Saturday, April 25, 2009

precious cargo

Today, I spent a couple of hours with friends assembling bags of "instant casserole" for an organization called Stop Hunger Now. It was a group project, and many Durhamites were there to assemble and pack in a community effort. When we filled a tray full of bags of food, we called for a "runner," who would then move our bags to be weighed and sealed. One runner was a woman who had her small baby strapped to her in one of those fancy baby harnesses (that I need to acquire at some point in the next few weeks). At one point I said, "I feel like I should be doing the running and she should be holding these bags. She has a baby strapped to her!" A friend then said, " do you..."

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I think it will be so strange to actually have this life that has been inside me, in my arms instead. But then I realize that the baby is still going to be strapped to me, in ways both literal and figurative. I'm realizing more and more how different life is going to be. Jess and I are contemplating a visit to Tokyo next summer after graduation and before Jess begins "real life" as a lawyer. And the trip will be so different. It will be harder, but more than that, it will be such a different experience, having a baby to think about, plan for. Sharing a place that we love so much with a small person that we love so much. Strapping a baby backpack on one person, the tourist bag on the other, not taking turns with a load because now we have a more precious load that doesn't give us breaks.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm ready. In my heart, yes, I'm ready. But for the first time in my life, my needs won't be premier. I won't come first. Our lives will change to mold around this baby's life, just as my stomach molds to fit around its growing body every day. I like to believe that this change will be natural, as natural as it was for my body to become the growing grounds for a person.

I realize that life won't ever be the same. In fact, it will become more difficult in many ways. But to me, this image I have in my head - me, Jess, a baby in his backpack, and my Tokyo towering around us - represents the larger concept of a new addition, an expanding family, of stretching love. It feels as though this baby in our backpack is the natural next step, the most natural thing we could possibly do.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Always so eloquent Shaunts. I felt the same way, knowing life would get more difficult, but knowing that was the next step and embracing it.


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