We felt bereft of the birth we had imagined and ashamed that we couldn’t just concentrate on the joy of our son 100 percent and all kinds of confusion and … trauma I guess. It was all muddled up.
But by making the decision that this was not the full story, even though I didn’t know how this chapter of my life would be meaningful in the future, I managed to created my first strand of hope.
We have to change the story about the brutal birth of Jay, because we need stories to be beautiful and about more than what came out of it – Jay. We need them for our sake to be more than just the goal. We need them to be about the entire journey, too. But the journey is disjointed. Perfect sailing, then storm and drowning and then reaching the island after all does not match.
Something needs to tie it together, in a new way. Something …
But it takes time to find that something. As it should.
Fortunately, we can count on the best help to find a new story about the brutal journey to becoming parents.
And as we get to know Jay well, it will all become clearer.
I want to focus on our story now and the ways we try to have faith that this, for us, very new and demanding situation – like so many others – ultimately will have some kind of good outcome. Meaning we can feel. Benefit we can use. The experience of help from unexpected sides. Deeper insights revealed. All of the power and beauty of life which is just beneath the surface of seemingly random and dangerous currents.
And I know at least one very good outcome that will outweigh a lot of bumps on the road, this weekend and in the years to come.
And he is our son.
A few days ago, I found myself doing the dishes and then going back and forth to my email to see if anyone had written anything “vital” to me (a definition I’ve deliberately left open – but it’s to do with emergencies at work or in the family, mostly).
Thus, I found myself checking email maybe 5 times during an hour to see if anything “vital” had come up which could … divert my attention, I suppose.
The piss filling up and warming my pants this cold spring sure feels nice and warm.
But fine so.
Awareness of a behavior you want to change is the first step to that change.
But here’s the thing: whomever stole this CD from the mail had at least the decency to glue the envelope together again so I got the personal letter from my friend, which accompanied the CD.
My friendship with MN and LR, my memories of our times together, my appreciation of the music of LR – none of that has been damaged by this theft. It just made me angry for a brief moment.
But I like to think that whomever did this put the envelope back in circulation, because he or she had a sense of that friendship, too, because they couldn’t avoid seeing there was a personal letter attached. And that was something this petty thief could not make him or herself disrespect.
Maybe it is my imagination, maybe it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I found that focus, after being angry at first.
I briefly wondered what would have happened if the midwife had not discovered that she had set the wrong date for medically induced labor to begin with. I even asked about it but she said it was fine and I figured I must’ve gotten something wrong about that ‘only a week past the term’. Maybe they calculated it differently than I thought?
In any case, it’s only a few days and a few percentage points of extra risk that were at stake, so I have let it go. I still try to keep affirming that things are going to go ‘right’, so here’s the chance again.
And I take it.
Much can be achieved if only those damned habits are changed. Like … our dreams.
It’s real. So real. And I see it now so clearly. So I have to do it.
Not just with investing time to get more friends. With everything.
I still use woefully little of my mental capacity to actually drive towards the goals that mean something to me. I still use precious little willpower to keep my mind on track more of the time.
A lot of the time, and despite my attempts in previous months to detox, I still fall back into just ‘zoning out’, letting all sorts of junk into my mind. If it doesn’t happen by itself, it happens because I let it – i.e. by returning to random internet surfing and the like.
Becoming parents – in a little while – will only make this situation more dire. I will be tempted in the extreme to zone out and sometimes I will have to, just to stay afloat.
But I can’t allow this to go on at least without improving. Then you are allowed to call me a monk.
Our son should have been born today, at least according to the doctors’ predictions. He wasn’t.
Not a world-shattering problem, but I must admit the waiting time is getting to us. So we tried to make the best of it and went out into the sun.
I feel … really good about this story, and that it is finished now. I feel quickened (reference intended) in a way I haven’t felt for many years.
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.
Others are building their homes in cyberspace or have been building for a long time. They will appreciate more than anything else that people stop by and give a hand.
I think I’ve written about this before: That the act of courage gives the feeling of courage. And courage is about facing fear.
Whereas if you obsess too much about what new distraction you can put into your mind, then it becomes a bit like you going on and on running away on the spot, but your feet whirling up some kind of breeze that fan the flames of fear behind you. You can’t see it but it feels hotter and hotter the more you run.
Lousy metaphor, but I guess it still works.
I think it would be a beautiful thing if Jay was to play with some of that old LEGO, even if just for a few times. Even if he gets all sorts of new stuff that’ll probably interest him more.
It’s like past and present doing a kind of circle and touching each other. I know this is fairly normal – kids playing a bit with their parents’ toys, but still … I like the image of the circle of time meeting like this.
We’ll see how it meets and when.
I think when you allow yourself to really be with such moments and witness your child playing, maybe participating and taking time for it, then you can appreciate the gift that the passing of 35 years has given you.