I tutor a tenth grader, and the other day he asked how pregnancy has changed my life.

“It’s changed it a lot,” I said, thinking of how my relationship with S has changed, and our house looks different, and the new priorities, concerns and worries we have. He wasn’t satisfied with this vague answer, so I pulled a teacher trick and asked, “How do you think it might change a guy?”

He wondered if I had a new sense of connection to people, knowing now that we all grow in our mother’s womb, and a greater love for humanity, and hope for the future.

I had to tell him that honestly, that wasn’t the case.

Though I thought that was sweet question to ask, and a lot more interesting than the people whose response to the pregnancy is to gush about how happy we must be, as if being pregnant is like being on a paxil.

Sure, we’ve had our quiet bits basking in the glow, just like we’ve had jolts of excitement and moments of philosophical musing, but S and I are pretty practical people. We tend to keep our eyes focused on the day to day, the immediate reality that there’s a baby growing inside of her who will need our care and support in about three months, which we need to prepare for.

I’ve spent more time thinking about what it will be like having the three of us home during the summer and whether or not we’ll get on one another’s nerves than I have pondering my shared connection with humankind.

After a few messes – uh, senior year in college anyone? – this is how I’ve learned to cope with transitions. I look for problems and I solve them, one by one. If it’s nothing I need to worry about today, then I don’t. If there’s a snag that’s out of my hands, then I let it go. I’m usually well-prepared and cool under pressure, grounded. But as the posts on this blog attest, I also get stuck among the trees, obsessing over small details, analyzing the minute, making lists, setting schedules, losing the ability to rise up and see the forest, the big picture view.

Sometimes, I think I need to let myself go a little. Jettison the worry and the routines that I’ve developed to deal with it. Step away from the computer. Put the calendar down. Try to fly a little, so that I can see the forest. Look ahead to where the road is going, instead of down at my feet.

This is at odds to what comes natural for me. I feel I should be more serious over the next few months, preparing for baby while working to complete my thesis. I’m on a deadline here, people! But as I’ve written before, often the best things in my creative work and my life happen when I go towards the tension, not away from it. Engaging in what feels wrong gives me a new perspective, which ends up feeling all right.

In other words, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.


0 Responses to “Levity”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: