Thursday, June 12, 2008

Excitement vs. the End of an Era

Last night Craig said to me, "Why does it seem like other people are more excited about this baby than we are?" I couldn't help but agree with him. His comment was specifically the result of an interaction with someone at work who was telling him how excited she was about the baby. I've had similar interactions with a lot of people as well. And the thing is, it's not that we're not excited...we definitely are. I will admit we're on the low-key side about all of this, but I think it's just caution...we're looking forward to it, but it's completely new territory for us, and a complete change of lifestyle. That's a pretty intimidating thing when you've gotten used to a certain way of life. Not having the slightest clue how it is going to impact you is a scary thing, and I think that fear is what keeps us from being as giddy and excited as the people around us. For everyone else it's a bit of a novelty...it's fun and exciting to see a new baby. But they get to go home and sleep a full night's sleep....and they don't have to face day care costs and questions...and they can go to the grocery store freely without having to think about how the baby will impact their trip...or wonder how their meals will get cooked and their dishes washed when pain and exhaustion are getting in the way...or worry intensely about the quality of life this child will be living for the rest of their lives. Craig likened it to when someone gets a puppy. You love to go over and play with it, but you also get to go home. You don't have to deal with it peeing on your carpet, needing to go out in the middle of the night, or chewing up your furniture. Kids are the same deal, hence why grandparents readily admit they've got it good.

I've definitely had similar feelings lately to how I felt back in the last weeks of college. I knew something good was coming to an end and would never be that way again. I wanted to savor every minute of it. Of course, exams probably got in the way of that a bit...tough to have a lot of fun when you're studying a ton. On the other hand, I was excited about life after college...a whole world of possibilities. Of course, that was also dragged down a bit by the concept of having to find a job. It's that same sort of conflicted feeling now, though. I appreciate more than ever how great my life has been these past few years, and am sad that it's all going to change. It's going to be a great change full of possibilities, however, so that's definitely something to look forward to. It's just another phase in life, and we'll adjust. It's just that feeling now of wanting to savor what we have, enjoy those quiet moments with just the two of us, and appreciate not being completely exhausted 24/7. I've been a little sick (lots of congestion and coughing) the last few days, and we've both been tired lately, so it's tough to really enjoy this time to the fullest...but I think we're doing what we can.

Last weekend I ran into the mom of a girl I went to grade school with. The girl had a baby when she was about 17, which makes her first-born (there's been one or two since, I think) about 13 years old. I can't even begin to wrap my brain around the idea of being a parent to a teenager at this point in my life. But it got me to thinking about how much I've crammed into the last 13 years, the relatively free-spirited life I've led since then. I finished high school, went to college, worked in sports, got married, bought a house...and had a lot of fun in between. I'm sure this girl wouldn't give up her children for anything, and I'm sure she's had some amazing experiences in her own life, but I can't help but be extremely grateful for the life I've had...which makes it that much harder to give up, I suppose. But I'm thankful for what I've had and look forward to the future.

I may have more thoughts on the whole transition in a future post, but for today I'll leave you with the latest update from my weekly doctor's appointment. I'm at least another centimeter dilated, so things seem to be progressing--fortunately without much pain or discomfort. I guess that's good, but yikes! If the baby keeps this up, so much for my best-laid plans, eh?

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