Tuesday, January 10, 2006
the enormous dare
I’m finding it increasingly incomprehensible that three-ish months from now, Finn will be born. Dave and I have accepted the most enormous dare from the universe. In fact, we dared it to dare us.
How much do we dare to love a person?
I’m afraid that we’re going to find out.
I don’t know what to expect, but I'm imagining a sort of tidal wave when Finn arrives. I’m fascinated and terrified by accounts of what mother love is like. A tidal wave is what I imagine, in which we’ll be flashing between swimming and drowning for, I don’t know, maybe the rest of our lives.
We’re planning for a water birth at home. A small sea creature is going to wash up on us. I can’t imagine the moment of his birth any more than I can imagine the moment of my own death. And the little sea creature is going to have to trust us. We’re whom he’s going to have to trust. We’re the parents. He’s looking to us. We’ll have to keep him alive, and that’s just the beginning.
I have the vaguest memory of being awake at nighttime as a tiny person, I have no idea how old, awake and alone in my dark bedroom with the little night light. Everything was stopped in the house, and my parents were gone. I had no idea how this worked, or if this night would end. Where did they go, my parents? Why was night so long? Where were the sounds? Was my brother at peace with this situation?
My parents were at their largest at night. If they weren’t gods during the day, this shifted after bedtime.
I’m horrified to think that a tiny person could regard me as some sort of saving god. “Please let that lady rescue me from the vastness of night.” I’m daunted that there’s no way around this. I will have to rescue Finn from the vastness of night, over and over again. I’m afraid to feel his little fear in my chest as my own.
Is the heart seriously built for this? If a heart can take this, and by taking it become something larger, then that’s thrilling and it will all be worth it. But that is the dare, whether it can take it, and how much.
T minus three and some months.