Organizing for the unknown

by Milton on Fri, Feb 26th, 2010

in Home,Psychological,Week 29

One of the differences between the way Esther and I think, when preparing for our son, is our various strategies for the ominous task of “feeling prepared for parenthood” and all that goes along with that foggy idea.  I feel prepared by making lists.  Esther feels prepared by preparing (admittedly, a more direct strategy).  But in a way, they’re both valid strategies against this amorphous goal.  Esther’s has the advantage of actually getting things done, mine has the advantage of knowing exactly what needs to get done.  My list making, so far, has only shown me that I don’t need to do anything yet.  Well, read a lot of books.  Check.  Enjoy the ride.  Check.

Selling the house was also a big thing on the list of things we absolutely needed to do in order to feel prepared.  Until, as of this week, our house still wasn’t sold and so we took it off the market.  One would think that we would therefore feel like we failed at preparing.  But the strange thing is that we both feel more prepared now that the house is off the market.  Selling a house, buying a house, moving everything, getting used to a new setting, etc, all feels counter-productive at this point.  I feel like we’re out of limbo and can make the best of what we have.  Deciding to make the best of what we have is a huge step in the direction of “feeling prepared”.

And, now that that item has been decided, if not completed, it sets in motion a lot of other things on my list of things that I need to do.  Starting with re-organizing our little loft.  Starting tomorrow, I’m going to be moving few pieces of furniture into storage, a bunch of art that we took down (in the house-selling attempt) but probably aren’t going to put back up just yet, and begin to move things around until things feel “ready”. I have some big ideas of making the room more ready for watching movies on the projector, playing music on the keyboard, and changing diapers.

Why all the quotes around “ready” and “feel prepared”?  I’m not sure.  I guess in a weird way I’m realizing that this is not about reaching some final end state for our house, because we had already thought the house wouldn’t work at all.  It’s about getting our minds ready, creating the solid feeling in our guts that the house will work, that everything is ready.  And of course it will, and is.  There’s not a huge list of requirements for taking care of a baby.  A boob, a blanket, and attentive caretakers are probably sufficient for 99% of the baby’s needs, especially during the first months.  But our brains… they need some serious work before we’re ready to take care of our baby.

And slowly, we’re adapting, and our house is adapting with us, and by the time he gets here everything and everyone will be ready.  And it will be difficult to determine what exactly it was that finally made it ready, other than a certain amount of worrying, questioning, doubt, stress, debate, brain storming, furniture shuffling, color-picking, and out of it all comes readiness.  Through a little whirlwind of fretting and confusion and worry we earn the right to feel ready.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Zelda Fri, Feb 26th, 2010 at 6:07 am

I suggest a copious supply of Heroes.

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2 Zelda Fri, Feb 26th, 2010 at 6:08 am

Rather, I suggest a copious supply of Supersoft Hearos. Especially in a loft.

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