Friday, September 11, 2009

Parent in the Hood

The hours spent in Cubicle Land buzz drunkenly like a fly, sleepy and slowed by winter air. Time has somehow stretched and I live a hundred lifetimes between 6:00 AM and 5:00 PM five days a week.

I was really bad at my job last week, and am struggling to make it right. I'm having a hard time staying focused these days.

One night, a few weeks ago, I was sound asleep as any rational (read boring and old) man would be on a Thursday morning at 3:00 AM, when I heard the sound that I've feared for months. Someone was coming up the steps. Not just walking, but running. Big bounding thumps that pulled me out of my sleep. Burglars. Burglars who will hold me at gun point and take my records and whiskey. Burglars who were giggling and laughing all the way up the stairs. Giggling? I was trying to put it together still when she jumped up and down on the end of the bed laughing.

Jen.

"It said yes!"

"Huh?"

"It said yes, the test said yes."

She laid it on my chest and I fumbled for my glasses so I could see the digitized word "YES" on the little display panel.

I hadn't really thought about how I would respond at this moment. When I had pictured it, I had always imagined that I would be conscious and not fighting the confusion that sticks with me for a good 45 minutes after waking. In my mind I had pictured me telling her that I love her and that she's amazing and all those things that would come so naturally with such good news. But my reality is usually less than ideal. Instead, the lone thought that came to mind was "I have so much I need do." Then: "Crap, I bought a two pack of those tests. What am I going to do with the other?"

We discussed it over the next couple days and decided to keep our news a secret for the most part. We would tell some immediate family, but otherwise wait to tell everyone else. Within 24 hours of telling our secret, it had literally made it to Baghdad and back.

Some people suck at playing guitar, or driving, or being polite. Other people suck at keeping house plants alive or not talking during a movie. My family just happens to suck at keeping a secret. What you gonna do? So, as a result, everyone knows that Jen is in "the family way" much earlier than we would have preferred. At least that's what we tell ourselves.

You see, we're the couple that can't wait for Christmas morning to open presents. We are the king and queen of immediate gratification. We've never waited for a thing in our lives, but still we tell ourselves this is something we would have kept under wraps. I don't buy it, even though I'm the one selling it. It would have happened sooner rather than later, regardless of how indignant we are now.

And so, immediately it seems, we've changed. We go for walks each night at our favorite metro park and talk about how we're going to handle what's coming. I get the impression that Jen is less freaked than I am about certain things. There's a strange contentment that's come over her, and while I'm normally the laid back one, she's saying things like "Millions of other people have done it. We can't screw it up that badly." Yeah, that's what she thinks.

Jen's at work tonight shuffling parents around the school's Open House, and I'm doing what I do when she's not around. I'm up in the smallest of our three bedrooms (the room we refer to as "The Den") listening to Wilco, drinking a whiskey, and churning out a couple of words here and there.

It's really the first evening I've had on my own since she broke the news to me, and I just realized as I was writing this out, that I'm perfectly content about what's to come.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

Congrats guys!!! That is awesome! What are you gonna name it? "Mike D" LOL, it's too early for that any way. We are really excited for you! You guys will be great parents.

Jesse