Sunday, July 31, 2005

Ten Months

I had a dream about a giant fire that swept over the hillside consuming everything in its path. Those with whom I was with knew that it wouldn’t be long before it reached us. Frantically we ran about trying to do anything possible so that we felt like life was still worth living. It was horrifying, full of debauchery and exhilarating at the same time. The smoke swirled over our heads and every time we looked toward the awesome spectacle it loomed ever closer trying to squelch the passion right out of our hearts, but all it did was urge us more toward life.

I remember that this was how I thought I was going to feel when we found out that we were going to have a baby, that this frantic desperation that would fill me up inside as each day grew nearer to the day that he would arrive. All the books explained that if you’re not prepared then chaos would overtake your lives. But none of that happened. We were pretty unprepared (at least I was), but I never felt like my life was going to collapse or that events would soon turn toward the worst. I always felt calm and patient. I felt like we were capable of handling anything that might arise even if we didn’t do everything the damn books told us to do.

And it wasn’t until the tenth month that I finally began to relate to the metaphor of my dream. I can no longer do anything without Lucas reminding me about my priorities. He has become a clingy, smart, capable, mobile, little machine. He is now the Tasmanian devil from the cartoon of my childhood, a whirlwind of bad habits that are incredibly difficult to shake. He is my new playmate that demands my attention during all the time that I used to have for myself. During the first few months of his life I was amazed because I was actually finding time to develop and pursue my writing passion, so much that I was writing more than before he was born. I thought a new dawn was forming in my mature life. No longer, I barely have enough time to read a book before little hands crawl over the edge and snatch it from my grasp. The chaos has arrived and brought with it a lovely little terror that is truly testing our patience.

I know that the most important growth in life comes from facing difficult challenges, because when we succeed during these trying times we learn that we can accomplish quite a lot. This universal truth is very easy to intellectualize but throw a group of people into a tiger pit and I bet most of them beg to be let out. I really don’t want the most incredible occurrence in my life to bring on such despair. Everyday I try to remember that everything we are doing right now is creating the foundation for tomorrow. Lucas is with us today because a year-and-a-half ago we felt that it could be wonderful to create life with our passion. With that spark came a sweltering storm that threatens to black out the sun with wonder and tears. I will not lay down and let it consume me. I feel the beat of it in my heart and will let it spread like flames in the things that I do and say. I’ll let it guide each of us toward such great heights so that we can look back and realize that we were the giant climbing over the hillside, shaping our family, building a future.

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