Secrets are an incredibly interesting concept unique to humans. Even our closely related primate species, although intelligent and capable of abstract thinking, don't have this concept. Apes don't care if Bobby hooked up with Sally the day after he hooked up with Sue. In fact, I am sure Bobby and Sally probably hooked up in public, in plain view of all of the other apes-Sue included. For some reason, mostly because we humans like to over think everything, we decided that we would conceive a game that involves withholding information until precisely the right time. Now this can be fun when you are the one with the secret, but it can also be nerve-wracking. No matter what the case, secrets are unnatural and can cause a great deal of added stress and emotional confusion. If you don't know me or cannot tell by my tone, I am not a man who has many secrets. Although I will say can be trusted with them as I understand the reasons for keeping secrets.
Learning that Emilie was pregnant was one of the happiest moments of my life. I was in Orange Beach, AL on our annual beach training camp making final preparations for the state tournament with my girls soccer team (16-16 year old girls) and 4 mothers acting as chaperons. In fact, the beach house came with a separate guest house that the mothers referred to as the 'honeymoon suite' so that Emilie and I could work on our baby making. Unfortunately, Emilie wasn't able to come this year because that same weekend, she left for Texas for two months. As the mothers hinted at the prospect of Emilie and I having kids, it was extremely difficult to keep from telling them that Emilie had just sent me a picture of the positive pregnancy test she just took. So I did the only thing I knew to do. I told them goodnight and went and thought about it alone in my suite. I'll tell you that was a joyous moment, but it was very difficult because I wanted to share that with the person I love the most. At that point, I would have shared it with anyone.
The two months that we kept our pregnancy a secret continuously created emotional confusion for me. I wanted to stand on top of a mountain and yell to the whole world my incredible news and how amazing our baby is going to be. However, with so much still uncertain, it wasn't the right thing to do. This confusion began to manifest in common daily situations that I was previously oblivious to. I totally began to feel like a woman. I would see a mother with an infant in the supermarket and these weird feelings were erupting inside of me. I would get excited and start thinking about what our baby is going to be like and that pretty soon I will be doing that. This was all very new to me, and I am sure it was very creepy to the mother I was staring at with wide eyes and a huge grin on my face. As I encountered more similar situations, it became harder and harder to keep my secret. One afternoon one of the women I work with brought her son into work. As some of my co-workers and I were playing with him I wanted to say "I can't wait until mine is born". I was encountering these situations more and more and it was starting to wear me down.
To deal with the added pressure of the wonderful secret I was having to keep, I began to tell my secret to strangers, bystanders, and acquaintances. I found a good outlet was a haircut session with a new stylist I never met before. Based on an early evaluation of her performance I knew I wouldn't be seeing her again. I gave myself the green light and I talked for the full 20 minutes about how excited I was that I was going to become a dad. I began to tell the checkout people at stores and restaurants. For a while it was enough to hold me over, but I was itching to tell the people I truly care about.
I learned that one of the positives of keeping a good secret is that the reward of revealing your secret has a direct positive correlation to the difficulty of keeping it. The harder it is to keep, the better it will feel to reveal. I mean it was incredible getting to tell my family and friends that Emilie and I will soon be welcoming the next Garcia to the clan. I still have not told everybody, but each day I tell someone else, it makes my entire day. It brings me so much joy just to tell people this news that I can only imagine the joy I will feel when our baby is actually born. I think this whole secret experience has already changed me. Initially, I wanted to know the gender of the baby as soon as we were able to find out. Now that Emilie is pregnant and I already love our baby. I don't care what the gender is. I think it will be awesome for the baby to keep that a natural, wonderful secret until the day we get to meet him or her.