Friday, December 21, 2007

Gestating & ruminating

I love adventure, but I fear change.

That's why this parent thing scares the hell out of me. I've never been able to foresee my future, and this is no different. Hell, I never thought I'd get married, much less have a child.

If I ever try to plan anything, craft a vision or a plan, it's almost destined to not come true. Even in cross country, when we were supposed to prepare for races by visualizing ourselves passing the pack, sprinting around the corners, and feeling the finish tape snap across our chests -- none of it worked for me.

I always did better thinking I could bonk, and then feeling awesomely proud when I'd notch my fastest time ever. It's not that I thought I really would run badly, it's just that I didn't dare to assume.

At sea in reality, I like that the outside forces of surprise, happenstance, and opportunity can shape my life. Most of the time it leads to the most delightful things, say, a career lead, a new hobby, a good friend. And I love the challenge of responding to the twists and turns of life.

So as I feel these insistent little kicks inside me, from feet that are at this point just 1 1/2 inches long, I wonder, How will this turn out? I calm myself by thinking it's just another journey I'm not really prepared for -- and that's the beauty of it.

I try not to think of what others have said: Go out now, while you can. Take that one last vacation as a couple. You will never be as unencumbered as you are now.

They make parenthood sound like prison.

So my imagination tries to counter that vision; here I am happily bookbinding in the studio, while the baby coos on the back patio nearby, shaded by the forest pansy and surrounded by birds chirping and dust-sparkling sunbeams. The day looms as long as my project list, but for once there is time for everything.

And then I stop myself. Because maybe just imagining this idyllic scene puts the kibosh on it. It's too soon to guess, and I'm acting too bold to know what could be.

*thump* *thump* go those toes against my belly (if there were sound effects, they would make a rubbery "thock"), and it brings me straight to here, to now, thrilling to that little being that seems to want to say, Hey, I'm in here!

And so I await the biggest adventure of my life.