Baby pictures & love over predictability
Yesterday was stressful.
I started the morning with a plan–laid weeks ago–for the next several months. My budget was in order, and I knew how I’d be spending most of my days between now and the delivery of my second child. It was all wonderfully predictable.
Then my medical leave began much earlier and more suddenly than expected.
This might not sound like a bad thing, but remember: Me + predictability = 4EVER.
I was relieved for a moment after hearing my doctor’s assessment, but my next 70,000 thoughts or so went down a very different track.
But what about my work?! I enjoy my work! I love my colleagues! I didn’t get everything transitioned over and there’s still so much to do so no one flounders in my absence! What about that one project? And that other one? And that one stack of papers? Oh, and those other eighteen things? And my budget–oh my word, my budget! I need to understand impacts to my budget right now!
The work-related worries were quickly allayed by supportive words and well wishes all around. It’s no accident that I love my job.
But the budget stuff. Oh, the budget stuff.
It feels great to budget in advance. There’s a sense of luxury in moving dollars from here and putting them there, knowing that there are still days, weeks or even months left to revise and revisit.
Yesterday, I felt no such luxury. My husband and I had a lot of ground to cover in a little time. He’s more comfortable than I with ambiguity, and things taking a little time, but I wanted resolution now. The day ended with some pretty uncomfortable discussion.
Even after I played with the numbers and found that we should be able to make everything work with a heavy reliance on library-based entertainment, it was uncomfortable.
So much is changing. So much is about to change even more. I can’t predict all of it. Heck, I can’t necessarily predict any of it. I could try, but my predictions would be inaccurate. Life doesn’t much care for our predictions or sense of comfort.
I didn’t mean to. I wasn’t engaged in some kind of mindfulness exercise. It just occurred to me I hadn’t checked on my sleeping son for a little while, so I went to peek at him.
Seeing his sleeping self sprawled across the bed took my breath away. His chest rose and fell as I watched and remembered countless moments we’ve shared over the last four years.
I turned to my husband and said, “This here is my reminder what it’s all really about.”
To affirm this, I looked through pictures of my son still so new to this world.
My budget suddenly seemed so small–not insignificant, because my childhood spent in poverty underscored for me the importance of knowing food and shelter are covered, but small–compared to the scope of my life. Of life.
My family’s about to have a lot less financial wiggle room, for a few months. It’s also about to be graced with another life.
Another little body to hold close to my own.
Another little newborn head to nestle my nose in.
Another little voice to full the air with cries and laughs and, eventually, relentless unanswerable questions that reveal the marvels of the world seen through new eyes.
Another little person to love, to be loved by, and with whom to share this amazing, crazy world.
Cents will be tight the next few months, but sense of love will be expanded beyond what I can begin to imagine right now.
I’ll still have questions and moments of chagrin when I remember some temporarily forgotten expense, or some project I wish I could’ve come closer to completing. I’ll still drive my husband nuts with my drive to be productive, usually funneled into my work but temporarily without clear outlet. I’ll still crave predictability.
But beneath it all, I’ll remember what’s lasting: love. It can’t be measured or fit onto any spreadsheet, but it is in everything. In the stress. In the wishing. In the missing. In the imagining. In the feeling.
In the seeing my son sleeping and knowing that I’ll soon gaze upon two small sleeping bodies with love and wonder.
The free cents in our house have just diminished a little, but the love? That–that precious, irreplaceable commodity–is about to be amplified.
This here is my reminder what it’s all really about.