Sunday, November 15, 2009

This is Most Decidedly a Rant

It's been almost two years since I wrote anything of any significance. My journal has been set aside almost exactly since I got engaged and the gift of a beautiful typewriter from my friend Mark and his wife, Stephanie, has been sitting lonely on the desk sans ribbon. With a great many requests from friends and family for new poems and stories, I just can't quite get passed my obsessive need to like what I write. I feel so uninspired, which is ridiculous because there is so much I could write about: leaving Virginia, getting married, the creation of a garden and a home, being pregnant! But none of it comes out the way I want it to, just jumbled words that sound to me like someone trying to write. I've never felt this way before, at least not for such a long period of time. A month, maybe, but never TWO YEARS!

Pregnancy feels like such a waiting game. Of course I'm exciting about having a baby. OF COURSE. But excited about being pregnant? Not so much. Twenty-one weeks in, just over the halfway point, and I'm completely impatient to just have the baby! I welcome labor, the pain, the sleeplessness, the mess, the complete and utter chaos of a newborn baby. It's strange to me when people tell me "to savor pregnancy." As if I should be loving every minute of not having a baby yet. What does that even mean? If I wanted to do that, then I wouldn't have planned on becoming pregnant, right? The logic is all messed up. What exactly about pregnancy am I supposed to savor? Hearing the heartbeat, seeing Keats move inside me, feeling his kicks and punches, holding Birch's hand to me so that HE can feel the kicks and punches... these are all wonderful things, but they all make me even more impatient to see, hear, and feel Keats face to face. "Savor pregnancy." I'm told this with an all-knowing I-have-kids tone of voice that I can't stand. The warning, the exhausted tone of voice that comes from experience. Only a handful of parents have told us of the complete joys of parenthood, have assumed that we of course know that it will be the hardest thing we'll ever do, have handed us links to interesting places we can take the kids to like state parks, farms, beaches, etc. We already chose to get pregnant, there's no going back now, why do so many parents insist on continuing their warnings to "not get too excited, it's not all fun and games." This reminds me of Birch's commentary on the warning of children to not get too excited when you're taking them somewhere fun. Yes, we don't want them to be disappointed or to wear themselves out before even arriving, but this particular warning seems somewhat... askew. Like teaching someone to mistrust others because people will inherently let you down. Is there such a possibility of learning something without it being taught? If so, these little "life lessons" seem like the perfect examples of experiences to be learned individually and never taught to the whole. Shouldn't we teach and encourage excitement? It can be tempting to help children along toward the awareness of adulthood, especially in this hard world, but that's all that it is, a temptation. Children should be allowed to be children and for as long as possible. I'm not saying that they shouldn't learn about balancing checkbooks, "safe" sexual practices, not to go off with strangers, etc., of course not, but taking away innocence too soon can be just as damaging to a life as anything else. A life without enjoyment is unbearable and it is much easier to become lost in it than it ever would have been had you been allowed to experience childhood.

So, I'm using this time to prepare our small section of physical world for the baby. Researching, window shopping, researching again, and then buying or obtaining through very generous friends and family the necessities (and a few extras) of having a child come into our lives face to face. Trying our hardest to fasten up the loose ends before our time undeniably vanishes--new couches that don't give us backaches, serious garden projects that take time and energy, finishing painting so fumes dissipate before Keats is born, buying a bed, baby-proofing cords and wires, and all the other projects that remain on the list I hate to look at.

1 comment:

  1. [In the spirit of your post, I had to delete an earlier comment with a spelling error.:)]

    I always thought of you as the sort of person that writing books always seemed to be talking about, the kind that wrote all the time because they couldn't not do it. Typewriters are intimidating, probably because the end product is so immediate and permanent. Your writing's always good, so I wouldn't worry about that.

    Oh. And you're going to love having that baby. As you know. I think what those annoying parents are saying (hope I'm not one of them, though I easily could be, I'm afraid), and rather badly, is that everything goes by SO FAST. And time before pregnancy, and time before having a first child, it seems as if the simple joys of those times are very long in returning, and so they feel particularly precious. I wish them back, sometimes, but on a very temporary basis. Two hours? More than that, and I'd rather be back in the joys of this time, and I don't care who has pooped in the bathtub. It's probably the one who usually smells like milk and honey (or is that popsicles?), and hugs me for no reason at all.