I see women at the end of pregnancy and their faces always soften, and look very dreamy. It's a little early for me to have reached that stage yet! So perhaps I can't blame it on the girl-babe, who seems to be quite kicky and active anyway, and more ready to run marathons than smile at the sun, sighing happily, stars in her eyes, which is more or less the space and speed at which I find myself.
It's the middle of everything. It's the middle of summer. It's the middle of pregnancy. We're somewhere in the middle of so many projects at our house, although that timeline stretches out so long that almost anywhere is going to seem to be the middle, really. I have none of the sure-footed stamina of the start of things. My lists are languishing somewhere and I don't want to see how far I've come or check things off or add new items. I know in my head, and in my heart, that we're lost in the wilderness of it all right now - no point in checking - and so the only thing to do is keep moving forward. But there's none of that furious energy of the end either. No deadlines looming just ahead, nobody on their way in the car and about to arrive, no sense of impending urgency to fuel the fire of get-it-done-already! So we're wandering ... slowly meandering through each day, and waking the next to do the same like a continual loop of slow smiles, shrugged shoulders, half glasses of lemonade and feet in the pool, swishing slowly back and forth with nowhere else to get to, at least not anytime soon.
It's nice. Nice like an afternoon nap rather than a skydiving expedition, but I'm really more of an afternoon nap kind of person anyway. I don't know that I've ever had the urge to go skydiving. I watched some friends do it once, and when they landed I remember thinking: I could do that, but just that I could, never that I particularly wanted to. My sister read a book about a group who climbed Everest and told me how inspiring she found it. I read the same book and thought: God, those people are a little bit crazy, aren't they?
I once said of my sister that she's the sort of person who, when riding a bike, would get the greatest satisfaction out of fighting her way uphill. My boyfriend at the time I said it, on the other hand, was the sort who wanted nothing more out of life than to sail forever downhill. Going up made him cranky and he never seemed to grasp that you must go uphill in order to earn that rush of flying down, wind in your hair. One of the reasons we parted, I suppose. I'm a flat ground girl myself. I lived in Kansas for a while, and it's the only place I ever liked bike riding. I will pedal forever at a constant speed on a long, flat road going nowhere, and I will be satisfied. I go uphill when I have to, and apply myself with diligence, but not until I make sure there's not an alternate route that's smoother. And the downhill flying scares me a bit. I have trouble letting go and enjoying the rush. I prefer smooth sailing, constant pedaling, mostly knowing what to expect. My husband is an uphill climber, never quite satisfied with himself unless he's working at peak capacity, always comparing his present state with some optimal performance and then scolding himself for his failure to achieve the optimum at every waking moment. But the summer, or the baby on her way but not very soon, or the house in a constant state of flux, has slowed him down too.
Or maybe it's surrendering to the role of caretaker. Last summer he would drink his customary half-pot of coffee each morning and then find himself surprised by the constant low-level demands of an infant, never allowing him to complete any of the tasks he had imagined he'd be able to complete. This summer he accepted from the start that being with our boy was the only thing he'd aim for, and anything else he managed to do would be gravy. So he's dreamy too, skipping his morning coffee and asking me to remind him of everything multiple times because he's just "not in remembering mode". It's funny to see him this way; I tell him he's turning into me! I'm sure it would wear on me if it were permanent (who wants to be married to themselves, God forbid?), but school is just around the corner and he'll be back to the man who unloads the dishwasher before dawn and dances in the kitchen with the mania of too much caffeine tossed back while most of us are still tossing and turning in our beds. So, in the meantime I like this slow moving man, and so does our son, who tells me every night before bed now: I want Dada hold you, and knows I'll allow one more trip to hug and kiss Daddy before retiring to the crib for the night.
So we're all dreamy here, just meandering through the middle of things. I can just now see the rush of fall beginning to approach in the distance, but rather than rise up to meet it prepared and fortified for any and all battles it might bring, I want to roll over and pretend not to notice it for a little bit longer. I want to stay asleep if I can. I'm in the middle of the nicest dream.