Pardon the almost Spiderman quotation, but I can't get it out of my head. There is this huge responsibility that weighs on your shoulders as a parent, that strikes fear in your heart and it has nothing to do with your powers to provide, but with your child's powers to do things in the world. You wait, and wait for this baby, hoping and dreaming and decorating. Then you bring the baby home, and sometime between the feedings and the diaper changes you think to yourself, "My God what have I done," and it's not because you are tired and sick of diapers, it's because you realize you now have to help mold this person to be a good member of society, a decent human being, and you suddenly doubt your ability to do that. What will they do? You may be confident that you can sleep train, and potty train your kid, but can you really teach them to make good choices, to treat people well? Typically then the icy feeling of fear grips your chest, but luckily you are so sleep deprived, it doesn't keep you up at night, at least in the beginning.
I got that jolt of icy fear recently as we brought a new baby into our home. Ted Theodore Logan (by the way it's from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure) who we call Theo, is a Great Dane puppy. He is not a human baby, we can put him in a crate and leave the house, his diet is simple and while he has issues sleeping through the night, and we are cleaning up his crap, he is easier than a kid. Never the less, that fear gripped me like it has not done before with our other dogs. Unlike all of our other dogs, Theo will outweigh us. He will be taller, bigger and stronger than Valentine or myself. So we have this HUGE responsibility to mold him into this gentle giant. Luckily, as with our kids, genetics are on our side. He is predisposed to being a decent, nice dog. His 200 lb. dad sauntered up to us very gently and leaned very lightly into me as my kids pet him and hugged him. Still though, we have to train him, we have to practice good behavior with him, we have to show him the ropes. We have to give him structure and discipline. Again, this will probably be easier than it has been with our kids. We will be able to better control his environment. He won't be going into the world very often without us, and certainly never unescorted by a chaperone. He might be easier to deal with than our kids, but that sense of responsibility and that cold icy fear are there. He will be a very powerful dog, and it is our job to help him learn to use that power responsibly.