The Days Are Just Packed

To borrow a phrase from Bill Waterson, my days have been just packed as of late and today was the best one that I’ve seen in a long while.
It started out early for a Saturday in our household. We awoke at 6:30am in order to make it to our inaugural child birth preparation class at 8. I was a bit nervous about the class, as neither my wife nor I was really sure of what to expect. We arrived to find 8 other couples with looks on their faces that told us they too weren’t sure either.
The four hours flew by, though, and my wife and I came out feeling encouraged about many of the choices we’ve made regarding our baby – our choice of a nurse midwife over an obstetrician, whether to find out the sex of the baby, and quite a few I’ve forgotten at the moment. The class was instructive, albeit slightly more so than I would have wanted, as we viewed a film that walked through the stages of labor in some detail, complete with live footage of women giving birth. Our nurse midwife had asked me whether I wanted to “catch” when the big day came and I had been tossing the idea around in my head. On the one hand, it would be an experience I would never be able to repeat and one of such intimacy with my newborn child as to seemingly make it a no-brainer. On the other hand, what if I were to drop them? The video stripped any and all such thoughts from my mind.
Here’s the thing: I have absolutely no problem with the sight of my own blood. None. I am far too familiar with injuries of various and sundry types inflicted upon my person, having engaged in what I would describe as a life-long pursuit of “freestyle injuries”, as to be phased by such simple things as highly violent temporary alterations to my physique. I am able to work any number of props into my injuries, including, but not limited to: an H-pier foot plate, a jury-rigged Slip-n-Slide, ladders, canoes, fire, glue guns, high-gloss print magazines, lacrosse sticks, wrestling mats, wrestlers, school bus windows and games of Duck-Duck-Goose (don’t ask). In the course of such a storied history of wanton personal destruction, I have obviously been exposed to sufficiently large quantities of my own blood so as to render myself immune to any queasiness. Not so with others’ blood.
My father is the type that enjoys watching open heart or cataract surgery on the Discovery Channel. I am usually rendered light-headed by even commercials for such shows. (Side note: I am largely unaffected by Hollywood violence and gore. Perhaps this is due to the fact that my subconscious knows it’s all fake…?) As we progressed through the labor video, I noted, with no little interest, that the women in the throes of labor seemed to be bleeding in quantities and in manners sufficient to move me to wooziness, thus cementing my decision on the concept of “catching”: I’m not going to do it. Well, maybe I will. Maybe that’s a “game time” call…
In any case, after the requisite “controlled breathing exercises”, we soon-to-be parents were released from our class and my wife and I headed home for a quick change of clothes before heading off to my company’s yearly picnic. Though I’ve worked for my company for four years thus far, this year’s picnic was the first that my wife and I were able to attend and now I’m sorry I missed out on the last three. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. The humidity of this past week broke some time last night and we were treated to a pleasant, steady breeze from the small lake situated next to the picnic site. The site itself was excellent, with ample covered dining space and a wide range of activities, from rock climbing to basketball to horseshoes to pony rides for the kids to paddle boats out on the lake. My wife and I got to talk to many of the coworkers that I have befriended but don’t get a chance to talk to on a regular basis, as well as dine on fine picnic fare. We took a spin out on the paddle boats, which turned out to be surprisingly less enjoyable for a 7-month pregnant woman and her husband than one might suspect. We also partook in the annual “brain tease” contest, which consisted of a Name-That-Tune game this year. A series of laptops were placed on a picnic table with 25 MP3s on the desktop of each, numbered 1-25. The challenge was to 1) name each song and 2) name the movie/TV show/commercial commonly associated with each song, with 2 points awarded for each correct song and 1 point awarded for each correct relationship. When all the entries were in, Yours Truly ended up winning with a score of 47/75. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.</shameless ungentlemanly gloating and self-promotion>
The door prizes were particularly fine this year, with a Sony PSP and a 60GB iPod leading the pack for coolness factor. Sadly, I didn’t win the PSP, nor the iPod, both of which would have been lovingly cared for in my capable hands, I can assure you.
However, the biggest surprise of the day came later in the day. One of my coworkers called my wife and myself over and told us that he and his wife had a surprise for us, so we dutifully followed them to their car. His wife is an expert seamstress and had apparently sewn a near-complete cloth diapering system for us, completely unasked-for and unexpected. We were absolutely floored. She had sewn not only a set of waterproof diaper covers, but also a series of all-in-ones, flannel wipes, “diaper doublers” and 3 dozen professional-quality cloth diapers with reinforced, extra-absorbency pads sewn into the middle of each diaper, all of which had been placed in a seal-able plastic diaper bucket. I personally didn’t know what to say. To have such generosity expressed to us by a coworker and his family was almost more than I can comprehend. I had been praying to God for some time, asking for His provision for our baby and He continues to amaze me in the ways He chooses to provide for us. Truly we have been blessed.
At the end of it all, my wife and I headed home with real joy in our hearts. I turned to her and said “You know, life is really good”. That about sums it up.


We’ve got a name picked out if it’s a boy, but we can’t agree on a girl’s name yet.

  1. No.
  2. We’re not that big of a Star Trek family, so we’re not having Nine and we’re certainly not going to be bionically augmenting our offspring.
  3. I haven’t made it in either the musical or acting arenas, thus such naming schemes are strictly forbidden.
  4. Neither I nor my wife have taken any illicit substances, so we couldn’t blame such a travesty on that.
  5. “Apple” and “Coco” are right out as well.