LIMBO: 38 Weeks, 2 Days

(getting my “limbo,” er…yoga on)

Don’t like the game, don’t like name…

It’s not that I am totally impatient.  Or that I can’t wait for a good thing, it’s just there is this very specific place between what you know is inevitable and the inevitable.  Like, “waiting” to go into labor, perhaps.  Limbo isn’t like other types of waiting;  like maybe a move where you can spend a few weeks packing up boxes, getting your new space ready, painting, cleaning (yes, all of this is part of nesting, but stay with me here) and transitioning.  In the last few weeks of pregnancy, you can literally have a baby any day.  It’s only predictable to a certain extent.  With pretty much everything else in my neat little life (I gladly accept labels of OCD or ADD) there is an element of predictability.  I’ve really come a long way in terms of being adaptable – just don’t ask anyone in my family, or close friends – but there’s a reason I wear black and not grey.

During my in between days, I’ve been savoring the time with my son; playing as much as my tweedle dee shaped body will allow me to.  Lots of painting and crafting as well as a short scooter ride last week – do that at 37 weeks pregnant if you want to see some rubber neckers – and cuddles, bedtime stories, hugs, extra songs at bedtime, even a spontaneous trip to Mickey D’s for breakfast.  I know my moments as a mother of one are fleeting and that there is indeed just a short time before we add a fourth member to our little trio and so I enjoy what we have right now, on this day, in this moment.  Soaking in the stillness of the present.

You see, I am an existentialist to the core.  Meaning that I love the theory…putting it into practice is hit or miss.  Genetically I am pretty much black and white, right or wrong, paper or plastic…spiritually, I am totally in the moment, know that every season has a purpose, each day has it’s own special plan and that God likes to stir things up so just go with it.  It’s a weird combination.  One that I wish would just integrate already.  Limbo should be easy for an existentialist.  This whole spiritual, emotional and physical bending should be right up my alley.  But limbo for a genetically uptight, organized, anxious existentialist – not so much.  So my spirit says “let go” and my sinew says “not a chance.”  Believe me I am capable of some serious mental gymnastics which is why I feel like giving way to my more relaxed spiritual being feels like a vacation.  My spiritual self would actually join a congo line OR play limbo at some crazy lei donning, grass skirt wearing (coconut bra – not a chance), suckling pig eating luau. 

It won’t be long now, the inevitable is certainly coming 🙂

Human Caffeine

It is amazing how different children respond to each parent.  I mean, my husband and I agree on our parenting philosophy as a whole – we have the same beliefs, value system, ethical views, moral compasses, etc…but our execution of said philosophy could not be more different.

For example, I am pretty much with our three year old ALL THE TIME.  So during the week we have a certain rhythm…a dance if you will.  There are rarely any serious confilcts.  We paint, we color, work on letters/numbers/shapes, talk about being kind to others and how we use our words and hands, we take fieldtrips to dairy farms, airforce bases, children’s museums, fire stations, we play dress up and have puppet shows and run lots of errands (we can get though any store check-out line and several of the aisles without tantrums or having to buy a toy, snack, candy to appease our son’s impulse control disorder).  In fact, I am at the computer right now and have been for more than fifteen minutes and my son is playing.  Not at my side, not on my lap, not poking at me, not saying “mommy, mommy, mommy…”  Just playing independently in the room next to me.  Yes, there are the random “mommy, look at this,” or “I need help.”  But for the most part, I have a bit (emphasis on bit) of time each day to waste my time on facebook or check e-mail or even blog.

My husband is not so lucky.  There is a price to pay when you are the fun parent.  And the effect that has on our child is like being wired on caffeine!  My husband works all day, but is a champ when he comes home.  He plays with our son while I cook dinner, he gets him in the bath and he even reads him stories before bedtime.  I love that I get a little break, although I miss that I don’t get to do the bedtime routine as much – the little warrior prefers Daddy to “read stories” now that he’s older.  He is completely aware that he is more like Daddy than he is like Mommy and although he is my favorite little buddy and my little snuggler, it is Daddy he wants to be…not Mommy.

Anyway, what I have noticed is that when they are together there are usually no naps, there is a LOT of sugar, there are sporadic meals (mostly fast food – he actually TAKES HIM into the PLAYGROUNDS at McDonalds – ick!), there are tantrums, there is NON-STOP action.  It’s like watching a hummingbird flit from flower to flower becoming more and more energized by each sugary sip!  Whew.  Exhausting!  The more tired they get, the more delirious they get and the more energized they get!  It’s completely the opposite of how I function.

I am more of a marathon runner (even though you will NEVER catch me running – running a marathon has never been a goal of mine and NEVER will be) when it comes to getting through the week.  I have a certain number of miles I’d like to get done each day.  The workouts build on each other.  I actually build my stamina by pacing myself during the week and being sure I take at least one day to let my body rest.  Of course there is no real rest in my profession, but I  “run” less on some days than I do on other days.  My husband is a sprinter.  He does not pace himself.  He is the human caffeine.  He creates energy in my child that I couldn’t DREAM of creating.  Human caffeine is FUN.  Human caffeine does not do BORING.  Human caffeine would never go to the grocery store…with a list…and a budget.  Human caffeine goes on adventures, builds stuff out of boxes and empty paper towel rolls, makes race car sounds and takes laps around the kitchen island while Mommy cooks, it lays in the grass and talks about camping (and how “Mommy’s don’t camp, just Daddy’s and boys”), it talks about dragons and dinosaurs, it makes messes and doesn’t clean them up and it energizes other people like nobody’s business.

At night when it’s time to “wind down” and get in bed, it’s hard to shake the human caffeine.  After his bath, he gets in his pj’s and Daddy reads stories.  Then he lays in bed like he’s got ants in his pants and when we turn out the light the power of human caffeine is still strong.  He starts to sing about everything he’s done all day.  “I like my mom, I like my dad.  I play with trucks.”  About forty five minutes later, it goes silent.  It must be hard to fall asleep under the influence of such a powerful substance.

We were talking…

So, my husband and I are going through a bit of a “transition.”  I use this term loosely because “transition” translates to “not only has the poo hit the fan, it’s been oscillating there for about eight months.” 

And despite said oscillating fecal matter (alright, I’m done with the poo references), we have had some really fantastic conversations about what is important to us and what we view as a priority.  I am sure many families are contemplating much of the same since the economy took a dip in the crapper (oh, right no more poo).  Anyway, we have both really stepped outside our proverbial boxes and have been stretched in so many ways that we are starting to get spiritual and emotional stretchmarks!  So tonight, while enjoying some gooey chocolate chip cookies with our son at his toddler table, my husband asked me what I thought of our current “situation.”  (I hate quotation marks, they seem trite.  But since we aren’t having coffee you’re gonna have to bear with me.)

Husband often asks me things of this nature, because I have a wacky sense of perception about situations and people (not like ESP, but pretty close…just kidding.  Not really.).  We spoke for a bit and I said that I thought he was afraid of something.  Failure?  Success? Not really sure, but I challenged him to think on that for a bit.  After a moment or so, he said that as he looked back on his life that the times when he was most successful* (reeeaaalllly loose definition of this word) were the times that he was also the most selfish…and, alas, he was afraid of being selfish.

Being a faithful servant and child prodigy of “selfish” I knew very well what he meant, but thought I’d push him further.  “So does that mean you aren’t supposed to be successful?  What if the times you were successful* you were actual a change agent of good for other people.  What if the things you accomplished weren’t only for you?  And now that you are aware of your selfishness, what if you were able to channel that energy into a new and different direction?”

Our toddler began to bore of our conversation, which quickly turned into a conversation about frontloaders and jets, so we ended ubruptly and wiped the chocolate from our faces and hands.

But really, what if God does allow us to be successful*, wealthy, popular, stubborn, opinionated, loud, talented, etc. for a reason (as I am certain He does)?  What if, husband of mine, you used your selfishness to do something amazing?  Something that changes the world?  Something that isn’t selfish at all?  I personally believe you can be selfish and selfless at the same time.  It’s the same principal that follows the “you can love something and hate something at the same time” line.  It is entirely possible.  Now think on that!

*SUCCESS – it’s what you make it.