“We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway”
(Anticipation, Carly Simon)
I am lousy at waiting. Always have been. Ask anyone who knows me well and they will tell you that I am lousy when it comes to waiting. Anticipation kills me.
The daughter is in millionth week of pregnancy and has a due date of June 27th to bring into the world our newest granddaughter—Finley Kate. Yeppers, the family is expanding, though being heavily dominated at this time with females. Though June 27th is the predicted date for the arrival, reality is starting to push for a much earlier arrival . . . like in the next week. The daughter is terribly uncomfortable . . . and, who wouldn’t be carrying around a bowling ball that seems to protrude to infinity and beyond. It makes me uncomfortable to watch her waddle around. She is tired of pregnancy . . . her husband is tired of pregnancy—especially those looks that tell him that it is his fault! Even the future sister is tired of the pregnancy . . . she wants her mother’s lap back. Thus it is that the whole family is experiencing great anticipation of the blessed event . . .
. . . and, it is killing me!
When the wife was pregnant with our first child the doctor gave us a due date for when our son would be born. I appreciated that. It gave me time to plan out my life . . . time to get ready. In my mind I knew exactly when and where the birth would take place . . . the damn doctor lied. The kid didn’t show up for nearly two week after the due date. In fact, they had to induce the wife to get the stubborn child to make his appearance into the world. It nearly killed me having to wait . . . having to anticipate. Every little moan or groan from the wife had me throwing the suitcase in the car and rushing her out . . . usually to no avail. The anticipation in that first pregnancy nearly killed me.
With the next three kids I told the doctor to not even mention a date . . . not even a good guesstimate . . . I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to be set up for frustration when the due date came and went on by. Kids come when they want to and no due date is going to keep them from coming whenever that might be. The wife will tell you that I threatened bodily harm to the poor doctor if she even whispered a date . . . I didn’t want to know. The anticipation would kill me, so I opted for ignorance . . . as they say, ignorance is bliss and I was going to be the most blissful person during the pregnancies of my last three children.
And, I survived . . . I am here. I am here and now waiting, again, for another birth. I am filled with anticipation . . . and, it is killing me. I think the daughter is getting tired of her father asking her every day about how she is doing . . . how she is feeling . . . is the darn kid here yet! The daughter and son-in-law are pretty down-to-earth when it comes to this whole pregnancy . . . after one they seem to think that they are pretty much pros at it . . . but, I am speaking from experience and four kids . . . I know that the anticipation is killing them. I know that they are ready for this kid to make an appearance so that everyone else can get back to some sort of normalcy. I know because I am speaking from experience.
Anticipation . . . sucks!
As Carly Simon sings, “We can never know about the days to come.” And, we don’t. We don’t know what the next moment holds until it actually happens. Life just seems to roll at its own pace . . . children make their appearances into the world when they are good and ready . . . and, everyone waits. Everyone anticipates . . . but, no one knows. Which is why Ms. Simon also sings, “But we think about them anyway.” Because we do, we create this anticipation in our lives. It is a terrible Catch-22 for all of us.
The song, Anticipation, is about a relationship that the singer has with someone that she loves. Apparently it is a pretty good relationship because the singer is thinking about what the future holds for the relationship . . . she anticipates what it could be; but she really doesn’t know. She does not whether the guy will stick around . . . whether she will stick around; but she thinks about what is to come. The anticipation is messing up her life. It does it to all of us.
I vouch for that. The wife will vouch for that. I was a grumpy person whenever we got close to the due date. I wasn’t grumpy with the wife . . . I was grumpy that my expectations about what I was anticipating were not panning out as I thought they would. Grumpy that I could not control the whole blessed event. Grumpy that I was pretty much helpless. As I said, I do not handle anticipation well.
So far, I am doing pretty well. I am rooting for the newest granddaughter to make her appearance earlier than predicted. I have things to do . . . people to see . . . places to go . . . and, this waiting to see when everything is going to take place is killing me. It is killing everybody, especially the daughter who is tired of being pregnant. It brings back memories of the wife and I waiting for our children to make their appearance on the scene. It really does.
The funny thing, or should I say the peculiar thing, is that as the wife and I reflect back on those days . . . they were the good ol’ days. They really were. We tell our now adult children stories about their births into the world . . . funny stories . . . miraculous stories . . . and, we do so with tears in our eyes and lots of laughter. It is usually a bittersweet moment that we can never experience again, but one that we are now sharing with them . . . especially our daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. Though we may not realize it in the moment, these, too, are the good ol’ days.
Anticipation has a way of blinding us to the present moment . . . has a way of stealing the moment. The truth is that more than the actual experience of what we are anticipating is the moment that stands as the prelude . . . the waiting in the present time. It is there that the gift is found . . . that the gift is experienced, embraced, and made into the story that we cherish. In my maturing years I have discovered this secret; yet, the anticipation still kills me!
I'm no prophet, I don't know natures way
So I'll try to see into your eyes right now
And stay right here, 'cause these are the good old days.
And, so, we wait . . . anticipation. Yeah, these are the good ol’ days!