Joyful, Odd Course of Events

The reason I’ve been MIA lately is because my son was born on January 5, which was two weeks before his due date. I’m actually glad he arrived early because he weighed 7 pounds and 14 ounces at birth and was 21.5 inches long. Had he waited till his due date, he most likely would have been 9 pounds or more… and I don’t think my body could’ve handled it. I’m not sharing his name here for privacy reasons, but everyone says it’s a nice manly name. 🙂

They say labor pain is the worst pain ever. Now that I have actually given birth, I am allowed to have an opinion on that, but I don’t know if I agree. It was a pretty awful pain, but it is an “organized” pain, if that makes sense. The simple fact that the pain had a purpose made it easier to get through. The weirdest part about it was sleeping between contractions and actually having dreams.

They also say that a child is a source of joy. My child was born with a disease of the intestine that was not foreseen before birth, so we were in and out of the hospital for all of January until today. To make a very long story short, the baby needs to have a colostomy bag until he is 6 months old, at which point he’ll have surgery to fix his large intestine. After that, he will be like any other kid. All of this did not diminish my joy in the knowledge that my son is actually here, that he exists, and that he is a charming little soul. But hospital stays are depressing even without the postpartum hormones, so I can’t say that the entire experience was joyful.

So that was the past month in a nutshell. What an odd course of events. If I were to imagine in 2009 what my life would look like in 2019, I certainly wouldn’t have imagined it like this (in a good way).

Thursday Three #43

  1. My thought on the Kavanaugh affair (well, on sexual assault in general): I honestly feel like some women are crying wolf for various reasons. It seems like something accidental or even looking at a woman the wrong way is now considered sexual assault if it is a painted a certain way. If that is really the case, then high school was one long, drawn-out assault, and practically every high school boy is an assailant. True, drawing the line is difficult, especially when it’s one person’s word against another’s, but the definition of “sexual assault” unfortunately tends to be flexible.
  2. Parenting books. Usually, if I tell someone I’m reading a parenting book, they start laughing because there is apparently nothing about parenting that can be learned from a book. But I find them useful because they seem to give at least an idea of what to expect, even though all the ones I’ve flipped through come with the caveat that “every child is unique. Don’t freak out if he or she doesn’t meet each milestone exactly on time.” OK. Easier said than done, I guess.
  3. Everybody needs to read We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas. I’ve read a lot of “realistic fiction,” but this book is by far the most realistic of all the realistic fiction I’ve ever read and one of the better books I have read so far this year. Yes, it is incredibly sad, but it’s sad because everything in it is true. Nothing is sugar coated. The book is pretty long, but it is actually a fairly quick read.

Something Worthwhile from CNN?!?

CNN and all the mainstream news networks are so full of garbage that every time I go on there, I roll my eyes in sheer exasperation at the level of stupidity. But every now and then, someone writes a decent opinion column, like this one: “Three questions, from Tolstoy, for mindful parenting,” by David G. Allan.

These are the three questions:

  1. What is the right time to begin anything?
  2. Who are the right people to listen to?
  3. What is the most important thing to be doing at any given time?

I’m not a parent, but I thought all of the questions and their answers were applicable to pretty much any situation, not only between parents and children. The answers to the questions also depend on what you’re talking about. The right time to begin something could be right now, or it could be several years down the road, depending on how long the thing in question takes to begin properly.

The right people to listen to… could be your own intuition. In case of parenting, the right person to listen to could be your own child. Many parents think they (or a “professional”) know best without consulting the child to determine what he or she would want.

The most important thing to be doing at any given time, in terms of raising a child, is being present with your child. Not playing on your phone or thinking of the next thing you have to do. Just simply being there.

Perhaps these are questions to ask yourself when embarking on any new project, whether it be starting a new job, raising a kid, or doing something related to writing. It helps to take a step back and listen to yourself and think about what you’re going to do and why you’re doing it, so you can be more intentional about it.