Monday, January 28, 2008


First off, I'm sleep-deprived (as any parent of a newborn will attest), so mood swings can be expected. To some extent, I'm terrified. Not of being a parent of three boys. Not really of anything in specific. I'm just a bit terrified... of life. When struck with unexpected events, I sometimes paralyze. A case in point: Wednesday.

I awoke at the hospital beside my beautiful wife and newborn son (Rocket asked that I stay the night, and friends had agreed to watch the boys as long as needed). I drove home (stopping to get some donuts and pastries for the boys, and our friends). I spent the morning with the Inventor then picked up the Painter from kindergarten, visiting Rocket and the Composer at the hospital for about an hour before heading to the airport to get my mother-in-law.

We park. Two hands, two boys. We walk down one flight of stairs (into the rain) and across the street. I look up at the monitor to see which baggage claim to go to. Aaargh! The one time I failed to check on-time status before heading out, the flight has been rescheduled--2 hours later! I reach for the cell phone on my hip... Nothing's there.

I think. Sure I put it there. I just checked a message before leaving the van, so I know I had it. Perhaps it's on the seat. We walk back. Nope. Walk into the terminal, step up to the information desk. Upshot: I speak with a half dozen different officials, police, volunteers, employees--each one has a different idea where "lost and found" might be. No phone. Hours to kill (we'll miss the Inventor's naptime). What do I do? I'm paralyzed. We retrace our steps three times, each time pausing to ask different parties along the way where to find "lost and found". No dice. Phone gone.

Eventually I gathered myself enough to take the boys out for lunch. That helped (we were all hungry). We kill the time, return to the airport, beg a cell call from a stranger (to my wife, who called my mother-in-law, who hadn't checked any bags, so was waiting for us elsewhere). [SIGH!] Paralyzed. It's not a feeling that I like. Indecision. I rather think of myself as one who weighs choices, options. My wife would say that I'm the type to lay all possibilities out on the table before me.

I consider, and mull. Once I've laid them out, and reflected on their relative merits and demerits, I don't hesitate;I make a choice. But what if the choices are not given to me beforehand to consider? Or, what if they change while I'm not noticing? Ah, there's the trouble. Perhaps I'm not so good at improvisation. Maybe that explains my weakness in interviews. Yet, there's a great deal of improvisation in teaching. I guess it all depends on what one has thought about before, what one has prepared, that treasure chest from which to draw.

The Composer arrived nearly 3 weeks before expected. What a joy he is (as are the older two). So beautiful. So peaceful. So trusting. So dependent. It's not really that he was early. We anticipated that possibility. It's just that he's here, and somehow I'm not sure we're ready for the next steps.

We find ourselves midair, having jumped, before we land. Did we remember the parachutes? Do we know the terrain below? A couple weeks of logistics to work out. A financial reality check that isn't what I expected. I looked up the median household expenditures for the area we're intending to move. It's not really that off from a tally of our expenditures. In fact, the budget I think we can squeeze into is about 20% lower. But that's still more than I had anticipated. (I forgot to account for real inflation--rather than the fictions our government professes). I was working off assumptions and calculations from about a year ago.

It helps to get this all down. It's not quite so daunting once I take the time to consider. Still scared. But also a bit inspired. So many things to be thankful for. So many blessings in life. Need to remember that. Need to embrace the positives.
I stopped by the store on the way home and picked up a bouquet of roses and alstroemerias for my wife, a mixed bouquet for my mother-in-law, and a couple heart balloons for my two older boys. I think they all needed to here "I love you" [Don't tell: I think I needed to hear myself say it.]


timna said...

sounds like you could use some hugs, too.
to the whole family:

Sky said...

congratulations! take a deep breath. remember to breathe! :) hope you will post a pic of the new baby soon.

ArticulateDad said...

Thanks, you two!

Sky, you missed it. Below.