Sunday, May 31, 2009

It is May 31st, my due date, and judging by the time, it is highly unlikely I'll be one of the 3% of women who deliver on their "due date."

I am eminently ok with this. K. is less so, mostly because he is ready for his 2-weeks of "paternity leave" (aka vacation/sick days) to begin. And yet somehow, I do not feel guilty.

What I do feel, at this exact moment in time, is calm.

Y'all have probably figured out that I have spent about 100x more mental space thinking about the renovation of our house than the arrival of this child. It's true. My last column in the O-town's newspaper was titled "So This Is Why Second Children Feel Shortchanged" or something like that.

And I am over feeling guilty about this.

I spent my entire pregnancy with Annaliese thrilled to meet her. I wanted to know if she would love me, what she would look like, what her first words would be; I wanted to stroke the curve of her cheek and hold her close and kiss the folds of her neck and her arms and her legs.

And then she arrived, and though every anticipated moment and detail I just typed has actually happened or been answered, it was not at all as I had dreamed about when I was rocking in the decorated nursery and sniffing Baby Bee's Shampoo Bar.

I am much more open with this child. I am unwilling to spend the mental headspace trying to figure out when and how he will arrive, where he will sleep, what he will look like and weigh and be like, because it has become clear to me that it does not matter what I would choose. I could Google the night away and the child would still arrive when he is good and ready; he might be a cuddler or a colicky baby or have a shock of bright red hair; I simply don't know, and I won't know until the fullness of time.

The fullness of time. A wonderful phrase that is coming to make more and more sense to me.

Time is something that has changed radically for me since Annaliese's birth. I am still impatient (just ask K.) but I am also more cognizant of the seasons, of how the days keep flowing and circumstances keep shifting until it becomes apparent that yes, it is time for Annaliese to move into her own crib (age 3 months); yes, she is ready to feed herself with her own spoon (9 months); yes, it is time to wean her (11 months); yes, she is ready to leave the house for daycare (13 months); and so on and so forth.

You cannot plot children. (But my Lord, people do try. That's what all those baby books are about: control, a billion-dollar industry. Weight, yes; children, no.)

I am open to being surprised by this child. By the circumstances of his birth, by his nature, by his looks, and by the way we will all keep changing, because my goodness they do not stay the same: something that it takes first-time moms a while to realize. They will not wake every hour forever; they will grow out of needing to be held constantly; they will-- so they tell me-- learn to speak whole sentences, sentences you would not have chosen for them.

But while I have matured enough to resist planning, I do admit to being DEEPLY curious. About how I will tell the story of my son's first summer; about how we will survive, with all that we are doing and want to do.

But for the first time I can say we are ready. Even if the porch trim isn't painted, even if I have yet to plant the *damn* cucumber seedlings... we are now ready, and every day before the little boy gets here will just be an opportunity to savor the final days of being a trinity.
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Anonymous said...

but i want to see your BELLY!!!!

Anonymous said...