The Tangential Thinker

So I’m taking a little vacation for a lovely reason. My college roommate just gave birth to her first child. After a late marriage and the accompanying fertility challenges, the little bundle of joy finally arrived. So I have the loathsome duty of flying to Bermuda for an ocean-view baptism to assume godparenting duties. Cue The Godfather music.

    While I couldn’t be happier for my girlfriend, at the same time, I could not imagine returning to the hazy days and sleepless nights of newborn-dom. Cranky, Whiny and Punch are on the express train to teenage-ville. And while that, as you well know, has challenges of its own—this is the worst day of my life!!!—none compare to the 4 a.m. feeding or the general fear that at any moment you could be headed for the emergency room. Of course the good news is, just like the rest of us, my friend has no idea of what’s ahead. It’s only afterward that you look back and say: How did I survive that?!

    No one can know when or even if parenting is in the cards. Although when I Googled the word ‘maternity’ just to see what would come up, one of the first prompts was ‘maternity wedding gowns.’ Hmmm. I mean, it doesn’t bother me that pregnant people are getting married, but is a ‘gown’ really the appropriate way to go? You might want a more understated option. I just have this image of a hugely pregnant girl in a puffy white dress with six bridesmaids in peach sequins and a groom and the ushers all in camouflage hunting clothes. A honeymoon ATV trip through the Ozarks follows the reception at the local Arby’s…but I digress.

    Everybody remembers that one kid in high school who comes in one day and announces in a stunned drone that his or her mother is pregnant, or the kid in the huge family who has an older sister who is pregnant at the same time as her mother. It’s like these babies have a mind of their own. The good news (and the bad news) is that babyhood goes by fast—bullets have left guns more slowly. So armed with my silver cup, my camera and well-wishes, I head east, excited for that baby smell and to play a little peek-a-boo, all the while thankful (and a little envious) that it’s not me. 

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