I'm happy to say, the cult of Father is a warm and friendly place. People are coming out of the woodwork to lend a hand, give advice, offer support. The funniest thing is that it comes from strangers as often as from family/friends.
The most recent phenomenon of spontaneous support comes from my Child Seat Safety Check people. I volunteered last year to help parents safely install their baby/child seats in their cars. Since then, I've done around 250 installs total (including my training installs). Of the 170 live installs, guess how many parents did it right on their own? Yup, 5. Five parents installed their baby seats correctly.
Anyhow, I strike up conversations with them during the process (takes about an hour, includes training as well as installation). Typically, I sound like I have children myself. They were so shocked to hear I didn't actually have my own children that when they heard it they quite often became crestfallen. Since then, of course, my wife and I have become pregnant with our potential first child. The difference in their camaraderie is night and day!
Not that they disliked me before, but they really get jacked up when they know I'm in their parent cult. It's again like getting a new lens, but more like I know the lensmakers themselves!
They give me a great deal of advice, but the best advice I have received from them so far came from a new father who effectively said "there's no real preparation, no book you can read that will really tell you how it's going to be with your particular situation. Live in the moment and do everything you can to stay positive."
That's my motto already, but it's totally cool to know that I can apply to this new situation... no matter what comes....