it green. Make it yellow. Paint it black (see: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, etc). We don’t care. We won’t know whether it’s a boy or girl until August.

5) How’s Ms. Otis doing? Heh. Now that’s a question. I’ll put it this way: I’m still nursing the bruise I got when she elbowed me out of the way on her way to puke this morning. That’s a fairly regular thing. And though we didn’t expect her to start showing for a while, she is…well…showing. Either that or making a concentrated effort to push out her belly every time I look at it (which is about every 30 seconds).

So, there ya go.

Yep…there ya go.


Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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