x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Married Life: New parents are allowed to rock out too

The arrival of your little bundle doesn't have to mean giving up all things fun.

When I heard that Evanescence would be performing in Dubai, I rushed to tell Mr T. He had always had a crush on the lead singer Amy Lee, and the band play his kind of music; he's an advocate of anything that falls in the category of hard rock, metal, goth and punk rock. I, of course, will never understand the type of distortion that goes into the music he enjoys, but I can understand that it's his "thing". Besides, I have dragged him to Roxette, Craig David and Madonna concerts, so the least I could do was plaster a smile on my face if he wanted to rock out to Evanescence.

I was eager to bring a little excitement to his week - something to look forward to, really - when I told him the band's forthcoming performance should be next on our list of concerts to attend.

At first, his eyes lit up and he grinned in surprise. "Really, they're coming here? This place is great! We're so lucky all these musicians end up coming to the UAE and performing here," he said. Seconds later, however, he shrugged. "But, nah, I don't want to go. I don't think that's my thing anymore. Besides, I'm gonna be a dad soon; those days are over."

And thus began a series of sleepless nights for me. What? "'Those days are over'?" What "days" exactly? Fun days? Days filled with good times, doing the things we love to do? What in the world did he mean by that, and why did he sport such an air of dejection when he said it? Is that really what he thought would happen to us with the arrival of this baby - a forced change in the essence of our personalities in order to accommodate our new roles as parents?

The fear that our soon-to-be-born child would force us to stop doing the things we love is one I cannot shake. I understand we'll soon have new things we love to do, things that include a baby, but until that happens it feels like everything is about to change in a way that I cannot guarantee will be fun-filled. Perhaps it's the same kind of niggling fear and worry that comes just before a wedding day, when you're wondering whether marriage will change you beyond recognition and whether love may peter out and no longer be the dominant part of the equation; normal fears a person prone to anxiety cannot help but have.

But here's the thing: I'm the one prone to anxiety. I'm the worrier in the family. Mr T is the one cloaked in assurance, so when he confidently proclaims that "those days are over", we have a problem on our hands.

Which is why I had to prove to him that, come baby, we'll still be doing the things we love, just not as often. And, more importantly, we'll still be us, just lucky enough to have a third person to engulf in all this love.

And until the baby makes its appearance, there's no reason not to rock out at a concert. Thus, Mr T was presented with surprise tickets to see Evanescence last week, and this past Friday, we had a great time in Dubai: Mr T watching Amy Lee act like a crazy person on stage, and I watching Mr T have a great time listening to the music he loves. A win-win situation.

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