life as understood

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


a husband's take on bedrest

courtesy of Jeff |

Yesterday was a month since Sarah took her last step. Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, I guess. She walks back and forth from the bed to the couch to the bathroom quite a few times a day. And we have doctor appointments every Monday. And we go on wheelchair walks around the block once in a while, and even went to Walmart a couple weeks ago and put her on one of those little carts. It was fun. But the whole thing has certainly been taxing, even for me, and it can't compare to how she feels. But my wife is bedresting like a champion, and has already absolutely saved our son's life. She is a literal hero, and I miss being able to bask in her standing shadow. I find I really look forward to Mondays because we get to be out together for a few minutes, even if it is just the hospital.

While she's on bedrest, Sarah isn't allowed to cook or clean or ever stand up unnecessarily, so it's been a particularly busy time for me, though we have had some help. In all honesty, though, this experience is probably needed preparation for me prior to becoming a father. In a couple days or months, I'll have my partner back to full strength, but there'll be another little dude running around, and I'll be just as busy and tired as I am now. Forever. The easy life is past.

All this musing, though, brings me to my real point, which is that I made the tastiest omelet ever last night. I should have taken a picture of it--it's seriously the best thing I've created in some time. It was Sarah's idea to make one, because she knows how much I value a good omelet. And then I realized, one at a time, that we currently have in our kitchen every single ingredient necessary for the perfect one: eggs, cheddar, ham, onion, green pepper, garlic, ranch, and Tabasco. It was the perfect storm of omeleteering. On a normal day, we might literally have two of those ingredients, but never could I dream that all eight would occur at once. Man, that was fantastic.

Sweet fancy Moses. I just realized I still have enough of everything to make another one.

Call it a lifelong quest to self-legitimize.

I've never thought of it that way, but I imagine Freud would. Basically, I'm obsessed with place. This obsession manifests itself in spatial things, like how I gravitate to architecture books in Barnes & Noble and how a good percentage of my dreams feature me discovering new rooms in my own house.

Mostly, though, my interest is geographical. I knew the 50 states and their capitals when I was three years old. I still peruse maps whenever the opportunity arises. And above all, I'm fiercely loyal to and proud of my home country, state, and especially city. Actually, this deep love extends to my university, church, and pretty much every other institution that makes me who I am. I defend each of them voraciously. This is where it gets Freudian, I imagine. One could easily say that I'm just attempting to combat an innate sense of inferiority, especially considering that my state, city, university, and church could all be considered backwards by the mainstream public. That's probably a little bit true. At the very least, the obsession is traceable, logical. I love what's mine because it's mine.

And then there's another place: Russia, and more specifically, Siberia. I loved that long before I had a reason--long before I took it as my own. Since I was 11 or 12 years old, I've been inexplicably fascinated. I have theories for how it budded, but nothing obvious comes up. Growing up, I studied the language, geography, history, and culture to the extent I could with limited resources, and then in 2004 I went there. For two glorious years, I lived and served there, and the interest exploded further.

I haven't talked much about Russian things in this venue for some reason, but I probably will now, because I'm about to start a master's program in Russian Studies. I honestly don't know what I'm going to do with the degree yet, but I suppose this mini-opus is my attempt to make verbal sense of all of this. While I may still not know what the future holds, as far as I can tell, professionally speaking, I was put on this earth to study and utilize this very knowledge.

Those who know me well know that this has been a long journey, to which I'm pleased to announce a landmark development. After more than a year of deliberating, applying, waiting, hearing back, and deliberating some more, I have accepted an offer to pursue this degree at

Stanford University.

Sarah and I couldn't be happier about the school, program, people, or location. Plus, they made us an offer we'd be fools to turn down. It's going to be different living in the most populous and popular state in the union, in a huge and cool metro area, and studying at one of the most prestigious universities in the world, but I tell you what, I'm excited. We both are. I won't go so far as to say that this is my moment of legitimacy, but I do feel like this is the beginning of something new, in a more wide-ranging and profound way even than it appears on the surface. We'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, party in California.