Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Preparing for Baby with the Help of Jack Wagner, Super Mario, and John Mayer

I am doing something right now that I know in just two short weeks will seem like a ridiculous guilty pleasure. I am sitting in the house by myself listening to the rain. The house is a disaster, I cannot see my feet, and I still haven’t written the kids thank you notes from their birthday presents which they received a month ago. Perhaps best of all, I don’t really care.

There is a strange peace here today. The rain feels special and appropriate for this Tuesday which is weird. I’m not usually into rain. If I were I would be all plaid shirt loving on Seattle and Starbucks and singing the praises of Portlandia but I don’t. Generally I’m a sunshine girl. But today I am digging this. It feels cleansing and nice. I’m taking stock of what I have, what’s coming.
My husband and I both have strange and oddly matching behavioral patterns whenever we approach major life events. We both retreat to younger versions of ourselves as if we’re not quite ready to face whatever major grown-up thing we’re supposed to be getting ready for. So we become 12, 15, even 25 year old versions of ourselves for a short time. Because it is safer to be there than to face what is coming even when what is coming is great. Because no one ever said that great and scary were mutually exclusive things.

Last week we were both indulging our 7 year old versions of ourselves. The closer we get to becoming parents three times over, the more I think we are seeking some alternate reality where we are the kids waiting for someone to swoop in and give us bedtimes and limits and chocolate milk and take care of us, reassuring us it’s all going to be fine. I’ve had some phenomenal Jack Wagner tunes on repeat, firmly cementing the idea in my mind that it is 1984 and nothing more challenging is going to happen in the next few weeks than learning fractions. My husband has been diligently playing Super Mario Brothers each night, I think somehow convincing himself that defeating Bowser and King Koopa will be the scariest thing he’ll have to slay anytime soon.
But as we inch closer to the big day we are both slowly preparing to let go of these kids for, well, the sake of our kids. My husband has forsaken Mario for old movies of our first two as babies, as if trying to remember what it was like to start at this place, at the beginning. He is gearing up to do it again, mentally and physically. I’ve shut off my binge of 80s music but I’ve not quite fully left the regressive phase. Instead I’ve got John Mayer on repeat now. Which is weird because 36 year old me doesn’t really like him very much. But 24 year old me was into it. She was still finding herself and she’d wander around NYC with track 1 of Heavier Things blaring through her Discman, feeling self-absorbed and brave and not afraid of hard work which I did a lot of. I worked constantly with a bizarrely liberating and limitless belief in my ability to accomplish things I’d never done before.
And suddenly it seems clear what I need to channel from 24 year old me right now. I need to find that limitless belief in my ability to do hard stuff, that complete certainty in yourself that is largely reserved for punks in their 20s who don’t know any better. Blissfully ignorant but brave as hell.  

And so I listen to the rain and groove to Clarity as 36 year old me slowly gears up for big things.

1 comment:

  1. Love the honesty of your opening paragraph, "I am doing something right now that I know in just two short weeks will seem like a ridiculous guilty pleasure. I am sitting in the house by myself listening to the rain. The house is a disaster, I cannot see my feet, and I still haven’t written the kids thank you notes from their birthday presents which they received a month ago. Perhaps best of all, I don’t really care."

    I'm looking forward to reading your blog! Thanks for the follow on Twitter.

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