Sunday, May 18, 2008

I looked it up - Jupiter is the biggest planet. This time, I'd say I'm coming in at a steady Saturn.

I don't consider myself to be an anxious person. Anxiety and insecurity are not things that occupy much of my time. I like meeting new people. I enjoy public speaking. I prefer to do things by myself rather than bring someone else along with me. While I'm far from perfect, I think that I've struck a good balance of shy vs. confident. It is true that I'm not very patient. Others would say that I am, and in many ways I suppose they are correct. But those people are not privy to my inner monologue. My interior moanings over the things for which I have zero tolerance. My point is that I know my weaknesses, and do what I can each day to move past them.

But back to the matter at hand. This is going to be a big week for all of us here in the land of burps and farts, especially (dare I say?) for me. On Thursday I will be having a baby. In order to accomplish this, I will be undergoing major abdominal surgery. As a result of that, I will be leaving Christopher for four days - something I have never done before. In many ways, I feel ahead of the game. I literally feel no anxiety over welcoming another child into the family. It does not concern me that we are going to be experiencing a major transition in our family life. I'm not worried about how Christopher will handle becoming the "oldest" at the expense of being the "only." Nor am I concerned over the whole moving-into-the-operating-room thing. Perhaps this is because in my mind, I'm just having a baby! That fact alone trumps the whole surgery issue, and I find that I have to remind myself that the surgery will even take place. I've done it before. It was no big deal. My doctor is phenomenal. And! My husband gets to go in with me. There couldn't be a more ideal situation.

But then I think about leaving my Christopher.

And my heart breaks and my face crumbles. My blood pressure triples and I feel like every vein in my forehead is about to burst out of my face. You see, I don't mind the fact that after Thursday it's no longer going to be just the two of us. (That's what we've dreamed about and prayed for, practically since we brought Christopher home from the hospital - how could I be sad about bringing him a buddy?!) What I do mind is the fact that I have to give up control. I have to give up my knowledge of his every minute and allow....and trust....someone else to help me by caring for him. Sigh....outsourcing control and asking for help. My two strongest traits.

So last week I was sitting downstairs at the computer typing up my "How to Keep Christopher Alive" manifesto to leave for my mom and Tim's sister. Christopher had been in bed for a while, but was clearly having a little too much fun. To calm things down, Tim went upstairs to read to the boy while I continued this very important task. Only minutes later, it seemed, I heard the following coming from upstairs: "Christopher, NO! NO! NO! NO!".....THUMP!...."Waaaah!"

My PLANET of a body sailed up the stairs faster than I've moved since....well, EVER.

The boy had climbed out of his crib. Thank GOD for the fact that Tim was still in the room and caught him before the "THUMP" that I heard turned from Christopher falling back onto his mattress into Christopher falling onto our awful, unpadded carpet. The entire event sent us all into orbit, but once we settled down, everything was fine. And now, Christopher's mattress sits on the FLOOR inside the walls of his crib. It makes me feel like we've got a litter of puppies - should have just bought a cardboard box.

Anyway. All that being said, I DO recognize that regardless of what I do or where I am - even if I'm breathing down his neck every second (which, admittedly, I am not) - accidents will happen. Despite the fact that I know everything about Christopher's day, I cannot stop him from growing, from exploring, and from learning. Even from his accidents and mistakes. But for me, handing that responsibility...that PRIVILEGE...on to someone else is not something I'm too pleased with. Even though they ADORE him. Even though they will probably be more watchful and more vigilant than I ever am.

Currently this anxiety is manifesting itself in my attempts at planning transportation for my boy while I'm in the hospital. Originally we had talked about moving the carseat from the expedition to the Taurus. That way no one has to move the carseat and worry about whether or not they have installed it properly, nor do they have to worry about driving around my beast of a vehicle when they are far more accostumed to their own cars. At least by having it in the Taurus they'd be downsizing. That's always an easier transition.

Today I was informed that my in-laws want to buy their own carseat. NOW. They've told me this for months, and I've always put it off. I've never really felt the necessity for anyone else to take the boy in their car, and because of that I've always felt that for them to shell out that kind of money would just be too much. Especially when I don't anticipate taking them up on carting Christopher around. (Remember that whole asking for help thing? That whole "I'm an independent person who likes to do things herself" thing?) While the smart side of me recognizes the generosity and kindness that this offer entails, the newly-developed anxious side of me wonders why we need to do this right now. Okay. Why we need to do this at all. Why, at a time that is fairly considered to be a very anxious time, do we need to deal with this issue that is clearly making me even more anxious about the whole event?

Why? Because it will make things easier on me. Or at least that's the goal. And that is the truly wonderful thing about living so close to Tim's family. They have this genuine concern for my welfare - for truly being a family and helping out where and when they're needed. Even when that need is solely in their own perception, rather than in my reality. For all of that, I am incredibly grateful. I'll admit though, as if it's not already painfully obvious, that my independence, my confidence, and okay my pride all have the tendency to get in the way of my truly appreciating that helpfulness. I don't like being told when I need help, but rather would prefer to ask for it when I honestly feel its need. Based on the above, yes I do recognize it, the whole asking thing is a challenge that I need to overcome. But I know my limits and I'M WORKING ON IT.

To resolve the issue, my wonderful husband tells me to just leave the carseat in the expedition and that's that. Why are things so much easier in his brain? Why do I need to add so much drama - even if it just stays inside my own head - to the situation? Why do I need to make an already-anxious week even more anxious by worrying about this?

All of those questions, for now, will have to be answered with the same resolution that I've used to justify everything else in the past week (from ugly clothes to going bra-less in public. OKAY. I didn't really GO bra-less. But boy was I tempted.):

I'm having a baby in five days and I can do ANYTHING I WANT.


Emily said...

I hope you did everything you wanted this week. Best of luck tomorrow, I can't wait to hear about it. Christopher will do great, and so will you!! Thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way!!


Shelby said...

Ummmm, I'm glad we don't have to have a talk about the bra-less-ness =)

Anita said...

bra-less is bad. You might THINK it would feel good, but as soon as you step outside and try to take two or three steps, you'll wish your girls were well strapped.