Jacob: January 27, 2011

Dear Baby,

We’ve passed the 30-week mark now and though I’m still feeling mostly great I’m noticing myself feeling sleepier and I’m constantly popping Zantac for nagging heartburn. You are quite the kicker and now that I’ve gotten used to it I love it. You are my constant companion and there’s something soothing and precious about that. I love you, and I feel a fierce bond growing already. You’ve been a strange comfort in your daddy’s absences recently. It’s funny, feeling like I’m never alone. Sometimes I miss what it felt like to be a single woman. Your human presence is very real to me. You’re everywhere I am.

I’m at Atonement Lutheran Church in Overland Park, Kansas right now, sitting in the peaceful narthex while your daddy practices away at the organ. Our four-day trip here launches a month that I am frankly not looking forward to. Daddy gives his senior recital here tonight for his Kansas friends (this is his parents’ church) then he’ll be gone Wednesday through Saturday next week auditioning at Indiana University, then his senior recital at St. Olaf is a week later and he leaves a day after that for four days in New York at Eastman School of Music. The weekend after that he’ll be in Connecticut at Yale.

I’m starting to realize that the time cost in travel this month is nothing compared with the cost of sharing your dad with his work. As a performer, he needs focus more than anything else. As his wife, I need to stand in the background and minister to him selflessly and silently so that he is able to focus. I miss him so much after these last couple days of staying out of his way as he’s prepared for tonight’s performance. Then I look at the calendar and see it filling up with other things, too, such that I hardly feel we’ll have time together as a couple before you join our world and life changes forever. Today I’m feeling anxious and wistful and even a little bitter at the timing of it all.

Why am I telling you this? I have no idea, except that I’ve had an urge to write today. I suspect part of my urge has its source not in Daddy’s work but in anticipating your arrival. At last the feeling I’ve expected has arrived: I am restless to meet you and fold you into our world, and I am restless to be done with pregnancy for now. Ironically, I’m also growing apprehensive of the epic journey of parenting as I watch my parents struggle with it afresh lately, veterans though they are.

The combination of the restlessness, the apprehension, and the feeling of panic that you will come on the heels of all Daddy’s travels without a quiet moment between for us to enjoy each other and the simplicity of childless marriage… Well, it leaves me feeling that I don’t know what I want. Instead of succumbing to tears, I’m going to try to turn my heart to humbly submit to God’s calling on me to lay my whole life down as a wife and a mother and I’m going to put away the writing and try to finish thank you notes from our wedding so they can at least be in the mail before our first anniversary.

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