It's funny. No matter how much you resist metamorphosing into a gooey ball of tediously cliched Spielbergian sentimentality, sometimes you have to accept that there really are certain events that produce a sea change in your relationship with the universe.
Forgive me for stating the obvious, but such an event occurred on Monday.
By the way, you'd think it would take fewer than 100 posts on a self-described pregnancy blog (this being #101) to realize that there's a little boy stewing away in my spouse. But I digress. Where was I?
Ah yes: my recent brush with existential clarity.
I kind of knew something was up. I mean, it sounds silly, but until Monday, d.w.'s pregnancy was still little more than a theoretical concept (a phrase I seem to have unconsciously appropriated from Dad-to-Be). I found myself constantly reminding myself of that whole "big belly = little baby" equation. But here's the thing: the universe didn't coalesce at all like I was expecting. Maybe I've grown too accustomed to novelists and screenwriters using the "transformative Aha! moment" as a lazy substitute for character development, but that's what I really thought would happen. I thought I would see the sonogram image and experience a single transcendent moment of oneness with... well, I hadn't quite figured out what exactly.
So here's what happened instead: I'm sitting in the little ultrasound room looking up at the little monitor in the corner, when a fuzzy black-and-white image of a very small person pops up.
"Huh. That's kinda cool," I think. I look down at d.w.'s slime-coated belly. I look back at the monitor. I look at the belly again.
"OK. So that thing," I think, staring intently at the monitor, "is in my wife. Huh. OK. Right now, I am looking at my kid. I know that. Really. I do."
Not totally convinced, I stare even harder at the belly this time. Then back to the monitor.
"Alright then, self, let's see if we can put this together..."
And on it goes, throughout the appointment. And for most of that afternoon.
Hmm. So now that I come to it, the part where I am supposed to close this post with a witty-yet-poignant revelation about when and how this whole "having a baby" thing finally hit me, I'm still kind of at a loss. Like I said, there was no single moment. Rather, it was a lot of little moments during the past week: walking by the refrigerator and seeing where d.w. had put up a couple of sonogram pics; referring to the zygote by his name rather than an ambiguous "it"; laying my hand on d.w.'s belly and feeling the little bruiser kick for the first time. The glee-inducing list goes on and on.
And now the world is completely different. Completely. Brighter, somehow. More beautiful. Overflowing with hope and promise and happiness.
And I'd take that over a single, fleeting moment of transendent clarity any day.