THE SONIC BOOMER
This is unnerving. My daughter Jennifer was supposed to have her baby yesterday… and she didn’t. Where the heck is that kid?
Well, I know where it is. It has spent nine months (and a day) languishing on Easy Street while Jen huffs and puffs up the stairs, falls into armchairs with no grace at all and gets tired two hours after she wakes up in the morning.
The last sonogram showed a big, contented baby with rolls of fat and chubby little legs. Sounds endearing, but I, of course, am more concerned about my own baby right now — the one who looks fat but isn’t and has chubby little ankles upon which to support her ever-increasing bulk. “It’s only water weight,” I tell her, but I am still concerned.
Jen is usually tall and svelte, and I am used to seeing her that way. Her co-workers have recently forgone politeness to incredulously ask, “Haven’t you had that baby yet?!” before giving her a wide berth down the hallway.
The only one who is not concerned is Jen. “People are already driving in from other states to meet this baby,” she said, shrugging. “It may not get here before they have to leave.”
Mother Nature. You gotta love her. (“Don’t tell me what the experts say about when you’ll give birth!” she roars, forever menopausal.)
When she had her first baby, I flew up a few weeks before it was due, puttered around her house for a few days, spent 20 hours in the waiting room at the hospital, helped the happy new family get settled, then flew home. This time, I’ve been here for the duration and, let me tell you, nine months is a long time to wait for something “in the oven.”
I have new sympathy for expectant fathers. Let’s get on with this.
I mean, I endured the nine long months when I had my own kids… but, back then, I felt no rush to get to the labor part of labor and delivery. I was willing to let nature take its course. I suppose this is how Jen is feeling.
I am not so patient anymore. I want Jen back taking the stairs two at a time, sharing an armchair with her toddler and having enough energy to get her through the day.
That shows how out-of-touch I am — delusional, really. Who leaps up the stairs while clutching an infant? Who has time to sit around in armchairs? And who is brimming with energy when they have a newborn at home?
I guess I just want to be assured that everything is alright and seeing is believing.
If I could readjust my focus, I would be cherishing the quiet, being grateful that Jen made it to term and serenely folding tiny cloth diapers. But, alas, that is not my style.
I want to hold the baby! Let me hold that baby! I think I just heard someone snickering. Is that you, Mother Nature?