We went for a walk last night, which rounded out an incredible weekend (rest, time with friends, two excellent movies: Sarah’s Key at the theatre and Adam at home, lots of Rabbit flutters [see J’s post below for these sweet details]). I think we’ve both started to realize that, if all goes as we hope/believe it will, these will be our last handful of months together without a child to actively parent. With J at work, we are settling into a new routine of missing each other, and adoring the time we have together.
On our walk, as is our custom, we were actively planning, talking about our timeline, anticipating our unfolding lives: how old Rabbit River will be when we leave this town, what the adoption timeline might look like wherever we end up, whether we’ll want for J to carry one more time as we wade through the adoption process, if we’ll find a townhouse to rent for two years while we decide on a neighborhood and a forever.home. But in the middle of all of that, we realized that none of these decisions can be made yet. Really, they can’t be made for more than a year. We need to know where we’re going, which we probably won’t know until March or April of 2013. We need to know ourselves as parents, to know what will emerge as important, and what just won’t matter. We can understand the choices before us, but we can’t make them yet.
This is an indescribably freeing reality. As we walked, and as we let go of the responsibility of making these major decisions, we realized that our lives have been so full of difficult choices for so long now that we hadn’t even realized, hadn’t noticed what a weight that is, how much energy it requires. Decisions like where to apply for grad school, which offer to accept, where to live once we got here. Getting married (and all of the decisions that necessitates). Choosing our first and second donor. The complexity of trying.to.conceive (the charts, the guessing game of timing, the questions of how and where). All of the decisions E’s little life required of us. Deciding how to move forward after losing her. Choosing a new bank. A new donor. A new set of how and where and when. Then the registries, the nursery, the name. All the great stuff, but even the great stuff takes energy. Takes attention away from the present moment.
But here’s our reality as it stands now. This little cottage is the thirty-first place I’ve ever lived, which is a lot of moving for a thirty-three year old girl. But this next April, we will have lived here for three years. I think that’s longer than I’ve ever lived anywhere. And we’ll be here for two more years. That means it’s settle.in.time. Likewise, we’re nineteen weeks today with this little Rabbit. He feels strong and solid to both of us. So in terms of this pregnancy, that means settle.in.time too. J adores her new job. She’s totally fat.cat.happy over there. I’m writing and teaching. It doesn’t always go perfectly, but I’m chipping away at the work. I have a good schedule.
It might sound crazy: after all, we have a child on the way; this should maybe feel like super.flux.time. But J and I realized yesterday that, after years of perpetual planning, we can just sit back for awhile. For the rest of this pregnancy, and for our son’s first year of life, we won’t need (the universe willing) to make any big decisions.
This is the closest thing to liberation that I’ve ever experienced. Life in the moment. Not in the past. Not in the future. In the now. Today. It might be an adjustment for us, learning to live this way. After all, we’ve lived in perpetual.future.mode for a long, long time. But I think we’re up to the challenge. I asked J, smile on my face: “what will we do with the part.time.job worth of time that we usually spend making decisions?” She had plenty of sweet, fun, happy ideas.
There’s a constant heaviness now, and none of this negates that. A presence of something.missing that I don’t think will ever go away. But we’re learning how to live happily alongside that. It has become a part of us already. We still miss Emmett in ways that aren’t easy to explain. but I feel like we’re finally submitting to that vulnerability, and because of that, there’s deep wonderment. There’s gratitude. This is a good, good moment, and there’s reason to believe we’ll have lots, lots more.*
* My dad often describes things as “good, good.” For example: “Okay, sweetheart. You have a good, good day now.” It’s one of my favorite things.