With the thought of full-time dad-hood rushing towards me, I’m a bit curious about how I’ll react to so much downtime. Yes, yes. That's a crazy word to use in this situation. And in some ways it'll be busier than ever, obviously. But I’ve gone through infant-raising before, and know that busy doesn’t exactly mean ‘stimulating’. Change diaper, change clothes, put down, pick up, feed, burp, repeat.
I’m curious because, even now, minor nuisances are starting to cast long shadows. A single pissy email about the record. An impossible to please client at work. Micro-events that should not be throwing me for a loop, and yet are. Possibly because I’m actually a tightly-wound ball of anxiety? (Don't think that that’s true, but one never knows, I guess)
Or possibly it's because I’m already slowly disconnecting from the world.
I’ve had days where I’ve dealt with dozens of more complicated problems and didn’t feel a thing, felt energized by it even. But as the rest of life starts to fall away, the issues that remain somehow become larger.
So what’s it going to be like when I haven’t even gone outside in three days and only own sweatpants? Hmmmm.
Those babies are still ticking along in the tum-tum. It’s a miracle. Last week she was in labour. How is this even possible?
If anything, Gill's doing better than before, except now there's literally a dozen pounds of baby in her. She’s genuinely remarkable. A woman who 5 years ago truly thought she was not meant to be a mom – psychologically and physically – is now showing the world how it’s done without breaking a sweat.
People are amazingly bad at predicting how they'll react to circumstances. You feel that if you lose your job, you'll die of shame. If you lose a parent, you'll wilt into nothingness. If something truly tragic or insane happens, you'll never adapt, you'll never get used to it, you'll never be yourself again. But a thing happens. It surprises for a moment. And then you adapt. That's how we are. We are so purely elastic. Our blessing and curse. We get used to things, always.
And Gill has been so elastic. Figuratively and literally.
I mean, it’s been touch and go at times. Emotions can go haywire and suddenly I'm forced on some deeply strange errands.
Two nights ago the microwave broke. I didn't even know microwaves could break. To be fair, we've been working it pretty hard with one of those magic bags filled with lentils or whatever that gets all warm and toasty. It's one of the few tricks we've found to actually alleviate some of Gill's terrible rib pain.
Now, in usual times I would look at the thing and mutter 'Well, I guess that's garbage now', and promptly forget about it until I personally wanted a burrito or something. Then and only then would it be a problem.
But these aren't usual times. And so off I go to Walmart, buying 8 litres of milk and a new microwave at one in the damn morning. I recall giving a weary, knowing nod to another tired-looking father as I heaved the thing towards the cashier.
But other than some isolated moments of justified drama, she’s been impossibly cool and collected.
And I basically have been too, now that I think of it.
I guess when you're in it, you're in it.
High fives all around?
Anyway, off to another mixing session for the album. All four ladies are going to help today.