Saturday, December 12, 2009


(Notice the antlers. Yes, she puts them on every day this time of year. She is asleep on the couch next to me with them on as I type.)

The Kid's room is done, I'm only 20 pages away from finishing The Birth Partner, and the car seats are installed in the cars. I'm not sure when the "You're officially qualified to be a father" certificate will show up, but I'm expecting it at any moment. I am feeling pretty good about the big day- and it's not far off. 10 days, plus or minus a few. Tami thinks three to five days sounds about right. I don't know, I'm sort of hoping for six plus days so that my winter vacation will have begun and I'll be around all of the time. Then again, how much more exciting can it get then to drive off from work after getting a call saying it's time? We'll see how our story unfolds.

A couple of days ago we went on a tour of the hospital birthing areas. I was surprised as the birthing rooms were not as sterile and cold looking as I had envisioned. The furniture and the floors look like wood. The lights have lamp shades. Sure, there are more dials and tubes then in most rooms, and there is a big movable spot light against one of the walls, but it's more inviting than I expected. The midwifes and nurses were nice and the nursery, the place the babies go when they are in need of medical attention, was not scary looking. I, for some reason, expected it to be. Maybe the fact that even this room had big windows open to the hall made it less scary. How bad can it be if it's not hidden from view?

Today, Tami and I spent more time together in a day then we have since summer. In the process we cuddled lying down in the morning for the first time in days (big belly has made it difficult), decorated The Kids room, went through our birthing plan, talked about birth, went grocery shopping, got frustrated with each other over silly stuff, got over it, and loved each other. A good day. The only time we spent apart was when Tami went to dance class early in the morning and I walked into downtown to read The Birth Partner at the Campbell Cafe.

It was beautifully grey this morning. Clouds were low, moving, and thick. The rain was constant and light. Great for a walk, a read, and a think. One of the things I was thinking about was how often I am actively thinking. The councilor for my anxiety issues said that I associate relaxation with boredom. To work on this was the real motivation to go for a walk this morning. The goal was to just walk in the light rain and enjoy the feeling of being, without having to do anything. It's weird, but this is the first weekend in so long that I have nothing I have to do for work or night school; I'm all caught up for a while. Still, anxiety has been an issue lately, even sleeping has been difficult. Today was no exception, but I worked through it. Not fun, but doable. The triggers are more difficult to identify now that I am over issues with driving and riding. Today, one of the high anxiety episodes happened while looking for mayonnaise, another while sitting in front of the Christmas tree chatting with Tami, and once at the Cafe. Sort of all over the place. When triggers do make sense they tend to have to do with time, creating quality work, or thoughts of birth. Not sure how mayonnaise fits into the scheme.

As I was saying, my goal this morning was to just be and to appreciate. Last minute, I decided to take a book, too. I had to give in a little to a need for distraction, at least the book is pertinent to my life right now. While thinking and taking in the weather, I considered that I am always thinking or reading if I am not "doing something." When I don't have a book, I buy a paper. When I have nothing to think about, I assign myself something "useful" to work on mentally. I wondered if Buddhism and Taoism weren't created as an organized way to help the masses deal with anxiety. Maybe the idea of Nirvana was just thrown in to make Buddhism look like a religion and present a long term goal to keep the focus. Maybe the ancients just needed a way to relax when looking for the right mayonnaise in the grocery store. Well, these are the kinds of things one thinks about when considering the fact that it is difficult to make a mind silent. I'm not sure if I can just stop doing, reading, writing, and thinking cold turkey. I'm working to wean myself off. I remember going on walks and being wholly present in the moment, undistracted. I know it's possible. I'm sure The Kid will be plenty distraction enough to wean me from any thinking addiction. I believe he will also be plenty motivation to be present and to enjoy the moment.

You know, it's kind of weird that I now find myself always trying to be doing something. I use to think of myself as a fairly lazy person. I'm not going to tell my child "Do it right or don't do it at all." It's one of the things I was thinking about this morning. If I don't feel I can produce at a certain level, I don't want to produce at all. Maybe that's why I thought of myself as lazy for so long; I didn't start producing until later when I was confident that I could live up to some standard. And then there is always the fear of missing the mark along the way. Is this why it took me seven years to graduate college? It was torture to turn in homework the whole time, only slightly less painful to drop out several times in my first years of college. Maybe I should have told myself it's more important to do something than to do it right. Maybe just doing is good enough to start with, and doing it well should be a goal later on down the line. That's the thing about aphorisms and advice, even two contradictory ones can sound full of truth and insight. This I do believe to be true; the more comfortable I have become with failure, the more initially scary, and ultimately interesting, experiences I have had.

All-righty Kid. I'm ready to fail with you. But I'll try to do well. Who knows, by the time you're 30 I just might be doing the father thing right.

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