Writing Wednesday evening I can say that if there is one positive thing that came out of the weekend’s tense but unfulfilled expectations about becoming parents, it must be that I no longer feel a need to be as ready as I felt that weekend.
There was a mental readiness that felt very insistent and which I tried to balance with a little work, a little house-chores, and a little relaxing among other things. I knew it wasn’t productive to be too tense and focused on when we would go to the hospital, but I also felt that it was necessary to allow for some feeling of readiness.
But now I feel I am ready more than I was those few days ago, and not just because the bags are packed – twice. And not just because I’ve been re-thinking various scenarios for how things might turn out at the birth – twice.
It’s more as if this weekend’s expectation and then non-event has had the curious effect on me that I feel like it is over, even if it is not over.
Like I was a sailor who was told (but actually imagined) that there would be the possibility of a really wild storm this weekend, but it didn’t happen. And now I sail on, knowing that, yeah, there will be that storm, but I have to … sail.
So there has also been a growing realization that I need to detach even more from that mental state where I am ready, focused, but still waiting.
I need to be more like: Remember I’m ready and then do something else.
I shouldn’t do anything rash or foolish, obviously, as in when I don’t know the time I have to help Char run what is like a marathon – rash or foolish like, say, traveling 200 miles away to a meeting or staying up all night playing Panzer General.
But otherwise, I should detach more. I should go on with daily life.
And affirm a greater faith:
In Char … in our preparations … in the hospital and … of course, in the invisible Something which seems to me to control or at least shape a lot of our lives behind the scenes.
Part of this change towards more detachment seemed to come yesterday after the midwife visit when certain things were set in place. Like the date for medical intervention if Char does not give birth at least a week after her term. That would be 16 May that we start that intervention process then. Unless …
And until then, there is no reason to do much but have faith in the things above, don’t do anything foolish and otherwise just … live on.
And support her in all things big and small, of course, like cooking and making things as comfortable for her as possible, even if I’m tired after a long day in the field.
So even if it has happened tonight, and these words first come alive after the fact, I will say that it has been a pleasant change of mind. The weekend was tense. For a number of reasons.
Chief among them was probably, in hindsight, that we had somehow decided that was the weekend – in our own minds. But arbitrarily, of course.
And so, once again, you are reminded that having children – even before you have had them – means surrendering control of a big part of your life to something that is far beyond your control.