life as understood

by jeff carr, master of the arts, -------------------------------------------------------------------------- presumably from a couch


a plan for replenishing the earth

courtesy of Jeff |

When something so poignant happens like you become a father, you're not really sure what to write about. This has been my dilemma for the past two and a half months. I could say it's because I'm busy, and I am, but that's not it. Honestly, I've just been struggling to figure out how to place these past 10 weeks into some sort of readable perspective, for myself as much as anyone else. And while I feel no closer to any real conclusions, I feel as though it's time to try, and fake it.

Maybe that's all any of us ever do anyway.

I watched Adam come out--literally watched it happen. And I didn't faint or become nauseous. He just slipped out, after a bitter struggle, and then he looked each of us, his parents, in the eyes before being pulled into a room in the NICU for 16 days. We lived there at the hospital with him, and each night after work--once I went back to work--I boxed up a few things from our little apartment where we'd lived almost our entire married life together, just the two of us. The morning I drove Sarah to the hospital in labor was the last time she saw it before it was gutted.

He was a month early, but really more like a year or two. And the more I talk to people, the more I realize how common that is. In fact, almost every pregnancy I've heard of recently is a year or two too early. I never realized how many of us, the population of earth, made surprise entrances, but it seems to be the case, and maybe entire human race owes its existence to it. Maybe I just know the wrong people.

It's strange that so many of us fear it, as I did, because it's such an incredible thing. People always say it is, but nobody seems to believe them, or else they wouldn't be so surprised when it happens. He's a little squirt who gets us up in the middle of the night and doesn't mop or anything, but we don't care. I don't care. I would do anything to keep him from sadness. I know I go to work and offer the customary responses: "oh, you know, good except for the lack of sleep." But I don't really mean that. It's just what people say for some reason, because we've decided that this most universal of shared human experiences should include that touch of cynicism, as if the pure elation is somehow embarrassing. What I honestly feel, even if my bloodshot eyes don't show it, is this: "things literally couldn't be better."