Do not rush this… (Reflections whilst waiting for my baby to be born).
Waiting. I’ve never been great at it. It always comes with chewed nails, grit of teeth, anxious thought. I sit here waiting for a baby to be born and my mind is pacing. Around and around. It is wearing down the carpet. I just want this Melody to arrive. The beginning note of her life sung out through the hospital corridors paving the way for her song to begin. Please come already.
Yet inside the refrain,
“Do not rush this. Do not rush this.”
And I realise how quickly life does come and how quickly life grows and how a baby is too soon crawling and too soon walking and then the running and I know that running always is toward something and when you are running toward something then you are also running away from something. And I don’t want my babies to ever have to run from something. But I know that they will. One day. Like I run from this moment. This waiting. Running. It is the human condition. Too fast. Always only one foot on the ground. Places to go, people to see. Lives to change. A world to save.
“Fast. Fast. More Fast” my little boy calls out as he bolts down the hallway. He did not stay for long in the walking phase. Pretty much skipped it in want of the running. He is seldom still. Frenetic. Aidan Frenetic McKerrow. This should have been his name. Like father. Like son. Like society. Like you. Fast. Fast. More fast.
“Do not rush this.”
The world is a blur most of the time. The many realities of my day fly past and suddenly I am kissing the boy goodnight and the light is off and my wifey and I collapse in bed (or on the floor if we can’t make it to the bed). We close our eyes. Briefly. Until the boy cries out five minutes later.
“Broken” he yells the other night not long after bedtime. Its a new word of his. “Broken!” His cry becomes louder. Incessant. “Broken. Broken! Broken!” He is getting distraught. I am not sure what he could have broken lying in his bed at 9pm at night so I walk into the room. He is sitting up in bed, the clip-on buttons on the leg of his onesie PJ’s have come apart. A disaster. He is holding them out to me, his face a rush of tears and panic. “Broken!!” he sobs at me again as though the sky is falling in on him, “Broken!” He in inconsolable. Even after I clip the buttons back together. All better. All fixed. It was all just too much heartache for the little man. I think of all the times in my life the unbuttoned reality feels like the end of the world.
“Do not rush this.”
The next day he sticks his hand back inside his jumper sleeve and pretends he has lost it. We look in the freezer. It is not there. We look in the fridge. It is not there either. He is delighted at the game. Thinks he’s tricked me. He looks up at me and with a huge guffaw he pokes his lost hand out of his jumper sleeve and it has been there all along and we laugh together and he jumps up and down in delight at the joke and I think how quickly you have grown my boy.
“Do not rush this.”
She holds life inside her. My wife. Nine months tomorrow. My son looks confused as we tell him that Melody is arriving soon. He walks to the front door and looks out expectantly. The obvious place to look for a new guest to come. “Not from out there” we tell him as we point at Mum’s balloon belly, “from in there.” He looks doubly confused. Where are you Melody? He holds out mums shirt and looks underneath. Where are you?
We wait for you my girl. And may our waiting not be anxious. May our waiting be a holding. A preparing. A sweeping the path of your entrance into this world. A creating enough space on the inside. Too many of my days are spent running into the next moment. And so you teach me now, even now, before first breath is taken, you teach me to slow. To be present.
“Do not rush this,” you say. And I hear you Melody. I hear you.