I recall waking up on the morning of C and I’s wedding. It was a dreamy, blue-skied, warm day in early September, and I had this thought:
There was no euphoria. No blissful haze. No romance-induced fog. No “jitters”. There was only a sleepy, strangely normal, terra-firma confirmation of reality, of recognition: It’s Sunday. And I have to pee.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband more than a fat kid loves cake (is it even ok to still use that phrase?). I loved him then, fully and completely, though in a smaller way, similar to how you can occupy a studio apartment fully, and then somehow a two bedroom cabin, then a 2,000 square foot house, and then wonder how in the world you managed to get from A to B. I loved him. I was fully invested, only with different square footage. And I hope that just like the Winchester Mystery House, we continue to be under construction until the day we die (in a blaze of glory, of course, together, base jumping, somewhere completely fabulous).
With all of that said, I woke up that morning under no delusion that there was a glass slipper somewhere, and a prince waiting to wedge my hot, swollen toes into it, which would actually look really gross. Yes, there would be a handsome guy waiting for me later that afternoon (and for every appointment/date/carpool/opportunity to leave the house following), but dangit, it was just another Sunday. I had to pee. Am I making this clear enough? It was a day like so many others, and it was certainly starting the same way. I will say that it felt strange and different that I would in fact, be getting married that afternoon: strange and different and surprisingly anticlimactic. It's likely that someone out there has put their head in their hands and deemed me completely heartless, but I don't feel bothered.
And here we are. I’m due with the baby we’ve been calling Swimmy on this coming Sunday (I’ve apparently cultivated a thing for scheduling life events on the Sabbath), and with absolutely no expectation of actually birthing a child during that predicted 24-hour period, I am still confronted by the idea that – hold the phone – this writhing, aquatic, and so far cooperative being will soon be spit out into the world and onto the map of our lives, pink and screaming and primed to deliver some exceptionally nasty poop. I am pretty sure that it will be simply another day, as extraordinary as the events will likely feel. And if I were a betting woman, I would wager that at some point I will find myself thinking, “How in the world did this just happen?”
This is life though, isn’t it? I can’t begin to number the conversations with friends or family or perfect strangers that have included that sort of phrase. How did I get here? When did this all happen? We don’t suddenly wake up with 3 kids and a dog, a corner office, a career as a newscaster, or government food stamps in our wallet, but sometimes it feels that way. As much as C and I have tried to prepare for a child in practical ways, you know – with a crib, blankets, therapy sessions on tape – I’m realizing that we cannot
No more than a person could ready him or herself for an alien invasion or for finding zero peanut butter at the grocery store could we ready ourselves for the person that is about to land his rocket ship in the middle of our living room.
In light of all of this, the mantra that I have been continuing to tell myself is:
Don’t sweat it.
Don’t lose your mind over the things you can’t even wrap it around, and quit thinking you can hold back the Pacific Ocean with a couple of sandbags. It’s huge. It’s coming. It's unstoppable.
So bowl me over, little guy. Land your rocket ship in my living room and poop on our carpet. Make me wonder how in the world we got here. And grow our love-house an extra room, while you’re at it.