Jen and I will be heading down to Virginia to see my family in a week or two. I am excited for my people to finally meet my daughter in person, but I have to admit, the travel part scares the crap out of me. We’re driving down to Lexington, see, seven hours on the road in total. We’re going to take it slow and all, but I have an idea I like to call the Sweet Spot Theory of General Safety that is about to be tested.
Life is hard, you see. We have wrested little islands of safety out of the wilderness of existence that we cling to in order to maybe make it to old age. These are Sweet Spots, little respites from encroaching entropy. These are the places with water that gets warm, surfaces that are clean, food that is safe to eat. They are small covenants with the Universe, where we agree to behave a certain way to stay safe. They aren’t infallible, but if we stick to the Sweet Spots, most of us reach a reasonably advanced age in something close to comfort.
Jen and I are stepping out of our Brooklyn Sweet Spot and getting into our Hyundai Sweet Spot. That means change, that mean transition. I am scared of both, at least when it comes to Madelene. I am just getting used to her living with us as a newborn. I am not ready to travel with her as a growing infant. It scares me, flat out. Not that I think anything bad is going to happen–we are careful and cautious and such. It scares me how vigilant I know I will have to be. Jen will be there and that is a huge comfort, but I am so scared that I will screw up and end up not maintaining the Sweet Spot in some way.
How do parents live like this, with the possibility for mayhem at every turn?? I stop and start and wince constantly, thinking of bad things that could happen. As I drift to sleep, my mind reruns the event of the day, looking for the hidden tragedies or possible snags that we missed by mere fifths of inches… I think I may very well have finally become a parent. Holy crap! I am a mom for real! It’s lovely and terribly uncomfortable all at the same time, much like my favorite wool sweater. When I wear it, I feel right in the world, but am constantly aware of it because of the itchy, itchy collar… I think I need to get more sleep. My similes are getting pretty lame…
Anyway, back to the Sweet Spots. Jen and I are building M’s first one, here between us. It’s pretty sturdy and such, especially thanks to Jen. I’m getting better at holding up my side, although the increased vigilance is new and strange to me. M is worth it, by all means, I honestly can’t do enough to show her I love her. I think that is what scares/thrills me most of all.