First Father’s Day
A new dad reflects as his first Father’s Day approaches
Father’s Day has a different feel for Granville’s Matthew Ayers this year; for the first time he’s approaching the holiday as a dad.
Matthew Raymond Ayers arrived five months ago, as of June 16. Ayers and his wife of six years, Sonja, said they changed their minds from their initial idea and decided to get pregnant earlier than planned.
“We were going to wait another year and a half; Sonja was going to finish classes for her RN. That was the big game plan (then) I got antsy, not getting any younger and a lot of my guy friends were having kids; (we) wanted them to grow up together so I talked her into changing plans,” Ayers said.
“And we’re so thankful that we did. (Sonja) brings it up that if we had waited it wouldn’t have been the same egg and all that crazy stuff, so it would have been a different baby (laughs). … So we’re blessed,” he said.
“It’s been good for me, all good,” as a 28-year-old who describes himself as already settling down, having been married for six years.
“This is like another reality check, next-step-in-life type thing. I like to think of it like that,” he said. “I’m super excited about it.”
Ayers said wife and baby sometimes get to come with him when he’s on the road when he’s giving insulation estimates because Sonja’s taking the first nine months to be a stay-at-home-mom.
Ayers is the second generation of the family to be involved in Hooper Insulation and the Mettowee Par 3 Golf Course. Matt’s father, Chuck, brought him into the business 10 years ago.
With Father’s Day on the way, Ayers said, he is looking forward to the day.
“I’m excited she went through her first Mother’s Day and I got to see her get excited and kind of glow.” Asked if he might glow on his special day, Ayers said, “Hopefully,” with a laugh.
Ayers said the idea of passing on the family business or a family legacy was something he had not thought of before the interview.
“Only time will tell if he takes an interest in it. I don’t want to force it on him by any means because working with your family can be a pain … . I hope he’s interested because Dad has tried to do this for all of us and given me an opportunity that a lot of people didn’t have, so I hope to pass that on to him,” he said.
The big change Ayers said fatherhood brought was in his outlook.
Ayers said he didn’t want children as a younger man, and still after meeting his wife he had serious doubts about fatherhood.
Watching what other parents went through with some of their children had him convinced he did not want children.
“I made up my mind I didn’t like the idea,” he said. Later he would consider the massive responsibility associated with trying to raise a child and again decided he didn’t want to be a father.
“You try to teach that person well enough that they go out and make the right decisions; there’s a lot of stuff out there to get into – so that’s a lot of responsibility to take on,” Ayers said.
His wife stressed that she wanted to have children and needed to know before they got married if he was serious about not having children.
“I really wanted to marry her so I was going to tell her anything she wanted to hear at that point,” he said.
In the recent past, he said, he could remember declining to hold babies when they were offered to him because they made him nervous, but that changed somehow. “It went away and I didn’t really notice,” he said.
“Deep down I knew that I’d get over it – you want to carry on the family name if anything,” Ayers said.
The next thing he knew he was standing in the delivery room holding his son and crying tears of joy.
“I fell in love with him instantly – cried – I’m a crybaby so it doesn’t take much emotion to bring that out in me,” he said.
Wife Sonja chimed in at that point: “Let’s be honest the day before he was telling me, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to bond with this child, how I’m going to feel, how I’m going to react.’”
They laugh because there was no hesitation when the baby came along.
Ayers said he’s made small changes and bigger changes to his life since the arrival of now 5-month-old Matthew.
Hobbies have to take something of a back seat to the baby, he said.
Although he still has a motorcycle and rides occasionally, Ayers said, he knows the thing to do would be to sell it, avoiding the risk and the cost. That, however, is one thing he has not yet been willing to part with.
“I’m the type of guy that likes to spend money and spontaneously acquire things,” he said.
Not so now, unless it’s baby-related. Although he said the transition was an easy one to make, “it was easy to stop having that attitude of just spontaneous purchasing … new hunting gear every year, I’m going to wear the same (stuff) that I wore last year. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was (going to be) because I love him a lot so it didn’t really take a lot of thought,” Ayers said.
Making his own coffee at the house has replaced buying it at Scotties and other simple small changes, he said.
Ayers said the birth of his son has caused him to refocus himself.
“He’s going to be running around in just a couple of years,” Ayers said, so he has started watching what he eats and getting back in shape.
Although he said he was quite happy that his first child is a boy, Ayers said his opinion about the sex of his baby changed as the due date approached.
He wanted a boy, but as the time to find out came closer he found he just wanted the baby to be healthy.
“There shouldn’t be any room for you to be unhappy about what’s about to happen,” he said.