Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Oh man, a human...

Bear with me, I only slept about three hours last night...

I'm getting rounder and most of all, noticeably denser and tighter in the mid-section, the fact that I imbibed in REAL coffee at 9 a.m. (it's teacher/teacher's assistant appreciation week and I felt VERY appreciated by our PTO's thoughtful gesture that involved a brown paper cup with a mermaid printed on it...) probably didn't help either. I was running high on that caffeine - after weeks of complete abstinence - and had trouble settling down despite an hour-long bike ride at dusk with my birthday boy husband.

Anyways come 2 a.m. last night I was wide awake, lying there ...wandering aimlessly through my mind's landscape.When I decided to get up and drink some water and read for a little while, The Bean got up, too.

In the last couple of days the cute, silky flutters from the first movements since mid-April have given way to much more decisive nudges. He usually gives me a good thumping around dinner time, when I drink or eat something really cold or right after I settle down from excercise and sometimes when I lie still in bed. He kind of ping-pongs around in his own world, maybe bored by my lack of movement.

It isn't just more forceful - forceful enough to startle me out of sleep now, but it's so... human - hu!man! What felt all cute and fleeting before, now suddenly conjures up a clear vision of a knee or a head poking me.

The Bean, I realize with rising panic, he is a human being, just like me! Maybe it's that mystery force that inevitably seems to inhabit night time and attach so much more meaning to everything, but I feltfear rising in me.Me, myself and I, still so selfish, will have to care for another human being - not a puppy I can put out back in the yard after some roughhousing, or a doll I can put up on the shelf until next time I feel like playing. Just like myself, this being will want my constant attention.

My throat tightens at the entire truth hits met.

I love company. I'm happily social and gladly rise to the challenge of entertaining crowds when the chance arises. I'm not shy, never have been. I see eyes on me and I start talking, even if I have nothing to say. I can't help it.

I love being married. I adore my easy companionship with Jacob, its constancy. It lives by words and silence, it is fueled by proximity, it grows through trust.

But I treasure alone time. I love my lonely runs, rolling up the past day behind me and considering the new challenges ahead of me, speaking to God or listening inside. I love grocery shopping by myself. Sometimes I take silly pride in being fast and efficient with my list, sometimes I luxuriate in this anonymous time by slowly studying labels of things that will not be going home with me.

It took me some time to learn this, but I whole-heartedly cherish silence and aloneness now.

And in five months or so, those two things - my selfishness and my need for alone time - will be called into question. In fact they may simply be wiped away for a while - a long while. When you're 37, the next 12 to 18 years sound like a life sentence...

I will fantasize about cruises and wear sensible shoes by the time The Bean is legally independent.

I don't want to sound hopeless, but fear conjured up in the small hours of the night is real.

Somewhere around early dawn I found hope in my prayer against my fear.The perfect antidote to fear is honesty.

I won't lie about how I feel and what I love about this baby of ours. I won't pretend that everything is swell, if it's not. If you ask, don't be surprised if I say "I'm lousy, I haven't slept in a day and a half and I don't know what this baby wants from me. We don't get along" This won't come natural to me. I like to please and I hate to admit inadequacy - I loath it.

But don't feel obligated to change my circumstance for me. That is not what I'm seeking with the truth as I perceive it. Simply validate my honesty by listening. You can cheer me up or share a similar memory with me, you can make me laugh or tell me that you understand or don't. Being able to give the truth voice (that's straight from "The Red Tent" if you've read it) makes it more bearable - it's by divine design. I believe that is one reason God has made us relational creatures.

If you don't have children aready, someday will validate your honesty - you won't have to pretend all that spit, poop and sleepless nights are balm to your senses.

That's my sleepless night and what I learned from it. Blessings be.

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